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Vishal Rambani, Hindustan Times
Patiala, November 17, 2012
To study the socio-economic impact of the Centre's Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS), the University Grants Commission (UGC) has sanctioned a Rs. 9-lakh grant to Punjabi University here.
Under the two-year study titled 'Implementation and Impact of MGNREGS among the Weaker Sections in Punjab', researchers will collect samples from all over Punjab and study the scheme's impact, both good and bad, on the state.

Punjabi University economics professor Gian Singh will be the principal investigator of the research, while Balwinder Singh Tiwana and Sarbjeet Singh will be the co-investigators.

MGNREGS is a flagship programme of the Centre and the government had allocated Rs. 40,000 crore for the scheme in the last fiscal.

Gian Singh said Punjabi University will look into every aspect of the impact of MNREGS in Punjab. "We will also study the economic change MNREGS has brought about in the weaker sections; its socio impact, limitations and other problems in the scheme's implementation."

The researchers will also study the domicile effect of the scheme on the availability of labour in Punjab. "Yes, we will also study the aspect of labour shortage. Farmers and the industry in the state have often complained about it," he said.