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No Reports of “Non-Use” Issues with Employment App So Far: Rural Dev Ministry

No “non-use” issues with MGNREGS employment app due to unavailability of smartphones have come to their notice, Rural Dev Ministry said in the parliament

Amidst indefinite protests against the digitisation of one of India's largest employment schemes in New Delhi, the Indian government responded in parliament that no issues regarding the protests or the digital divide were reported to it. "So far, no issue regarding indefinite protest against NMMS [the National Mobile Monitoring System] App has been reported to the Ministry," said the Ministry of Rural Development in a written parliamentary reply yesterday. "Also, no specific issue related to the non-use of NMMS App due to the non-availability of smartphones has come to the notice of the Ministry." Among other issues, the ongoing protests surround the National Mobile Monitoring System—an app that is mandatorily used to mark the attendance of workers under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS). Remember: MGNREGS offers at least 100 days of paid work to Indians annually, forming an economic lifeline for millions of rural families. However, the NMMS app's technical difficulties end up delaying the payouts that workers depend on. Now, labour groups are demanding its removal from the employment scheme. What's this app about? Worksite supervisors capture the attendance on the app along with two geo-tagged pictures of the workers themselves. After this is done, they're paid. The Indian government made the app mandatory for marking attendance from January 1st, 2023. Why does this app matter? You could argue that using an app helps streamline the administration of this massive scheme. But, reality suggests that this bout of digitisation ends up delaying MGNREGS payments. For example,…

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