An Evaluation of India’s Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan
An important concern regarding the devolution of funds to Panchayati Raj Institutions by the Centre and State is whether they have sufficient administrative and technical capacity, as it has been found lacking in many cases. As an outcome of this, the Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan (RGSA) scheme was launched in 2018 by the Government of India, across all states / UTs, to strengthen the capacities of the Panchayats to meet local development challenges in various areas linked with attaining the Sustainable Development Goals, such as poverty, gender inequality, water supply and sanitation, and so on. Some of the specific components under the scheme include training of Panchayat officials, building of adequate training infrastructure, asset creation, more inclusive and participatory planning, awards for good performance and use of technology. This study seeks to evaluate the RGSA scheme in terms of implementation of the different initiatives and their efficacy in promoting practices of good governance in Panchayats, through a primary survey across 12 states, which are Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Assam, Sikkim, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. The stakeholders targeted for the survey include officials of Panchayats, members of Panchayat committees, members of Self-Help groups, line department officials, faculties of training institutes and officials of state and district unit of RGSA. The study would provide insights on the impact of the scheme and bring out the best practices and challenges with a view to provide recommendations to improve the scheme going forward.

Study to Assess the Availability of Resources for Creating the Assets and Initiatives Taken for Generating Various Own Sources of Revenue
In order to improve the financial base of the Local Bodies including Panchayati Raj Institutions, Central and State Finance Commissions have been providing many recommendations towards augmentation of the Own Source of Revenues of the panchayats to complement the grants provided to them by the Central and State Governments. Despite this, it is observed that the own source of revenue levels of the Rural Local Bodies in many States are very limited and they largely depend on the devolution of funds from the Central and the State Governments and the awards of the Central Finance Commission. It has also been observed that the management practices towards monetization of the Common Property Resources have often found to be lacking in the Rural Local Bodies resulting in their underutilisation. In light of the above, a primary data-based comprehensive study to assess the constraints and performance of Rural Local Bodies in generating own revenue is conducted. The study is proposed in selected 23 states namely Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and West Bengal to have an objective assessment of the status of own sources of revenue of the Rural Local Bodies and management of Common Property Resources in the States. Also the study would map the best practices and provide guidelines for improving the same which could be adapted by other States.

Water-to-Cloud: Correlating socio-economic indicators with river water quality
The Ganga River basin spreaded across multiple states of India is the world’s most populous river basin. But, the pressure of industrialization and urbanisation makes the basin vulnerable to incessant outpouring of sewage and large volumes of solid and industrial wastes. While there are studies to show the effect of drinking water on human health, there is a need to address the issue of socio-economic indicators’ correlations with surface water pollution and study the causality therein. The primary aim of the project is to study the socio-economic and livelihood implications of Ganga river water pollution by correlating the real time pollution parameters with self-reported livelihood measures. The two groups chosen for survey are fisherman and households in West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh respectively. The specific objectives of the study are: 1. To understand the effect of water pollution on the livelihood of fishermen. 2. To calculate the direct and indirect health costs of households associated with Ganga river water usage.

Baseline Study on e-Panchayat
As the knowledge partner on the e-Panchayat project of the Department of Information Technology, NCAER’s role is to sign off on the project scope, research framework, research methodology, and report formats as well as on the final data used in compilation. The main objectives of the study are to create baseline data against which the impact of ICT based delivery processes can be measured, to understand the challenges in the current mode of service delivery and create a benchmark for future implementation, as well as to understand the differences between high and low performing e-Panchayats. The Agricultural Finance Corporation Limited (AFCL India Limited) is the executing research institute for this project along with Research and Development Initiative Private Limited as the supporting market research agency.

Evaluation Study on Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act
The objectives of the project were threefold: (1) to assess the implementation process, flow of funds, quality of assets, coverage of scheme, impact on livelihood, convergence issues, migration issues, extension of scheme to urban areas, record maintenance, capacity of implementing authorities, norms followed and involvement of PRIs; (2) to examine post construction maintenance aspects, different wages in different states and gender issues in payments; and (3) to review implementation of rules and regulations, and monitoring aspects.