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World Bank hails India’s Social Security Schemes including the MNREGA


Social Security schemes like the MNREGA, Pensions are often criticized by economists as unproductive schemes. However, the World Bank in its recent report titled ‘The State of Social Safety Nets 2015’ hailed some of India’s social security schemes as biggest in the world.


Recently, the World Bank released a report “The State of Social Safety Nets 2015”, which mentioned that 1.9 billion in the world are beneficiaries of social safety net programs. However, 75% of the poorest people in low and lower-middle income countries still lack access to such programs and remain vulnerable. The report concluded that $329 billion was spent on these programs across 120 developing countries between 2010 and 2014, and most well-designed programs accounted only between 1.5 percent and 1.9 percent of their GDPs.

Given India’s huge population, its social safety programs featured among the top programs in their respective categories. Let us have a look.

MNREGA is the largest public works program in the worldThe Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA), launched by the UPA government has been hailed as the world’s largest social safety net program. Last year, there were a lot of discussions and debates amidst fears that the BJP government would reduce its support to the program, which led to a group of economists signing a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and urged him to continue support to the program.

India provides food to the maximum school children in the worldIndia’s mid-day meal program, which is the biggest of its kind in the world, has been one of the significant contributors to increasing enrollment in public schools across the country.

Janani Suraksha Yojana is the worlds largest cash transfer programThe Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) is a safe motherhood intervention launched in 2005, under the National Rural Health Mission (NHM). It aims to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality by promoting institutional delivery among poor pregnant women.

China has the worlds largest unconditional cash transfer programThe Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOAPS) is an old age pension scheme that covers Indians who are 60 years and above and live below the poverty line. Ministry of Rural Development launched it in August 1995 as a part of the National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP). Under the scheme, all beneficiaries aged 60-79 receive a monthly pension of Rs. 200. Those 80 years and above receive a monthly pension amount of Rs. 500.
Image Source:NREGA


About Author

Devanik Saha is a freelance journalist based in New Delhi. He mainly writes about developmental issues and has written for Rediff News, DailyO, Newslaundry, IndiaSpend, IndiaTogether, Asian Age, etc. Previously, he has worked with Teach For India, Monitor Deloitte, World Bank and Naandi Foundation. He can be reached at


  1. Pingback: World Bank hails India’s Social Security Schemes including the MNREGA - The Inquisit

  2. The NREGS has turned the small and marginal farmers into labourers in many villages in Telangana state especially Karimnagar and Warangal district. Though thousands of crores of rupees spent on the scheme, it has failed to create permanent assets in the villages. It has also become a boon for the fraudulent employees. There is a need to look into the corruption involved in the MGNREGS.