The National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme (NREGP) launched in 2005 is the largest rural employment programme ever undertaken in India with an investment of Rs 30,000 crore every year, unleashing wage employment and livelihood opportunities for millions of rural poor in the country.

Studies done by scholars like Narayanan (2008), Vijayanand (2008) and Sharif (2008) show that in spite of many limitations the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) has become a women's programme. Narayanan and Vijayanand have restricted their study to one state each only, but Sharif has studied seven states.

Be it health, water, cleanliness or alcohol consumption, villages in rural Maharashtra are witnessing a silent movement in the last few years, thanks to the women sarpanches at the helm.

It was unique event. The National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) has always been in focus since the Act was adopted in 2006.

Despite collector and BDO Raj NREGS has changed the lives of many in rural India and has given them hope for future.

Sadly, NREGA, the greatest democratic experiment undertaken to reduce rural poverty, has become the stick to beat the Panchayati Raj System - the other greatest experiment of democratic decentralisation.

Success story of a young panchayat president who took innovative measures to re-build her tsunami-devastated village.

Afghanistan has signed a near-identical MoU with three institutions in India - Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA), Society for Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA) and Institute of Social Sciences (ISS) for collaboration to promote the cause of local government.

Residents of Panihari village are now a happy lot. They are celebrating freedom from floods for the first time in living memory. Agricultural wages have incresed across the district in the past one year. They say their lives have improved because of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA).

The national goals of removal of all forms of social injustice, inclusive development and removal of income and non-income poverty will remain elusive unless we enrich the practice of local democracy.