List of Contents
What is the News?
The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has formulated a scheme called Information-Monitoring, Evaluation and Social Audit(I-MESA) in Financial Year 2021-22.
- Under this scheme, Social Audits are to be conducted for all schemes of the Department starting FY 2021-22. These social audits are done through Social Audit Units(SAU) of the States and National Institute for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj.
What is Social Audit?
- Social Audit is the examination and assessment of a programme/ scheme conducted with the active involvement of people and comparing official records with actual ground realities.
- A social Audit is a powerful tool for social transformation, community participation, and government accountability.
How is Social Audit different from Financial Audit? A social Audit is different from Financial Audit.
- Financial audits involve inspecting and assessing documents related to financial transactions in an organization to provide a true picture of its profits, losses, and financial stability.
- On the other hand, Social audits focus on the performance of a program in fulfilling its intended social objectives and ethical vision.
Origin of Social Audits in India:
- In India, social audits were begun by Tata Iron and Steel Company in 1979.
- Later, such an auditing mechanism gained significance after the 73rd Amendment to the Constitution, which attempted to empower Panchayati Raj institutions and gram sabhas by arming them with such audits.
- Section 17 of the MGNREGA Act has mandated a Social audit of all works executed under the MGNREGA.
Benefits of Social Audit:
- It informs and educates people about their rights and entitlements.
- It provides a collective platform for people to ask queries, express their needs and grievances.
- Furthermore, it promotes people’s participation in all stages of the implementation of programmes.
- Also, it brings about transparency and accountability in government schemes.
- It strengthens decentralized governance.