NEW DELHI --- In order to build an inclusive society, wherein members of Scheduled Castes and Other Backward Classes can lead productive, safe and dignified lives with adequate support for their growth and development, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment is implementing various schemes. These schemes aim economic, educational and social empowerment of these target groups.
Measures for educational empowerment SCs
To enable Scheduled Caste students to complete their education at post matriculation or post-secondary stage, Department of Social justice & Empowerment provides financial assistance in the form of post matric scholarship. SC boys and girls studying in middle, school higher secondary schools, colleges and universities are also given assistance for hostel facilities.
The Government also provides financial assistance to scheduled Caste students for pursing research studies leading to M. Phil., Ph.D. and equivalent research degree in universities, research institutions and scientific institution. Not only that selected Scheduled Caste are also given National Overseas Scholarship for pursing higher studies of Master level courses and Ph.D. programmes abroad in specified fields of study.
During 2014-15 and 2015-16,Departmentof Social welfare and Empowerment Also, disbursed scholarships worth approximately Rs.7,465 crore under the various Schemes, e.g., Pre-matric, Post-matric, National Overseas, National Fellowship and Dr. Ambedkar Post-matric Scholarship for EBC, being run for students belonging to Scheduled Castes, Other Backward Classes, Economically Backward Classes etc. The scholarships benefitted approximately 3, 30, 64,900 students.
Measures for Economic empowerment
Rs. 38,832 crore has been allocated to SC Sub plan during current fiscal year to provide 100% grant to the States/UTs, as an additive to their Scheduled Castes Sub Plan (SCSP). The main objective is to give a thrust to family oriented schemes of economic development of SCs below the poverty line.
Also, the Government has decided to provide financial assistance to 2.5 lakh Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe and Women Entrepreneurs under the Stand Up India Campaign.
Some of the other measures for Economic Empowerment of these targeted groups include:
· Hubs are being created for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Entrepreneurs at a cost of Rs.500 crore.
· Under the Mudra Yojana, 3.22 crore loans have been disbursed out of which 72.89 lakh loans have been disbursed to Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe, Entrepreneurs.
· The Government of India and PSUs have special provision for purchasing goods from Micro and Small Scale Industries. They have been asked to purchase at least 4% from Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Entrepreneurs, which will be intensively followed up.
· Under the Scheme of Venture Capital Fund, 36 proposals worth Rs.135.91 crore have been approved for Scheduled Caste Entrepreneurs. Rs.64.86 crore have been disbursed also.
· The National Safai Karamcharis Finance and Development Corporation has imparted motor driving training to 250 women, working as Safai Karmacharis or their dependent, out of which 60 women have got employment.
· The authorized share capital of NSFDC has been increased
from Rs.1000 crore to Rs.1500 crore to provide loans to SCs for taking up self-employment.
· First ever the National Conference of Dalit Entrepreneurs organized by the Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in New Delhi on 29th December, 2015to discuss special need of these entrepreneurs.
Social Empowerment of Schedule Cast
In order to strengthen provisions to check atrocities against Schedule Cast and Schedule Tribes, amendments in the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, have been made and new Act has come into force w.e.f. 26.1.2016. New provisions will play very significant role in Social Empowerment of Schedule Cast.
The Parliament passed the Constitution (Scheduled Caste) Order (Amendment) Act 2015 last year by virtue of which new communities were incorporated in the list of Scheduled Castes of Haryana, Karnataka, Odisha and Dadra and Nagar Haveli and now they will also get all benefits of the schemes being run for empowerment of SCs.
In order to create harmony in the society and to sensitize people about the empowerment of schedule cast, the Government has decided to observe 14th April every year as 'Samrasta Diwas'. Places related to life and work of Dr. Ambedkar are being developed as memorials. Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi, laid the foundation Stone for Dr. Ambedkar International Centre at 15 Janpath and Dr. Ambedkar Memorial at 26 Alipur Road, New Delhi on 20th April, 2015 and 21st March, 2016 respectively. Commemorative Postal Stamp and Coins were released on Dr. Ambedkar. The first two days of the winter session of the Parliament were dedicated to Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. A Tableau on Dr. Ambedkar was displayed by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment on 26th January, 2016, the Republic Day.
All these measures together will certainly contribute in educational, economic and social development of SC and OBCs.