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Ministries join hands to set up 2 lakh Aganwadi centres in 4 years

In next four years, the government plans to construct 2 lakh AWC (Anganwadi Centers). The Ministry of Women and Child Development and the Ministry of Rural Development have collaborated on this project under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS). WCD minister Maneka Sanjay Gandhi said, “Two lakh AWC buildings are planned to be constructed in convergence with Ministry of Rural Development under MGNREGS in Intensive Participatory Planning Exercise (IPPE) blocks in 11 States with 50,000 AWC buildings per year during the next four years.”

“The construction of AWC building has been included as an approved activity under the MGNREG Act. ‘Guidelines for construction of Anganwadi Centres’ under MGNREGS have been issued jointly by Secretary, Women and Child Development and Secretary, Ministry of Rural Development, on August 13, 2015,” she added.

For the construction of every AWC building, funds up to Rs 5 lakh will be available from MGNREGS and after the expenditure crosses this amount, the required funds will be provided from ICDS (Integrated Child Development Services Scheme). 

Meanwhile speaking to the Millennium Post, Union Minister of Rural Development Chaudhary Birender Singh explained on how the convergence of the two ministries will work. “Various ministries including WCD have written to us regarding assistance under MGNREGA. We can provide them with assistance under the ‘labour component’ but land will be provided by the gram panchayats to them. In fact gram panchayats can provide land for anganwadis and community centres as well,” said Singh.

Singh further explained, “Assistance can be provided by the labour component under MGNREGA to a ministry or department of state government. Their guidelines need to be fine-tuned accordingly, as they need to fall under the ‘labour component’ to be able start any project under the scheme. So 
accordingly varied departments of the state and ministries can then convert their existing schemes and collaborate with us on MGNREGA.”
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