NHRC to review government programmes, submit report to UN


New Delhi : Highlighting the large inefficacy of various government schemes, including flagship programmes, because of corruption at different levels, India’s apex human rights body Friday said it is reviewing the programmes’ impact and will submit a report to the UN.

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Naming some of the government’s flagship programmes like the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS) and the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) as being not very effective because of corruption, a National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) member said that because of this “change has not yet come to rural India”.

According to panel member Satyabrata Pal, the UN asks for reports from its member countries every four years on the state of human rights. India submitted its report for the first time in 2008 and listed the NREGA and ICDS programmes as means to improve the quality of life of its people.

“Besides the respective countries, the UN also requires the civil society and a national human rights body to submit their report. So for 2012 we are going to review the impact of the government schemes and it’s going to be a stinging report,” Pal said.

“Since in 2012, the 12th Five Year Plan will also go into operation, it will be a good wrap-up of the 11th Plan. As per our assessment, a lot of money has gone down the drain with targets not achieved,” he added.

For instance, Pal said, the women and child development ministry had a target to raise the sex ratio from 927 in 2001 to 935 in 2011, and then 950 by 2016.

“But as of now, the sex ratio is 914…which means that it has become just worse,” he said.

“One of our special rapporteurs had gone to a district in Uttar Pradesh to review the ICDS scheme and came back with the report that 61 percent funds have been siphoned off. It’s shocking,” Pal added.

Similarly, people are getting 46 days of employment, on an average, as part of the MNREGA, instead of the guaranteed 100 days of employment in a year, he said.

“But our report will also point the government’s shortcomings which it has admitted to by itself,” Pal said.

As part of their audit, NHRC has been holding regional meetings to interact with civil society to ask about their opinion on the implementation of various government schemes.

“We should work together to make the government accountable at all levels,” Pal added.