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MGNREGA world’s largest public works programme: World Bank

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According to World Bank report, India’s rural employment guarantee programme MNREGA has been ranked as the world’s largest public works programme.

MGNREGA provides social security net to almost 15 per cent of the country’s population.

World Bank Group’s report ‘The State of Social Safety Nets 2015’, said India is among the five middle-income countries running the world’s largest social safety net programmes.

The world’s five largest social safety net programmes are in China, India, South Africa and Ethiopia reaching over 526 million people.

The Mid-day meal scheme of India has been classified as biggest school feeding programme benefiting 105 million beneficiaries.

Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act has 182 million beneficiaries which covers 15% of India’s population.

Janani Suraksha Yojna with 78 million beneficiaries is ranked as the top-most social security programme with conditional cash transfers.

Also, the report ranked the Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme as the second-largest unconditional cash transfer social security programme in the world.

Jim Yong Kim, World Bank Group President and Guy Ryder, Executive Director, ILO, in their joint statement said, “The World Bank Group and the International Labour Organisation share a vision of social protection for all, a world where anyone who needs social protection can access it at any time.”

About the Schemes


  • Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) is a social security measure that aims to guarantee the ‘right to work’.
  • To ensure livelihood security in rural areas it provides at least 100 days of wage employment in a financial year to every household.

Midday Meal Scheme

  • It is a school meal programme designed to improve the nutritional status of school-age children nationwide.
  • The programme supplies free lunches on working days for children in Primary and Upper Primary Classes in Government schools.
  •  It is the largest such programme in the world which serves 120,000,000 children in over 1,265,000 schools and Education Guarantee Scheme centres.

Janani Suraksha Yojna

  • Janani Suraksha Yojana is a scheme to decrease the neo-natal and maternal deaths happening in the country by promoting institutional delivery of babies under the National Rural Health Mission.
  • It is a 100% centrally sponsored scheme which integrates cash assistance with delivery and post-delivery car