Jammu Tawi, November 30
In a historic and a path-breaking new initiative, the Modi government today launched the, first of its kind, “Geo MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act)” involving Space technology for monitoring, measuring and reporting the progress and status of works as well as assets under the MGNREGA national programme. The formal launching was done jointly by Union Minister for Rural Development, Narendra Singh Tomar and Union Minister for Department of Space, Dr Jitendra Singh. The Standard Operating Manual book for “Geo MGNREGA” was also released by the two Ministers. Speaking on the occasion, Union Rural Development Minister Narendra Singh Tomar welcomed the joint initiative between his Ministry and the Department of Space. He said, this will not only help in better accomplishments under the MGNREGA but will also help in expediting and regularly monitoring them. Tomar said,the new arrangement between the two Ministries will also bring in transparency both in monitoring of MGNREGA works as well as in disbursing of the MGNREGA assets to the rightful individuals. In this context, he disclosed that 568943 assets geo-tagged as on 28th November 2016 will also go public and become accessible. Dr Jitendra Singh, in his address, said that even though India’s Space programme was initiated by Vikram Sarabhai and his colleagues over half-a-century ago, it is actually the present government under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi which has truly vindicated the dream of the founding fathers by introducing the applications of Space technology in different fields and truly making India’s Space programme an adjuvant for development and growth of common citizens of India. . As for GeoMGNREGA, Dr Jitendra Singh said, use of Space technology will not only help bring in greater transparency, but will also ensure authenticity by procuring accurate images and pictures of the spots on the ground where MGNREGA work is in progress.