Department of Social Justice & Empowerment
Other Backward Class (OBC)
- National Fellowship for 300 OBC students (NF-OBC) launched. The rates were revised from Rs 18000 per month for JRF to Rs 25000 per month and for SRF from Rs 20000 per month to Rs 28000 per month. UGC has finalized the list of 300 JRFs.
- Dr. Ambedkar Central Sector scheme of Interest Subsidy on Educational Loan for Overseas Studies for OBCs was launched in 2014-15 to encourage higher studies leading to Post graduate, M.Phil and Ph. Dabroad.
- The norms for the “Construction of Hostels for the OBC Boys and Girls”revised with unit cost enhanced from Rs 1.40 lakhs per hostel seat to Rs 3.50 lakhs for North-east, Rs 3.25 lakh for Himalayan states and Rs 3.00 for rest of country. This has encouraged more proposals from States/UTs/NGOs/Central Institutions and will improve the quality of construction of hostels.
- Under this Construction of Hostels for OBCs scheme, now hostels constructed under state plan also can avail one time grant for purchase of furniture, at the rate of Rs 2500 per seat. Also now the Pradhan MantriAdarsh Grams can avail central assistance to construct hostels.
- Under the scheme of Construction of Hostels for OBC Boys and Girls, a significant achievement was made in encouraging Central Universities/Institutions, who availed a major portion of the budget as Central Assistance for construction of hostels in 2014-15.
- The scheme of “Assistance to Voluntary Organisations working for the Welfare of the OBCs”was revised with focus on Skill Development.
- The Ministry is forging partnership with Central Universities/Institutions to invite proposals and ideas oneffective and innovative methods for monitoring, evaluating, creating databases and preparing reports for the welfare schemes.
- New Schemes for DNTs namely, Dr Ambedkar Pre-Matric and Post-Matric Scholarship for the DNTs and Nanaji Deshmukh Scheme of Construction of Hostelshave been launched. Under these schemes, Central Assistance has been released to the States of Karnataka and Maharashtra in 2014-15.
- For Economically Backward Classes (EBCs), the Dr Ambedkar Post-Matric Scholarship Scheme has been launched. Central Assistance has been released to the State of Rajasthan in 2014-15.
- Release of 98.25% fund has been achieved under BC Schemes during 2014-15.
- Skill Development training has been provided to 11410 beneficiaries. Further, stipend at the rate of Rs 1000 per month provided to the trainees for the first time.
- In order to increase coverage of loans to OBCs, One Time settlement for waver of penal interest amounting to Rs.2.04 crore for Manipur and Rs.1.53 crore for Sikkim has been done.
- A new website which is interactive has been launched by the NBCFDC.
- E-marketing of the products of the artisans to provide market value to them.
- E-tracking of loans in order to improve recovery initiated by the NBCFDC.
- The Recruitment Rules for strengthening the functioning of National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) framed and notified.
- The DNT Commission has been made operational with appointment of Chairperson and Member.
Scheduled Castes Development
(i) Creation of ‘Venture Capital Fund for Scheduled Caste Entrepreneurs’ Scheme: A new Scheme of ‘Venture Capital Fund for SCs’ with an allocation of Rs.200 crore has been approved on 22.12.2014. The objective of this Scheme is to promote entrepreneurship among the Scheduled Castes and to provide concessional finance to them. The scheme would be implemented by the Industrial Finance Corporation of India (IFCI) Limited. The Fund has been registered with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on 24.12.2014. The Scheme was launched by the Minister (SJ&E) on 16.01.2015. An amount of Rs. 200.00 Crore has been released upto 16.01.2015 in favour of IFCI Limited.
(ii) Credit Enhancement Guarantee Scheme for the Scheduled Castes: The Finance Minister in his Union Budget Speech for FY 2014-15 made on 10th July 2014, inter- alia, announced that a sum of Rs.200 crores will be allocated towards Credit Enhancement Gurantee for Young and start-up entrepreneurs, belonging to Scheduled Castes, who aspire to be part of neo middle class category, with an objective to encourage entrepreneurship in the lower strata of the Society resulting in job creation besides creating confidence in Scheduled Castes. The objective of the Scheme is to promote entrepreneurship among the scheduled castes and to facilitate concessional finance to them. The Budget of Rs. 200.00 Crore has been allocated under the Scheme in Supplementary Demands for Grants 2014-15. The Scheme has been approved by the MSJ&E on 10.02.2015.
(iii) Swachhta Udyami Yojana: As an integral part of ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ launched by the Prime Minister on 2nd October, 2014, the National Safai Karamcharis Finance and Development Corporation, a public Sector Undertaking under the administrative control of the M/o SJ&E launched a new Scheme ‘Swachhta Udyami Yojana’ on 2nd October, 2014 for financing viable community toilet projects and sanitation related vehicles to collect garbage.
(iv) Upward revision of financial norms under the Scheme of Grant-in-aid to voluntary organizations working for the SCs (last fixed in 1998): The Scheme has been revised and conveyed to the States/UTs vide letter dated 15th July, 2014. Following revisions have been made in the financial norms:
- Generally 100% enhancement
- Honorarium of teachers has been revised upward at par with the salary of teachers in Kasturba Gandhi Vidhyalaya.
(v) Revision of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Rules, 1995: The Rules notified in 1995, were revised on 23.12.2011. Further amendment in the PoA Rules for enhancing the relief amount by 50% i.e. between Rs. 75,000/- to Rs. 7,50,000/- depending upon the nature of offences has been notified on 23.06.2014, in the Gazette of India, Extraordinary.
(vi) Revision in the Pilot Scheme of ‘Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana’: The Minister (SJ&E) has approved on 22.01.2015 revisions in the Scheme as follows:
- Additionally 1500 number of villages to be covered; out of these villages, 125 villages would be selected by the Ministry of SJ&E, suffering from natural disasters and man-made calamities like floods, droughts, excessive rains, arson and social disparities targeted towards members of the SC community,
- The scheme would cover all the States having 1000 or more SC majority villages. The newly covered States are as follows: Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Odisha, Jharkhand, Chhatishgarh.
(vii) Dr. Ambedkar International ‘Centre’ for Social Justice: The Government has approved setting up of the Centre at an approximate cost of Rs.195 crore at 15 Janpath, New Delhi. The architectural plan and design of the Centre has been approved by the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) on 20.11.2014.
(viii) Dr. Ambedkar Memorial: The Government has taken a decision to fully develop the Memorial with an approximate cost of Rs. 100 Crore at 26, Alipure Road, Delhi. The CPWD has started the preliminary work. The architectural Plan has been approved by the Hon’ble Minister (SJ&E) on 27.11.2014.
(ix) Release of Braille (English) Edition of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar-Writings & Speeches: The Minister (SJ&E) & Chairman Dr. Ambedkar Foundation released the 4 Volumes (1, 5, 7& 11) of Braille (English) edition of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar-Writings & Speeches on 29.10.2014 at Vigyan Bhavan, New delhi.
(x) Dr.Ambedkar Foundation National Essay Competition Awards: The Minister Social Justice & Empowerment and Chairman, Dr. Ambedkar Foundation gave away Dr. Ambedkar Foundation National Essay Competition awards for the year 2013 & 2014 to the winners in a function held on 29.10.2014 at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi.
(xi) Pre-Matric Scholarship to the children of those engaged in occupations involving cleaning and prone to health hazards: The name of the Scheme has been changed from “Pre-Matric Scholarship to those engaged in ‘unclean’ occupations” to “Pre-Matric Scholarship to the children of those engaged in occupations involving cleaning and prone to health hazards”.
(xii) Revision of the National Overseas Scholarship Scheme: The Central Sector Scheme ‘National Overseas Scholarship’ for the Scheduled Castes has been revised and conveyed to the States/UTs vide letter dated 28.01.2015 by increasing the number of awards from 60 to 100 with effect from the selection year 2014-15.
(xiii) Enactment of the Constitution (SC) Orders (amendment) Act, 2014: Modifications in the list of Scheduled Castes- The Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Orders (Amendment) Bill, 2014, which incorporates inclusion of ten synonym castes as Scheduled Castes in relation to the States of Kerala (two), Madhya Pradesh (one), Odisha (four), Tripura (three), exclusion of a Scheduled Caste in relation to Sikkim and substitution of the name of the State from ‘Orissa’ to ‘Odisha’ was passed by the Lok Sabha on 27.11.2014 and Rajya Sabha on 08.12.2014. The Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Orders (Amendment) Act, 2014 received the assent of the President on 17.12.2014 and was notified in the Gazette of India, Extraordinary on 18.12.2014.
(xiv) Amendments in the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989: The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2014 to amend the PoA Act was introduced in the Lok Sabha on 16.07.2014. The Bill was referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Social Justice and Empowerment on 16.09.2014, by the directions of the Hon’ble Speaker, Lok Sabha, under Rule 331E (b) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha, for examination and report. The Committee has since finalized and presented its report in both houses of Parliament on 19.12. 2014. Action has been initiated to seek decision of the Government in regard to recommendations contained in the Report of the Committee.
- Future proposals:
(i) Scheme of Special Central Assistance (SCA) to Scheduled Castes Sub Plan (SCSP): The Scheme is at an advanced stage of revision with an enhancement in subsidy amount from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 50,000 per beneficiary and other major structural changes.
(ii) Enhancement in the authorized share capital of the National Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corporation (NSFDC): The authorized share capital of NSFDC is proposed to be enhanced from Rs. 1000 Crore to Rs. 2000 Crore.
- International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking celebrated on 26.06.2014 and National Awards conferred by President of India.
- International Day of Older Persons celebrated on 01.10.2014.
- Ministry has assigned a rapid survey for estimation of the extent, trend and pattern of the drug abuse in these two States of Punjab and Manipur.
- A National toll free helpline for Prevention of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse has been set up on 7th January, 2015.
- Under the Schemes for Integrated Programme of Older Persons and scheme of prevention for Alcoholism and Substance (Drug) Abuse online processing of proposals of NGOs has been initiated from the current financial year (2014-15).
- National Policy on Older Persons (NPOP), 1999 the policy is being revised keeping in view the changes in demographic pattern, socio-economic needs of senior citizens, social value system and advancement in the field of science and technology. The draft of the news National Policy for Senior Citizens is being finalized.
- The First National Policy on Drug Demand Reduction is under finalization.