Space Satellite hovering above the coast; Source

MGNREGA to use Geospatial Technology for Augmenting Efficient Outcomes

August 24, 2021, New Delhi: Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science and Technology, MoS Ministry of Earth Sciences, MoS for Prime Minister’s Office; MoS (Independent Charge) for the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region; Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions; Department of Atomic Energy; and Department of Space, highlighted today that Remote Sensing technology through Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) would be used on a larger scale than ever before to introduce transparency in MGNREGA.

Speaking on the occasion of the launch of the new Yuktdhara Geospatial Planning Portal, the Minister noted that the platform will expedite planning and management of new MGNREGA assets using Geospatial tools such as Remote Sensing and GIS. Besides, it would act as a repository of assets or “Geotags” created under numerous national rural development programmes other than MGNREGA, such as Integrated Watershed Management Programme, Per Drop More Crop and Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana, to name a few.

A Much-Needed Boost to Developmental Planning

Highlighting the suitability of the platform’s denomination, Dr Jitendra Singh remarked that the word “Yukt” is derived from Yojanam or planning, while “Dhara” denotes flow. The platform has been visualised as an emblem of the joint efforts of ISRO and the Ministry of Rural Development in bringing decentralisation to decision-making processes and rural planning.

Dr Singh also appreciated the massive potential and contributions of ISRO’s Geoportal Bhuvan with one of the richest information bases in the country along with high-quality satellite imagery and analytical functions. Bhuvan has been playing a key role in shaping developmental planning activities in the remotest corners of the country through the unified integration of myriad thematic layers, multi-temporal high-resolution earth observation data, exhaustive analytics and collaborative applications for data-sharing and viewing. 

Using this multifarious platform, planners can analyse previous assets recorded and monitored under various government schemes. New ones can be identified and scrutinized using a host of ground-breaking online tools. Appropriate authorities under State Departments can be brought on board for evaluation of plans that are prepared by grassroots functionaries, thus ensuring quality and consistency of monitoring over the long term. 

Successful Implementation of Geotagging has earned Wide Acclaim

GeoMGNREGA on the Bhuvan portal has received praise from various fronts, the union minister highlighted. The successful implementation of progress-based funds disbursement has been facilitated by asset geotagging in rural areas. At the same time, the citizen-centric JANMANREG mobile application has simplified the process of feedback by the rural population.

Dr Singh was all praise for the enthusiasm demonstrated by State Department personnel in participating in the database creation process. For an exercise of such a massive scale as this, regular customisation and update of the Bhuvan portal in line with MoRD’s requirements, consistent supervision by State functionaries and the synergy of Geographic Information and Earth Observation technology can bring to life the vision of unparalleled transparency and efficient outcomes in the MGNREGA programme.

Featured Image: Space Satellite hovering above the coast; Source