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Rights Of Consumers

Rights Of Consumers

Consumer Protection Act (1986)

The Consumer Protection Act was enacted in 1986 with the objective of providing better protection of consumers’ interests. The Act provides for effective safeguards to consumers against various types of exploitation and unfair dealings.

The Act lays down the rights of the consumers and also provides for the promotion and protection of the rights of the consumers. It creates an alternative disputes resolution mechanism exclusively for consumers.

The salient features of the Act are as follows:

  1. The Act enshrines six rights of consumers, namely, right to safety, right to be informed, right to choose, right to be heard, right to seek redressal and right to consumer education.
  2. The provisions of the Act are in addition to and not in derogation of the provisions of any other law for the time being in force.
  3. It is umbrella legislation covering all goods and services, but excluding transactions not involving consumers from the purview of the Act.
  4. Goods are those which are manufactured or produced and sold to consumers through wholesalers and retailers. Services are in the nature of transport, telephone, electricity, housing, banking, insurance, medical treatment, etc.
  5. The Act applies to private, public and cooperative sectors.
  6. A consumer can seek redressal against any manufacturer and trader of goods/service provider, so long as the goods purchased or service availed of was for consideration.
  7. The Act provides for simple, inexpensive and timely redressal of consumer complaints.
  8. The provisions of the Act are not only compensatory in nature but also preventive and punitive in character.
  9. The Act provides for establishing a three-tier consumer dispute redressal machinery at the national, state and district levels commonly known as National Commission, State Commission, and District Forum respectively.
  10. A written complaint can be filed before the District Consumer Forum for pecuniary value of up to twenty lakh rupees, State Commission for value up to one crore rupees and the National Commission for value above one crore rupees, in respect of defects in goods and or deficiency in service. The service can be of any description and the illustrations given above are only indicative. However, no complaint can be filed for alleged deficiency in any service that is rendered free of charge or under a contract of personal service.
  11. If a consumer is not satisfied with the decision of a District Forum, he can appeal to the State Commission. Against the order of the State Commission, a consumer can approach the National Commission.
  12. The remedy under the Act is an alternative in addition to that already available to the aggrieved persons/consumers by way of civil suit. In the complaint/appeal/petition submitted under the Act, a consumer is not required to pay any court fees; only a nominal fee is required.
  13. The Act also provides for setting up of Consumer Protection Councils at the Central, State and District levels, which are advisory bodies to promote and protect the rights of the consumers.

Rights Under the Act

The rights of consumers provided under the Act are explained below :

  1. Right to Safety: It is the right to be protected against the marketing of goods and services which are hazardous to life and property.
  2. Right to Information: It is the right of consumers to be informed about the quality, quantity, potency, purity, standard and price of goods or services, with a view to protecting the consumer against unfair trade practices.
  3. Right to Choose: The right to choose can be made meaningful by ensuring access to a variety of goods and services at competitive prices.
  4. Right to Represent: It is right to be heard and to be assured that consumer’s interests will receive due consideration at appropriate forums.
  5. Right to Redressal: It is a right to seek redressal against unfair trade practices or restrictive trade practices or unscrupulous exploitation of consumers.
  6. Right to Education: The right to consumer education is a right which ensures that consumers are informed about the practices prevalent in the market and the remedies available to them.
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Rights Of Victims Of Drug Abuse

updated on April 20th, 2019

Rights Of Victims Of Drug Abuse

Constitutional Rights

The mandate of the Constitution is to ensure equality, freedom, justice, and dignity of all individuals including the victims of drug abuse.

Article 47 of Part IV (Directive Principles of State Policy) is particularly relevant with regard to the victims of drug abuse. It provides that the State shall regard the raising of the level of nutrition and the standard of living of its people and the improvement of public health as among its primary duties and, in particular, the State shall endeavor to bring about prohibition of consumption, except for medicinal purposes, of intoxicating drinks and of drugs which are injurious to health.

Legal Rights

The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS), 1985, was enacted, inter alia, to curb drug abuse. The Act provides that the Government may establish centers for identification, treatment, education, after-care, rehabilitation, social reintegration of drug addicts. Further, the Government may also supply any narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances to drug addicts where such supply is a medical necessity.

The objectives of the NDPS Act, 1985, are:

  1. To consolidate and amend the law relating to narcotic drugs
  2. To make stringent provisions for the control and regulation of operations relating to narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances
  3. To provide for the forfeiture of property derived from, or used in, illicit traffic in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances
  4. To implement the provisions of the International Convention on Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances

Welfare Of Victims Of Drug Abuse

The Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment (MSJ & E) is implementing various schemes and programmes for the welfare and rehabilitation of the victims of drug abuse. These are explained below:

1. Awareness Generation Campaign About the Ill-Effects of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse

The Ministry recognizes drug abuse as a psychosocial-medical problem, which can be best handled by the adoption of a family/community-based approach by the active involvement of NGOs/Community Based Organisations (CBOs). The strategy for demand reduction is three-pronged:

(a) Awareness building and educating people about the ill-effects of drug abuse.
(b) Community-based intervention for motivational counseling, identification, treatment and rehabilitation of drug addicts, and
(c) Training of volunteers/service providers and other stakeholders with a view to building up a committed and skilled care.

The Ministry in collaboration with Nehru Yuva Kendra Sanghathan has conducted an awareness generation programme in the State of Punjab and Manipur covering 3000 villages of 10 districts in the State of Punjab and 750 villages of 7 districts in the State of Manipur. This programme was completed in November 2012. Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan through its network of volunteers at village level had engaged in the creation of awareness about the ill-effects of Alcoholism and Substance (Drug) Abuse among the rural masses through various activities and programmes such as –

(a) Formation of Advisory Committees at Village, District and State levels for coordination and implementation of the project
(b) Personal contact and Peer education activities
(c) Focused Group-Interactions, sensitization, and motivation of political and religious leaders, parents and teachers.
(d) Social and Mass Education Programme viz. (i) theme based songs-rock band, traditional and other preferred/liked locally, (ii) holding rallies-mass awareness generation, educational and motivational campaigns and distribution of IEC materials, (iii) storytelling and case studies on overcoming and refraining from drug abuse and alcoholism, (iv) participating yoga or other physical activities as accepted by local community, (v) public lectures by experts, (vi) wall writing and poster campaign, (vii) holding theme based street plays and cultural programmes, (viii) painting competition at schools and villages, (ix) slogan and essay writing competitions at village, school and college level, etc.

The Ministry also collaborated with National Bal Bhawan in awareness generation programme among the children of the age group of 12-16 years through a series of activities like poster making, creative writing, lecture, really, nukkad Natak, etc. at the local, zonal and national level.

2. National Awards for Outstanding Services in the Field of Prevention of Alcoholism and Substance (Drug) Abuse

Substance abuse is a psycho-social-medical problem, community-based intervention through Non- Governmental Organisations (NGOs), Panchayat/Municipal bodies, Educational Institutions, etc. has been considered as the best approach for treatment and rehabilitation of the addicts. In order to recognize the efforts and encourage excellence in the field of prevention of substance abuse and rehabilitation of its victims, the Ministry started in 2013 the “Scheme of National Awards for outstanding services in the field of Prevention of Alcoholism and Substance (Drug) Abuse”. The Scheme is applicable to institutions and individuals working in the field of Prevention of Drug and Alcoholism Abuse.

The following awards (generally one in each category) are presented, every year, on 26th June, which has been declared by the United Nations, as the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking:

(i) Best Integrated Rehabilitation Centre for Addicts (IRCA) for providing rehabilitation services to alcoholics and drug users.
(ii) Best Regional Resource and Training Centre (RTC) providing an exemplary contribution in the field of prevention of addiction.
(iii) Best Panchayati Raj or Municipal Body working for the prevention of alcoholism and substance (drug) abuse
(iv) Best Educational Institution doing outstanding work in awareness generation and prevention of alcoholism and substance (drug) abuse
(v) Best Non-Profit Institution with outstanding contribution to the Prevention of Alcoholism and Substance (Drug) Abuse.
(vi) Best Research or Innovation
(vii) Best Awareness Campaign
(viii) Outstanding individual achievement by a professional
(ix) Outstanding individual achievement by a non-professional
(x) Former addict, who has done outstanding work in the field of awareness generation or deaddiction or rehabilitation

3. National Consultative Committee on De-addiction and Rehabilitation (NCCDR)

A National Consultative Committee on De-addiction and Rehabilitation Services (NCCDR) under the chairpersonship of Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment was constituted in 2008. The committee has a representation of various stakeholders, which also include agencies dealing with supply and demand reduction. The Committee advises the Government on issues connected with drug demand reduction, education/awareness building, de-addiction and rehabilitation of drug-addicts. The first meeting of the Committee was held in 2008. Two major recommendations which emerged in the meeting were:

(i) To bring about further necessary changes in the Scheme for Prevention of Alcoholism and Substance (Drugs) Abuse and
(ii) To formulate a national policy on the Prevention of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse and rehabilitation of its victims.

A sub-committee of the NCCDR was constituted in 2009 to take necessary steps in regard to both the above recommendations. The sub-Committee submitted its recommendations in 2010 (i) suggesting changes in the ongoing scheme on de-addiction and (ii) a draft for the formulation of a policy on drug demand reduction.

These recommendations on the changes to the scheme and the draft national policy were discussed in the second meeting of NCCDR. Further action on revising the Scheme for Prevention of Alcoholism and Substance (Drugs) Abuse and redrafting the national policy on Prevention of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse and rehabilitation of its victims is in progress.

4. Assistance to Voluntary Organisations for Prevention of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse

The ‘Scheme of Assistance for the Prevention of Alcoholism & Substance (Drugs) Abuse and for Social Defence Services’ is the flagship scheme of the Ministry in the field of drug demand reduction. The Scheme has two parts viz. (i) ‘Assistance for the Prevention of Alcoholism & Substance (Drugs) Abuse’ (Part I) and (ii) ‘Financial Assistance in the Field of Social Defence’ (Part II).

The Scheme of Assistance for the Prevention of Alcoholism and Substance (Drugs) Abuse is being implemented for identification, counseling, treatment, and rehabilitation of addicts through voluntary and other eligible organizations. Under this scheme, financial assistance up to 90% of the approved expenditure is given to the voluntary organizations and other eligible agencies for setting up/running Integrated Rehabilitation Centre for Addicts (IRCAs), Regional Resource and Training Centres (RRTCs), for holding Awareness-cum-de-addiction camps (ACDC) and Workplace Prevention Programmes, etc. In the case of North-Eastern states, Sikkim and Jammu & Kashmir, the quantum of assistance are 95% of the total admissible expenditure. The balance has to be borne by the implementing agency.

The important features of the scheme are mentioned as follows:

(i) the honorarium rates for service providers of the Integrated Rehabilitation Centres for Addicts (IRCA) projects have been enhanced,
(ii) provision for food for inmates who are below poverty line (BPL) has been introduced at the rate of ₹ 900 per month per inmate,
(iii) Panchayati Raj Institutions/Urban Local Bodies have been included under the organisations/institutions eligible for receiving assistance under the scheme, and
(iv) the 15 and 30-bed IRCAs can be upgraded to 20 and 40 beds respectively, in the urban areas and the North-East.

5. Financial Assistance in the Field of Social Defence

The Scheme of ‘General Grants-in-Aid Programme for Financial Assistance in the Field of Social Defence’ aims to:

(i) Meet urgent needs falling within the mandate of the Ministry which cannot be met under its regular schemes; and
(ii) Support such initiatives of an innovative/pilot nature in the area of welfare and empowerment of the Ministry’s target groups, as cannot be supported under its regular schemes.

Financial assistance is given up to 90% of the approved expenditure to the voluntary and other eligible organizations. In case of an organization working in a relatively new area where both voluntary and Government effort are very limited but the need for the service is very great the Government may bear up to 100% of the cost.

6. National Centre for Drug Abuse Prevention (NCDAP)

Training is an important component for capacity building and skill development for the service providers. It is important to have exposure to the new trends regarding the kind of drugs abused, medical and psychiatric problems, new medicines/methodologies available for the treatment of addiction through participation in training programmes and conferences. Updating and training through refresher courses also need to be provided to existing staff.

A National Centre for Drug Abuse Prevention (NCDAP) was established in 1998, in the National Institute of Social Defence (NISD) at New Delhi to serve as an apex body for training, research and documentation in the field of alcoholism and drug demand reduction.

7. Regional Resource and Training Centres (RRTC)

Ten Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), with long years of experience and expertise in treatment, rehabilitation, training, and research have been designated as Regional Resource and Training Centres (RRTCs) for different regions of the country.

These serve as field training units of the National Centre for Drug Abuse Prevention (NCDAP) on various aspects of demand reduction. RRTCs provide the following services to the NGOs working in the field of Drug Abuse Prevention:

(i) Documentation of all activities of the NGOs including preparation of Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) material.
(ii) Undertaking Advocacy, Research, and Monitoring of drug abuse programmes.
(iii) Technical support to the NGOs, Community Based Organisations and Enterprises.

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Rights Of Older Persons

updated on April 20th, 2019

Rights Of Older Persons

Constitutional Rights

The mandate of the Constitution is to ensure equality, freedom, justice and dignity of all individuals including older persons (or senior citizens).

Article 41 of Part IV (Directive Principles of State Policy) is particularly relevant with regard to older persons. It states that the state shall, within the limits of its economic capacity and development, make effective provision for securing the right to work, to education and to public assistance in cases of unemployment, old age, sickness and disablement, and in other cases of undeserved want.

Legal Rights

The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act (2007) was enacted to ensure needbased maintenance for parents and senior citizens and their welfare. The Act provides for

  1. Maintenance of parents and senior citizens by children/relatives, which is made obligatory and justiciable through Tribunals
  2. Revocation of transfer of property by senior citizens in case of negligence by relatives
  3. Penal provision for the abandonment of senior citizens
  4. Establishment of old age homes for indigent senior citizens
  5. Adequate medical facilities for senior citizens
  6. Protection of life and property of senior citizens

The states/UTs which have notified the Act are required to take the following measures/steps for effective implementation of the Act:

  1. Frame Rules under the Act
  2. Appoint Maintenance Officer
  3. Constitute Maintenance Tribunal
  4. Constitute Appellate Tribunal

NATIONAL POLICY FOR OLDER PERSONS

The National Policy for Older Persons (NPOP) was announced in 1999 to reaffirm the commitment to ensure the well-being of the older persons. The policy envisages State support to ensure financial and food security, health care, shelter and other needs of older persons, equitable share in development, protection against abuse and exploitation, and availability of services to improve the quality of their lives. The primary objectives of the policy are:

  1. To encourage individuals to make provision for their own as well as their spouse’s old age
  2. To encourage families to take care of their older family members
  3. To enable and support voluntary and non-governmental organisations to supplement the care provided by the family
  4. To provide care and protection to the vulnerable elderly people
  5. To provide adequate healthcare facility to the elderly
  6. To promote research and training facilities to train geriatric care givers and organisers of services for the elderly
  7. To create awareness regarding elderly persons to help them lead productive and independent life

Welfare Of Older Persons

The Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment (MSJ & E) is implementing various schemes and programmes for the welfare and maintenance of older persons/senior citizens. They are explained below:

1. Scheme of Integrated Programme for Older Persons

The Scheme of Integrated Programme for Older Persons (IPOP) is being implemented since 1992. Under the Scheme, financial assistance up to 90% of the project cost is provided to Government/Non- Governmental Organisations/Panchayati Raj Institutions/local bodies, etc. for establishing and maintaining old age homes, day care centers and mobile medicare units.

The scheme was revised in 2008. Besides the increase in the amount of financial assistance for existing projects, several innovative projects have been added as being eligible for assistance under the scheme. Some of these are:

  • Maintenance of Respite Care Homes and Continuous Care Homes;
  • Running of Day Care Centres for Alzheimer’s Disease/Dementia Patients,
  • Physiotherapy Clinics for older persons;
  • Help-lines and Counseling Centres for older persons;
  • Sensitizing programmes for children particularly in schools and colleges;
  • Regional Resource and Training Centres;
  • Training of Caregivers to older persons;
  • Awareness Generation Programmes for Older Persons and Care Givers;
  • Formation of Senior Citizens Associations etc.

The eligibility criteria for beneficiaries of some important activities/projects supported under the Scheme are:

  • Old Age Homes–for destitute older persons
  • Mobile Medicare Units–for older persons living in slums, rural and inaccessible areas where proper health facilities are not available
  • Respite Care Homes and Continuous Care Homes–for older persons seriously ill requiring continuous nursing care and respite

2. Assistance for Construction of Old Age Homes

A Non-Plan Scheme of Assistance to Panchayati Raj Institutions/Voluntary Organisations/Self Help Groups for Construction of Old Age Homes/Multi-Service Centers for Older Persons was started in 1996-97. Grants-in-aid to the extent of 50% of the construction cost subject to a maximum of 15 lakhs was given under the Scheme, was disbursed in two installments, first being 70% and second being 30%. The organization had to show matching contribution while applying for the 2nd installment. The Scheme was not found attractive by implementing agencies and was discontinued at the end of the Xth Plan (2006-07).

The Maintenance & Welfare of Parents & Senior Citizens Act, 2007 envisages a provision of at least one old age home for indigent senior citizens with 150 capacity in every district of the country. A new Centrally-sponsored Scheme for giving assistance for Establishment of Old Age Homes for Indigent Senior Citizens in pursuance of the said provision is under formulation.

3. Vayoshreshtha Sammans (Scheme of National Award for Senior Citizens)

In order to recognize the efforts made by eminent senior citizens and institutions involved in rendering distinguished services for the cause of elderly persons, especially indigent senior citizens, the Ministry started in 2013 the Scheme of National Award for Senior Citizens (‘Vayoshrestha Sammans’). The Scheme showcases the Government’s concern for senior citizens and its commitment towards senior citizens with the aim of strengthening their legitimate place in society. It also provides an opportunity for the younger generations to understand the contribution of the elderly in the building of society and the nation.

Vayoshrestha Sammans is conferred every year in thirteen categories on 1st October on the occasion of International Day of Older Persons (IDOP). The Award in each category carries a Citation, a Plaque and also cash award in some of the categories as decided from time to time. The award is given to eminent or outstanding institutions or organizations and individuals from any part of the country. The 13 categories are mentioned below :

(i) Best Institution for Research in the field of Ageing.
(ii) Best Institution for providing Services to Senior Citizens and Awareness Generation.
(iii) Best District Panchayat in providing services and facilities to senior citizens.
(iv) Best Urban Local Body in providing services and facilities to senior citizens.
(v) Best State in implementing the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007, and providing services and facilities to Senior Citizens.
(vi) Best Private Sector Organisation in promoting the well being and welfare of senior citizens.
(vii) Best Public Sector Organisation in promoting the well being and welfare of senior citizens
(viii) Centenarian
(ix) Iconic Mother
(x) Lifetime Achievement
(xi) Creative Art
(xii) Sports and Adventure (one each for Male and Female)
(xiii) Courage & Bravery (one each for Male and Female)

4. Schemes/Programmes of Other Ministries

Ministry of Rural Development The Ministry of Rural Development is implementing the Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOAPS) under which Central assistance is given towards pension @ 200 per month to persons above 60 years and @ 500 per month to persons above 80 years belonging to a household below the poverty line, which is meant to be supplemented by at least an equal contribution by the states.

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare provides the following facilities for senior citizens:

  • Separate queues for older persons in government hospitals.
  • Geriatric clinic in several government hospitals.
  • National Programme for the Health Care for the Elderly (NPHCE) from the year 2010–11.

Ministry of Finance The Insurance Regulatory Development Authority (IRDA) in 2009 issued instructions on health insurance for senior citizens to CEOs of all General Health Insurance Companies which, inter-alia, includes:

  • Allowing entry into the health insurance scheme till 65 years of age.
  • Transparency in the premium charged.
  • Reasons to be recorded for denial of any proposals etc. on all health insurance products catering to the needs of senior citizens. Likewise, insurance companies cannot deny renewability without specific reasons.

The Ministry provides the following tax benefits for senior citizens:

  • Income tax exemption for Senior Citizens of 60 years and above up to 2.50 lakh per annum.
  • Income tax exemption for Senior Citizens of 80 years and above up to 5 lakh per annum.
  • Deduction of 20,000 under Section 80D is allowed to an individual who pays the medical insurance premium for his/her parent or parents, who is a senior citizen.
  • An individual is eligible for a deduction of the amount spent or 60,000, whichever is less for medical treatment of a dependent senior citizen.

Ministry of Home Affairs The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 provides for the protection of life and property of senior citizens. The State Governments are required to prescribe a comprehensive action plan for providing protection of life and property of senior citizens.

The Ministry of Home Affairs in 2008 issued an advisory to state governments to ensure that the life and property of senior citizens are fully protected.

Ministry of Railway The Ministry of Railways provides the following facilities to senior citizens:

  • Separate ticket counters for senior citizens of age 60 years and above at various (Passenger Reservation System) PRS centers if the average demand per shift is more than 120 tickets;
  • Provision of the lower berth to male passengers of 60 years and above and female passengers of 45 years and above.
  • 40% and 50% concession in rail fare for male and female senior citizen respectively of 60 years and above respectively.
  • Wheelchairs at stations for old age passengers.

Ministry of Civil Aviation The Ministry of Civil Aviation provides airfare concession up to 50% for male passenger aged 65 years and above and female passenger aged 63 years and above in the National Carrier, Air India.

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Rights Of Disabled Persons

updated on April 20th, 2019

Rights Of Disabled Persons

Constitutional Rights

The mandate of the Constitution is to ensure equality, freedom, justice and dignity of all individuals, which implies an inclusive society for all, especially the disadvantaged.

Article 41 is particularly relevant with regard to disabled persons. It states that the state shall, within the limits of its economic capacity and development, make effective provision for securing the right to work, to education and to public assistance in cases of unemployment, old age, sickness and disablement.

The subject of “relief of the disabled and unemployable” is specified in List II (State List) of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution.

In pursuance of the above provisions of the Constitution, several legislations have been enacted by the Government. These legislations are specifically directed towards the protection, welfare, rehabilitation, empowerment and development of disabled persons.

Legal Rights

The following legislations contain several rights and safeguards for the disabled persons:

  1. Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act (1995) is the premier legislation concerning disability issues in the country. It ensures equal opportunities for disabled persons, protection of their rights and their full participation in the nation-building. It contains the following four categories of provisions:
    (i) Prevention and early detection of disabilities
    (ii) Education, employment, affirmative action, non-discrimination and social security for disabled persons
    (iii) Establishment of Co-ordination Committees and Executive Committees at the central and state levels to deal with policy matters relating to disabled persons
    (iv) Appointment of a Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities (CCPD) at the Central level and Commissioners for Persons with Disabilities at the state level to look into complaints of deprivation of rights of disabled persons
  2. National Trust for Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities Act (1999) provides for the establishment of a National Trust for the welfare of persons with autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation, and multiple disabilities. The objectives of the trust are to ensure disabled persons to lead an independent life with dignity, to support NGOs and other service providers, and to appoint legal guardians to take care the needs of disabled persons.
  3. Rehabilitation Council of India Act (1992) provided for the setting up of the Rehabilitation Council of India. This council regulates and monitors the training of rehabilitation professionals and promotes research in rehabilitation and special education.
  4. Mental Health Act (1987) deals with the treatment and care of mentally ill persons. It regulates the admission of mentally ill-persons to psychiatric hospitals and protects the rights of such persons while being detained.
  5. Legal Services Authorities Act (1987) provides for free legal services to disabled persons.

NATIONAL POLICY FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

The National Policy for Persons with Disabilities was adopted in 2006. It recognizes that persons with disabilities are a valuable human resource for the country and seeks to create an environment that provides them equal opportunities, protection of their rights and full participation in society.

The policy emphasizes upon the fact that a majority of persons with disabilities can lead a better quality of life if they have equal opportunities and effective access to rehabilitation measures.

The salient features of the policy are:

  1. Physical rehabilitation, which includes early detection and intervention, counseling and medical interventions and provision of aids and appliances
  2. Educational rehabilitation which includes vocational training
  3. Economic rehabilitation, for a dignified life in society. It includes employment in the public as well as private sector and self-employment
  4. Development of rehabilitation professionals
  5. Creation of a barrier-free environment
  6. Provision of social security by various means like disability pension, unemployment allowance, etc.
  7. Promotion of non-governmental organisations (NGOs)

Welfare Of Disabled Persons

The Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment (MSJ & E) is operating various schemes for empowerment and rehabilitation of disabled persons/persons with disabilities (PwDs). These schemes aim to promote physical, psychological, social, educational and economic rehabilitation and development of persons with disabilities to enhance their quality of life and also enable them to lead a life with dignity. These schemes are explained below :

1. Assistance to Disabled Persons for Purchase/Fitting of Aids/Appliances (ADIP)

The main objective of the scheme is to provide grant in aid to the various implementing agencies (NGOs/NIs/District Disability Rehabilitation Centres/ALIMCO/State Handicapped Development Corporation/other local bodies) to assist the needy disabled persons in procuring durable, sophisticated and scientifically manufactured, modern, standard aids and appliances that can promote their physical, social and psychological rehabilitation, by reducing the effects of disabilities and enhance their economic potential. The aids and appliances supplied under the scheme must be ISI.
The scheme also envisages conduct of corrective surgeries, whenever required, before providing an
assistive device.

From the year 2007-08, a new approach for district-wise allocation of funds to organize disability camps for distribution of aids and appliance has been adopted to ensure coverage throughout the country. The funds under the ADIP Scheme have been earmarked for the following activities.

(a) For holding ADIP-SSA Camps: Assistive aids and appliances are distributed to the children below 14 years of age and attending school under the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan Scheme.
(b) For Special Camps: Special camps are held on an occasional basis whenever the demand arises.
(c) For Headquarter Activity: The National Institutes require ADIP grant to attend to eligible beneficiaries who approach the Institute or their Regional Centres. Also, some well established NGOs have Centres/Sub-centres that carry out OPD activities and also undertake corrective surgery operations for Persons with Disability. Many disabled persons approach their centres/sub-centres for assistive aids and devices. Therefore, ADIP Grant is released for its HQ activities.
(d) Services/Camps at the District: Under the ADIP Scheme, grants are also released for holding camps by the Implementing Agencies at the district level for distribution of assistive aids and devices.

2. Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme (DDRS)

The Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme (DDRS) includes projects for providing education and vocational training and rehabilitation of persons with mental disabilities. The scheme is being implemented since 1999 with the objective of ensuring effective implementation of the Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995, by creating an enabling environment and encouraging Non-governmental Organizations through financial assistance for undertaking projects for the empowerment of the disabled.

The DDRS guidelines, applicable since 2003, include 19 model projects covering various services provided by voluntary agencies which can be supported through grants-in-aid. The services provided include:

(i) programmes for pre-school and early intervention
(ii) special education,
(iii) vocational training and placement
(iv) community-based rehabilitation
(v) manpower development
(vi) psycho-social rehabilitation of persons with mental illness
(vii) rehabilitation of leprosy-cured persons, etc.

The cost norms of the Deendayal Rehabilitation Scheme had been revised by the Government in The guidelines of Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme have also been revised. It includes revised cost norms for honoraria, recurring items & non-recurring items of expenditure. Besides this enhancement of cost norms, rationalization and merger of manpower categories in the various model projects have been carried out. As against 80 categories in the original scheme, the revised list contains 66 manpower categories. 14 new trades that can be offered in VTCs have been added considering the demand for new skills like computer applications & programming, web designing, internet management, mobile repairing, etc.

District Disability Rehabilitation Centres set up by the Ministry are also funded under this scheme after they have been run for a period of five years in respect of such centres set up in Jammu & Kashmir or North East and three years in the rest of the country and handed over to a prominent NGO in the District for its further continuance and maintenance.

3. Scheme of Implementation of Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995 (SIPDA)

Grants-in-aid are provided under this scheme to state governments and various bodies set up by the Central and state governments, including autonomous bodies and universities, to support activities pursuant to the implementation of the provisions of the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995, particularly relating to rehabilitation and provision of barrier-free access.

The District Disability Rehabilitation Centres (DDRCs) and Composite Rehabilitation Centres (CRCs) set up by the Ministry are provided support under this scheme. The range of activities for which grant in aid is provided with regard to barrier-free access is wide, which includes ramps, lifts, tactile paths, new product development and research, etc.

The central assistance is given to state governments under SIPDA for the following two activities also:

(i) To provide a barrier-free environment in important government buildings (State Secretariat, other important State level offices, Collectorates, State University Buildings/Campuses, Medical Colleges and Main Hospitals at Divisional Headquarters, other important Government buildings), for PwDs. This would include provision for ramps, rails, lifts, an adaptation of toilets for wheelchair users, brail signages and auditory signals, tactile flooring, etc.
(ii) To make Government websites at the state and district levels accessible to PwDs.

4. Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation of India (ALIMCO)

ALIMCO was set up in 1972 by the Government of India under the Companies Act 1956. It is a “Not for Profit” company with the mission that Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities and restoration of their dignity by way of manufacturing and supplying durable, sophisticated, scientifically manufactured modern and ISI standard quality assistive aids and appliances that can promote physical, psychological, social economic and vocational rehabilitation by reducing the effect of disabilities and enhancing potential for self-dependence.

ALIMCO is the premier and the largest manufacturer of quality Aids & Appliances in the whole of South Asia. The Corporation has been exporting its products to Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Ghana, Hong Kong, Israel, Namibia, Nepal, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, UAE, Uzbekistan, and the USA.

5. National Institutes for Disabled Persons

There are seven National Institutes under this Ministry working in the field of disability. National Institutes are autonomous bodies established for different types of disabilities. These institutes are engaged in Human Resources Development in the field of disability, providing rehabilitation services to persons with disabilities and Research and Development efforts. The seven National Institutes are mentioned below in the Table :

National Institutes for Disabled Persons

S. No.NameYear of establishmentLocation
1.National Institute for the Visually
Handicapped (NIVH)
1979Dehradun
2.Ali Yavar Jung National Institute for the
Hearing Handicapped (AYJNIHH)
1983Mumbai
3.National Institute for the Orthopaedically
Handicapped (NIOH)
1978Kolkata
4.Swami Vivekanand National Institute for the
Rehabilitation, Training & Research (SVNIRTAR)
1975Cuttack
5.Pt. Deendayal Upadhyaya Institute for the
Physically Handicapped (PDUIPH)
1960New Delhi
6.National Institute for the Mentally
Handicapped (NIMH)
1984Secunderabad
7.National Institute for Empowerment of
Persons with Multiple Disabilities (NIEPMD)
2005Chennai

6. Establishment of Sign Language Training & Research Centre

The Eleventh Five Year Plan document envisaged that “The needs of persons with hearing and/or speech impairment has been relatively neglected so far. In the Eleventh Plan, a determined effort will be made on mainstreaming this segment. The interventions planned will provide access to information in all its forms. A large number of sign language interpreters need to be developed for hearing impaired people to access health, employment, and legal services. Subtitling and captioning of all recorded information and similar support services is also essential. Therefore, during the Eleventh Plan period a Sign Language Research and Training Centre will be established which will be devoted to the development and promotion of sign language of teachers and interpreters”.

The Ministry has in 2011, approved the establishment of an Indian Sign Language Research & Training Centre (ISLRTC), initially on a project basis for a period of five years, as an autonomous Centre of the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), New Delhi. The aim of the ISLRTC is to promote the use and spread of Indian Sign Language in cooperation with native sign language users through a comprehensive range of activities including research, teaching materials and curriculum development, outreach and awareness programmes, thereby improving the provision of interpreting and translation services for education, employment, and inclusion of the Deaf community in India.

7. Composite Regional Centres (CRCs)

Consequent to the enactment of the Persons with Disability Act (PWD), 1995 which enjoins upon the government responsibility for taking up steps for providing an enabling environment for Persons with Disabilities, Scheme of setting up CRCs was formulated. The scheme of setting up of Composite Regional Centres is a part of an overall strategy to reach out to the persons with disabilities in the country and to facilitate the creation of the required infrastructure and capacity building at Central, State and District levels and below for awareness generation, training of rehabilitation professionals, service delivery, etc.

It was thought that initiative from the Central Government is necessary by supporting the establishment of CRCs in order to speed up the process of establishing rehabilitation services and sharing with the State Government the innovative model of services developed by National Institutes, Regional Rehabilitation and Training Centres, DDRCs, etc and also to do capacity building, to establish, strengthen and upgrade rehabilitation services to reach unreached disabled population. Centres were proposed to be set up at locations where the existing infrastructure for providing comprehensive services to the disabled was inadequate and where such centres are needed the most.

At the beginning of 2011-12, there were six CRCs functioning at Sundernagar (Himachal Pradesh), Srinagar (Jammu & Kashmir), Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh), Guwahati (Assam), Patna (Bihar) and Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh). Two new CRCs have been sanctioned for setting up at Ahmadabad (Gujarat) and Kozhikode, Kerala. CRC Ahmadabad (Gujarat) has become functional from August 2011 and CRC Kozhikode (Kerala) from February 2012.

8. District Disability Rehabilitation Centres

To facilitate the creation of infrastructure and capacity building at the district level for awareness generation, rehabilitation, training and guiding rehabilitation professionals, the Ministry with the active support of the state governments is providing comprehensive services to the persons with disabilities by way of setting up of District Disability Rehabilitation Centres in all the unserved districts of the country. The scheme of setting up DDRCs was initiated in the Ninth Five Year Plan.

DDRCs are provided financial, infrastructure, administrative and technical support by the Central and State Governments so that they are able to provide rehabilitative support to persons with disabilities in the district. The objectives of the DDRCs are as follows:

  • Survey and identification of persons with disability through camp approach;
  • Awareness Generation for encouraging and enhancing prevention of disabilities;
  • Early intervention;
  • Assessment of need for assistive devices, provision/fitment of assistive devices, follow up/repair of assistive devices;
  • Therapeutic Services e.g. Physiotherapy, Occupation Therapy, Speech Therapy, etc.;
  • Facilitation of Disability Certificates, bus passes and other concessions and facilities for persons with disabilities;
  • Referral and arrangements for surgical correction through Government and Charitable institutes;
  • Arrangement of loans for self-employment, through banks and other financial institutions including State Channelising Agencies (SCAs) of NHFDC;
  • Counseling of disabled, their parents and family members;
  • Promotion of barrier-free environment;
  • To provide supportive and complementary services to promote education, vocational training, and employment for persons with disabilities through:-
  • Providing orientation training to teachers, community, and families
  • Providing training to persons with disabilities for early motivation and early stimulation for education, vocational training, and employment
  • Identifying suitable vocations for persons with disabilities, keeping in view local resources and designing and providing vocational training and identifying suitable jobs, so as to make them economically independent
  • Provide referral services for existing educational, training and vocational institutions

The Scheme is a joint venture of the State and Central Governments. The DDRCs are funded through the ‘Schemes for implementation of the PWD Act’ for an initial period of 3 years (5 years in case of North Eastern Region, J&K, A&N Islands, Puducherry, Daman & Diu and Dadra &Nagar Haveli) and thereafter the funding is made through the Scheme of Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme (DDRS) on a tapering basis.

9. National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation

The National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation (NHFDC) was set up in 1997. The company is registered under the Company Act, 1956 as a company not for profit.

The objectives of the Corporation are as follows:

(a) Promote economic development activities and self-employment ventures for the benefit of persons with disability.
(b) Extend loan to the persons with disability for up-gradation of their entrepreneurial skill for proper and efficient management of self-employment ventures.
(c) Extend loan to persons with disability for pursuing professional/technical education leading to vocational rehabilitation/self-employment.
(d) To assist a self-employed individual with a disability in marketing their finished goods.

NHFDC functions as an apex institution for channelizing the funds to persons with disabilities through the State Channelising Agencies (SCAs) nominated by the state government(s).

NHFDC offers financial assistance in the form of concessional loans on convenient terms for setting up an income generating activity to all eligible Indian citizens with 40% or more disability and between 18-60 years of age.

NHFDC also provides funds and organizes various activities in the interest of persons with disabilities and to achieve its mandate. These are:

(i) Financial assistance in the form of grant is provided for conducting/sponsoring the training under the scheme of Skill & Entrepreneurial Development.
(ii) NHFDC also provides funds to its SCAs for advertisement and publicity of NHFDC schemes.

The NHFDC is presently implementing the following scholarship scheme of the Ministry for the students with disabilities:
(i) Scholarship Scheme for students with disabilities from a fund of the Ministry called the National Fund for People with Disabilities.
(ii) Scholarship Scheme for students with disabilities funded out of Trust Fund for Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Trust Fund).

10. Scheme of Incentives to Employers in the Private Sector for Providing Employment to Persons with Disabilities

A Scheme of Incentives to the Private Sector for Employment of Physically Challenged Persons was launched in 2008. Under this scheme, the Government of India provides the employer’s contribution for Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and Employees State Insurance (ESI) for three years, for employees with disabilities employed in the private sector on or after 01.04.2008, with a monthly salary up to ₹ 25,000.

The beneficiaries under the Scheme are:

(i) Persons with disabilities as defined under the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995 and the National Trust for Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation, and Multiple Disabilities Act, 1999.
(ii) The scheme is applicable for the employees covered under EPF Act, 1952 and ESI Act, 1948
(iii) The employees (persons with disabilities) appointed on or after 1.4.2008.

The incentive scheme is voluntary in nature. Wide publicity has been given to sensitize and encourage the employer in the private sector to avail the benefit of the scheme.

11. National Awards for the Empowerment of Persons With Disabilities

The National Awards are conferred on persons with disabilities having outstanding achievements and the individuals and Organisations that are working for the empowerment of persons with disabilities. These awards have been instituted with the objective to focus public attention on issues concerning persons with disabilities and to promote their mainstreaming in society. The awards are conferred by the President of India on 3rd December every year on the ‘International Day of Disabled Persons.’

The National awards are given under 13 broad categories as under:-

(i) Best Employees/Self Employed with disabilities;
(ii) Best Employers and Placement Officer/Agency for Placement of Persons with Disabilities (Govt. Sector, PSU and Private Sector);
(iii) Best Individual and Institution working for the Cause of Persons with Disabilities;
(iv) Role Model Awards;
(v) Best Applied Research/Innovation/Product Development aimed at improving the lives of persons with Disabilities;
(vi) Outstanding Work in the Creation of Barrier-free Environment for the Persons with Disabilities;
(vii) Best District in Providing Rehabilitation Services;
(viii) Best Local Level Committee of National Trust;
(ix) Best State Channelising Agency of National Handicapped Federation Development Corporation;
(x) Outstanding Creative Adult Persons with Disabilities;
(xi) Best Creative Child with Disabilities;
(xii) Best Braille Press; and
(xiii) Best “Accessible” Website.

12. Science and Technology Project in Mission Mode

The Science and Technology Project in Mission Mode is engaged in the development of technology which ultimately leads to the availability of suitable devices that are of high quality, durable, comfortable and help in the integration of persons with disabilities into the mainstream of society. It also aims to enhance the possibility of employment, educational services, and skill development through research for the benefit of persons with disabilities.

Funds are provided under this scheme to established Research & Development Centres, Academic Institutions, Public Sector Industries, and other agencies for undertaking the research activities for the persons with disabilities.

13. National Scholarship for Persons with Disabilities

The National Handicapped Welfare Fund, subsequently renamed as National Fund for People with Disabilities (National Fund) was established in 1983 under the Charitable Endowment Act, 1890. Presently, the National Fund is implementing a scholarship scheme for students with disabilities out of interest income generated by a corpus of funds invested in banks and other financial securities. This scheme has been implemented since the academic year 2002-03.

Five hundred new scholarships to be awarded each year are equally distributed (125 each) for the four major categories of disabilities, viz., (i) Orthopedic (ii) Visual (iii) Hearing and (iv) Others. Further, 40% of the scholarships in each category are reserved for girls.

14. Trust Fund for Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities

The Supreme Court judgment dated 16.04.2004 contained directions for the immediate creation of a Trust Fund to be managed by a Board of Management consisting of CAG of India as Chairperson and Secretary, Law & Justice and Secretary, Financial Services as Ex-officio members, with a corpus created from the recovery of excess interest tax/interest collections by banks and other financial institutions and subsequent creation of a statutory trust fund through amendment of the PWD Act.

In pursuance of the above directions of the Supreme Court, a Trust Fund for Empowerment with Persons with Disabilities, chaired by Comptroller and Auditor General of India, was registered on 21.11.2006. The corpus of the fund is presently 176 crores. A scholarship scheme for differently-abled students has been formulated to be implemented out of the interest earned on the corpus. The scheme envisages encouraging differently—abled students by providing scholarships and other assistance to pursue professional or technical courses and various skill development courses for their empowerment. Every year 1000 scholarships are provided to the differently-abled students throughout the country. 30% scholarships are reserved for girls, which are transferable to male students in case of non-availability of female candidates.

15. Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship Scheme for Students with Disabilities

In 2012-13, the Ministry has launched a new scheme namely, Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship (RGNF) to increase opportunities to students with disabilities for pursuing higher education leading to degrees such as M.Phil. and Ph.D. The scheme caters the requirements of the students with disabilities for pursuing a research degree in universities, research institutions, and scientific institutions. This not only enables them to be eligible for employment to the posts of Lecturers lying vacant in various colleges and universities but also equip them to effectively take advantage of the growing opportunities at the national and international level in the context of the new economic order.

The scheme caters a total number of 200 Fellowships [Junior Research Fellows (JRF)] per year to students with disabilities. The scheme covers all universities/institutions recognized by the University Grants Commission (UGC) and is implemented by the UGC itself on the pattern of the scheme of UGC Fellowships being awarded to research students pursuing M. Phil. and Ph.D. These fellowships are available to students with disabilities who are covered under the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995.

Any student with disabilities who has been admitted to M.Phil./Ph.D. degree in a University or academic institution by completing the required formalities for admission in that University or academic institution is eligible for the award of Fellowship. After two years, if the progress in the research work of the awardee is found satisfactory, his/her tenure is extended for a further period of three years as Senior Research Fellowship (SRF).

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Rights Of Minorities

updated on May 1st, 2019

Rights Of Minorities

Constitutional Rights

  • The Constitution refers to two types of minorities, namely, religious minorities and linguistic minorities.
  • However, the term ‘minority’ has not been defined anywhere in the Constitution.******
  • In 1993, the Central Government notified five communities, viz., Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, and Zoroastrians (Parsis) as religious minorities at the national level.
  • In January 2014, the Jain community was added to this list.
  • A linguistic minority is a group of people whose mother tongue is different from that of the majority in the state or part of a state. This means that linguistic minorities are determined on a state-wide basis.
  • The Constitution contains special provisions to safeguard the social, educational and economic interests of the minorities. Some of these are common to both religious minorities and linguistic minorities while some others are meant exclusively for linguistic minorities. Hence, these provisions are mentioned here under two headings.

Religious and Linguistic Minorities

  1. Any section of citizens having a distinct language, script or culture of its own has the right to conserve the same (Article 29(1)).
  2. No citizen is to be denied admission into any educational institution maintained by the state or aided by the state on grounds of religion, race, caste or language (Article 29(2)).
  3. All minorities, whether based on religion or language, have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice (Article 30(1)).
  4. The compensation amount fixed by the state for the compulsory acquisition of any property of a minority educational institution should not restrict or abrogate the right guaranteed to the minorities, whether based on religion or language (Article 30(1-A)).
  5. In granting aid to educational institutions, the state should not discriminate against any educational institution on the ground that it is under the management of a minority, whether based on religion or language (Article 30(2)).
  6. The wearing and carrying of kirpans shall be deemed to be included in the profession of the Sikh religion. In other words, Sikhs have the right to wear and carry kirpans (Article 25(2)).

Linguistic Minorities

  1. When the President (on a demand being made) is satisfied that a substantial proportion of the population of a state desires the use of any language spoken by them to be recognized by that state, then he may direct that such language should also be officially recognized in that state (Article 347).
  2. Every aggrieved person has the right to submit a representation for the redress of any grievance to any officer or authority of the Union or a state in any of the languages used in the Union or in the state, as the case may be. This means that representation cannot be rejected on the ground that it is not in the official language (Article 350).
  3. Every state and a local authority in the state should provide adequate facilities for instruction in the mother tongue at the primary stage of education to children belonging to linguistic minority groups. The President can issue necessary directions for this purpose (Article 350– A).
  4. The President should appoint a special officer for linguistic minorities to investigate all matters relating to the constitutional safeguards for linguistic minorities and to report to him. The President should place all such reports before the Parliament and send to the state governments concerned (Article 350-B).

Legal Rights

The following legislations contain several rights and safeguards for the minorities:

  1. National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions Act (2004) provides additional safeguards to the minority educational institutions. It contains provisions for the following:
    (i) Establishment of a National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions
    (ii) Right to establish a minority educational institution
    (iii) Right of a minority educational institution to seek affiliation to any university of its choice
  2. Waqf Act, 1995 (erstwhile Waqf Act, 1954) was enacted to safeguard the existence of a large number of Waqf properties in the country. The Act provided for the establishment of a Central Waqf Council for the purpose of advising the Government of India on matters pertaining to working of the State Waqf Boards and proper administration of the Waqfs in the country. A Waqf is a permanent dedication of movable or immovable properties for purposes recognized by the Muslim Law as religious, pious or charitable. Apart from these religious aspects, the Waqfs are also instruments of social and economic upliftment.
  3. The National Commission for Minorities Act (1992) accorded statutory status to the Minorities Commission set up in 1978. The Commission monitors the working of the safeguards provided to the minorities in the constitution and laws. It also looks into specific complaints regarding deprivation of rights and safeguards of the minorities.

Consensual Safeguards

In addition to the above constitutional safeguards, the linguistic minorities are also provided with some consensual safeguards. These have been arrived at by consensus by the Central and the state governments through a series of meetings. They are as follows:

  1. Instruction through minority languages at the secondary stage of education
  2. Translation and publication of important rules, regulations, notices, etc., into all languages, which are spoken by at least 15% of the total population at district or sub-district level
  3. No insistence upon knowledge of State’s Official Language at the time of recruitment; test of proficiency in the State’s Official Language to be held before completion of probation

The constitutional and the consensual safeguards together with practical ways to implement them has led to the combined scheme of safeguards. The salient features of the scheme, as at present, are:

  1. Translation and publication of important rules, regulations, notices, etc., into all languages, which are spoken by at least 15% of the total population at district or sub-district level
  2. Declaration of minority languages as the second official language in districts where persons speaking such languages constitute at least 60% of the population
  3. Receipt of, and reply to, representations in minority languages
  4. Instruction through mother tongues/minority languages at the primary stage of education
  5. Instruction through minority languages at the secondary stage of education
  6. Advance registration of linguistic preference of linguistic minority pupils, and inter-school adjustments
  7. Provision for textbooks and teachers in minority languages
  8. Implementation of three-language formula
  9. No insistence upon knowledge of State’s official language at the time of recruitment; test of proficiency in the State’s Official Language to be held before completion of probation
  10. The issue of pamphlets in minority languages detailing safeguards available to linguistic minorities
  11. Setting up of proper machinery at the state and district levels

Welfare Of Minorities

In 1993, the Central Government notified five communities, viz., Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, and Zoroastrians (Parsis) as religious minorities at the national level. In January 2014, The Jain community was added to this list.

The Ministry of Minority Affairs (MoMA) is implementing various schemes and programmes for the welfare and development of minorities/minority communities. These are explained below :

A. Prime Minister’s New 15 Point Programme for the Welfare of Minorities

The Prime Minister’s new 15-Point programme for the welfare of minorities was launched in 2006 and was amended in 2009. It is aimed at ensuring the well being, protection and development of minorities. While the 15-Point programme of 1983 centered on communal riots, representation of minorities in services and ensuring the flow of benefits to individual beneficiaries, the focus of the new Programme is to make certain that benefits of various schemes/programmes flow equitably to the minorities. For this, it envisages the location of a certain proportion of development projects in areas with a concentration of minorities. It also stipulates that wherever possible, 15% of targets and outlays under various schemes should be earmarked for the minorities.

The objectives of the programme are: (a) Enhancing opportunities for education; (b) Ensuring an equitable share for minorities in economic activities and employment, through existing and new schemes, enhanced credit support for self-employment, and recruitment to state and Central Government jobs; (c) Improving the conditions of living of minorities by ensuring an appropriate share for them in infrastructure development schemes; and (d) Prevention and control of communal disharmony and violence.

The 15 provisions/components of the programme are as follows:

1. Equitable Availability of ICDS Services The Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) The scheme is aimed at holistic development of children and pregnant/lactating mothers from the disadvantaged section, by providing services through Anganwadi Centres such as supplementary nutrition, immunisation, health check-up, referral services, pre-school and non-formal education. A certain percentage of the ICDS projects and Anganwadi Centres will be located in blocks/villages with a substantial population of minority communities to ensure that he benefits of the scheme are equitably available to such communities also.

2. Improving Access to School Education Under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, the Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya Scheme, and other similar Government schemes, it will be ensured that a certain percentage of such school is located in villages/localities having a substantial population of minority communities.

3. Greater Resources for Teaching Urdu Central assistance will be provided for recruitment and posting of Urdu language teachers in primary and upper primary schools that serve a population in which at least one-fourth belong to that language group.

4. Modernising Madrasa Education The Central Plan Scheme of Area Intensive and Madrasa Modernization Programm provides basic educational infrastructure in areas of concentration of educationally backward minorities and resources for the modernization of Madrasa education. Keeping in view of the importance of addressing this need, this programme will be substantially strengthened and implemented effectively.

5. Scholarships for Meritorious Students from Minority Communities Schemes for pre-matric and post-matric scholarships for students from minority communities will be formulated and implemented.

6. Improving Educational Infrastructure Through the Maulana Azad Education Foundation The government shall provide all possible assistance to Maulana Azad Education Foundation (MAEF) to strengthen and enable it to expand its activities more effectively.

7. Self-Employment and Wage Employment for the Poor The Swarnjayanti Gram Swarojgar Yojna (SGSY), the primary self-employment programme for rural areas, has the objective fo bringing assisted poor rural families above the poverty line by providing them income generating assets through a mix of bank credit and Governmental subsidy. A certain percentage of the physical and financial targets under the SGSY will be earmarked for beneficiaries belonging to the minority communities living below the poverty line in rural areas.

The Swarn Jayanti Shahary Rohgar Yojna (SJSRY) consists of two major components namely, the Urban Self-Employment Programme (USEP) and the Urban Wage Employment Programme (UWEP). A certain percentage of the physical and financial targets under USEP and UWEP will be earmarked to benefit people below the poverty line from the minority communities.

8. Upgradation of Skills Through Technical Training A very large proportion of the population of minority communities is engaged in low-level technical work or earns its living as handicraftsmen.

Provision of technical training to such people would upgrade their skills and earning capability. Therefore, a certain proportion of all new ITIs will be located in areas predominantly inhabited by minority communities and a proportion of existing it is to be upgraded to ‘Centres of Excellence’ will be selected on the same basis.

8. Enhanced Credit Support for Economic Activities The National Minorities Development & Finance Corporation (NMDFC) was set up in 1994 with the objective of promoting economic development activities among the minority communities. The Government is committed to strengthening the NMDFC by providing it greater equity support to enable it to fully achieve its objectives.

Bank credit is essential for the creation and sustenance of self-employment initiative. A target of 40% of net bank credit for priority sector lending has been fixed for domestic banks. The priority sector includes, inter alia, agricultural loans, loan to small-scale industries & small business, loans to retail trade, professional and self-employed persons, education loans, housing loans, and micro-credit. It will be ensured that an appropriate percentage of the priority sector lending in all categories is targeted for the minority communities.

10. Recruitment to State and Central Services In the recruitment of police personnel, State Governments will be advised to give special consideration to minorities. For this purpose, the composition of selection committees should be representative.

The Central Government will take similar action in the recruitment of personnel to the Central police forces.

Large scale employment opportunities are provided by the Railways, nationalized banks and public sector enterprises. In these cases also, the concerned departments will ensure that special consideration is given to recruitment from minority communities.

An exclusive scheme will be launched for candidates belonging to minority communities to provide coaching in Government institutions as well as private coaching institutes with credibility.

11. Equitable Share in Rural Housing Scheme The Indira Awaas Yojna (IAY) provides financial assistance for shelter to the rural poor living below the poverty line. A certain percentage of the physical and financial targets under IAY will be earmarked for poor beneficiaries from minority communities living in rural areas.

12. Improvement in Condition of Slums/Areas Inhabited by Minority Communities Under the schemes of Integrated Housing & Slum Development Programme (IHSDP) and Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission (JNURM), the Central Government provides assistance to States/UTs for development of urban slums through the provision of physical amenities and basic services. It would be ensured that the benefits of these programmes flow equitable to members of the minority communities and to cities/slums, predominantly inhabited by minority communities.

Under Urban Infrastructure and Governance (UIG) scheme, Urban Infrastructure Development Scheme for Small and Medium Towns (UIDSSMT) and National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP), the Central Government provides assistance to States/UTs for provision of infrastructure and basic services. It would be ensured that the benefits of this programme flow equitably to cities/towns/districts/blocks having a substantial minority population.

13. Prevention of Communal Incidents In the areas, which have been identified as communally sensitive and riot-prone districts and police officials of the highest known efficiency, impartiality and secular record must be posted. In such areas and even elsewhere, the prevention of communal tension should be one of the primary duties of the district magistrate and superintendent of police. Their performance in this regard should be an important factor in determining their promotion prospects.

14. Prosecution for Communal Offences Severe action should be taken against all those who incite communal tension or take part in violence. The special court or courts specifically earmarked to try communal offences should be set up so that offenders are brought to book speedily.

15. Rehabilitation of Victims of Communal Riots Victims of communal riots should be given immediate relief and provided prompt and adequate financial assistance for their rehabilitation.

B. Schemes of Educational Empowerment

Pre-matric Scholarship Scheme The pre-matric scholarship scheme for students belonging to the Minority Communities was launched in 2008 as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) on a 75:25 fund sharing ratio between the Centre and States. The Union Territories are provided 100% assistance under the Scheme. It is implemented through the State Governments/Union Territory Administrations. Students with not less than 50 marks in the previous final examination, whose parents’/guardians’ annual income does not exceed ₹ 1.00 lakh, are eligible for award of the pre-matric scholarship under the scheme.

An outlay of ₹ 5000 crores has been provided in the Twelfth Five Year Plan to award two crore fresh scholarships and renewals during the plan period (2012-17). 30% of scholarships have been earmarked for girl students.

2. Post-matric Scholarship Scheme The scheme of post-matric scholarship for students belonging to the minority communities was launched in 2007 as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) with 100% central funding and is implemented through the State Government/Union Territory Administrations. The scholarship is awarded for studies in India in a government higher secondary school/college including residential government higher secondary school/college and eligible private institutes selected and notified in a transparent manner by the State Government/Union Territory Administration is concerned. The students with not less than 50% marks in the previous year’s final examination, whose parents’/guardians’ annual income does not exceed 2 lakh are eligible for award of scholarship. 30 of scholarships have been earmarked for girl students. In case the sufficient number of girl students are not available, then eligible boy students are to be given these scholarships.

An outlay of ₹ 2850 crore has been provided in the Twelfth Five Year Plan to award 25 lakh fresh scholarships and renewals during the plan period (2012-17).

3. Merit-cum-Means Based Scholarship Scheme The Merit-cum-Means Scholarship Scheme is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme launched in 2007. It is being implemented through State Governments/Union Territory Administrations. The entire expenditure is being borne by the Central Government. The scholarships are available for pursuing professional and technical courses, at undergraduate and post-graduate levels, in institutions recognized by the appropriate authority.

Under the scheme, 60,000 scholarships are proposed to be awarded every year in addition to the renewals. 30% of these scholarships are earmarked for girl students, which may be utilized by eligible boy students if an adequate number of eligible girl students are not available. 85 institutes for professional and technical courses have been listed in the scheme. Eligible students from the minority communities admitted to these institutions are reimbursed full course fee. A course fee of ₹ 20,000 per annum is reimbursed to students studying in other institutions.

To be eligible, a student should have secured admission in any technical or professional institution, recognized by an appropriate authority. In the case of students admitted without a competitive examination, students should have secured not less than 50% marks. The annual income of the family from all sources should not exceed ₹ 2.50 lakhs.

4. Maulana Azad National Fellowship The Maulana Azad National Fellowship (MANF) for Minority Students scheme was launched in 2009 as a Central Sector Scheme (CSS). It is implemented through the University Grants Commission (UGC). 100% central assistance is provided under the Scheme.

The objective of the Maulana Azad National Fellowship is to provide an integrated five-year fellowship in the form of financial assistance to students from notified minority communities, to pursue higher studies such as M.Phil and Ph.D. The fellowship covers all Universities/Institutions recognized by the University Grants Commission (UGC).

The fellowship under the Maulana Azad National Fellowship for minority students is on the pattern of University Grants Commission (UGC) Fellowship awarded to research students pursuing regular and full-time M.Phil and Ph.D. courses. In order to qualify for the award of JRF/SRF, the UGC norms would be applicable at pre-M. Phil and pre-Ph.D stage, respectively, including the minimum score of 50% at postgraduate level. The income ceiling of the parents/guardian of the candidate for Maulana Azad National Fellowship for minority students is ₹ 2.5 lakh per annum.

An outlay of ₹ 430 crores has been provided in the Twelfth Five Year Plan to award 3780 fresh fellowships and renewals during the plan period (2012-17). 30% of fellowships have been earmarked for girl students.

5. Free Coaching and Allied Scheme The “Free Coaching and Allied Scheme for the candidates belonging to minority communities” was launched in 2007. It was modified in 2008 for wider coverage.

The objective of the scheme is to enhance the skills and knowledge of students and candidates from minority communities to get employment in Government Sector/Public Sector Undertakings, jobs in the private sector, and admission in reputed institutions in technical and professional courses at undergraduate and post-graduate levels and remedial coaching in such institutions to complete courses successfully.

Under the scheme, financial assistance is provided to coaching institutes in Government and the private sector for imparting free coaching/training to candidates belonging to minority communities.

To avail benefits under this scheme, candidates/students should belong to a minority community. The annual income of parents/guardians from all sources should not exceed 2.50 lakh. The candidates/students should have the requisite educational qualifications for coaching/training course they want to pursue.

6. Maulana Azad Education Foundation The Maulana Azad Education Foundation (MAEF) is a voluntary, non-political, non-profit making social service organization established to promote education amongst the educationally backward minorities. It was registered as a society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 in 1989.

The aim of the Foundation is to formulate and implement educational schemes and plans for the benefit of the educationally backward minorities in particular and weaker sections in general.

The MAEF is implementing the following two main schemes:

(i) Grants-in-aid to NGOs for infrastructure development of educational institutions: The MAEF is providing grants-in-aid for the following :
(a) Construction/Expansion of schools/B.Ed. Colleges/VTC/ITI/Polytechnic and Hostel buildings
(b) Purchase of Science/Computer lab equipment/furniture
(c) NGOs running for at least three years & managing recognized educational institutions with more than 50% minorities students can apply.
(d) Maximum ceiling limit is $ 30 lakh.

(ii) Maulana Azad National Scholarship to meritorious girl students belonging to minorities: The scholarship is given @ 12,000 per student (in two installments of 6,000 each) to the girl students belonging to minorities based on the following criterion:
(a) Passed 10th class with minimum 55% marks
(b) Confirmed admission to class 11th class.
(c) Having parents income less than ₹ 1 lakh per annum.
(d) Selection is made on a merit basis based on state-wise quota.

7. Scheme of Support for Students Clearing Prelims From 2013-14, the Ministry started financial support for minority candidates clearing Prelims exams conducted by Union Public Service Commission, Staff Selection Commission and State Public Service Commissions.

The representation of the Minority Communities in the Civil Services continues to be lower compared to the ratio of their population. Recruitment of minority candidates as reported by Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievance and Pensions, Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) was 8.23%; 9.90%; 7.28% and 11.9% in 2007-08; 2008-09; 2009-10; and 2010-11 respectively. This calls for policy intervention in the form of special support for minorities to clear the competitive Civil Services Examinations.

The objective of the Scheme is to provide financial support to the minority candidates clearing prelims conducted by Union Public Service Commission, Staff Selection Commission and State Public Service Commissions to adequately equip them to compete for appointment to Civil Services in the Union and the State Governments and to increase the representation of the minority in the Civil Services by giving direct financial support to candidates clearing Preliminary Examination of Group A and B (Gazetted and non-Gazetted posts of Union Public Service Commission (UPSC); State Public Service Commissions (SPSCs) and Staff Selection Commission (SSC), etc.

The total family income of the candidates from all sources should not exceed ₹ 4.5 lakh per annum. The financial support can be availed by a candidate only once. The candidate will not be eligible to benefit from any other similar Scheme of the Central or State Governments/UT Administrations.

Every year up to a maximum of 800 candidates is given financial support under the scheme throughout the country. The rate of financial assistance is ₹ 50,000 for Gazetted Post; and ₹ 25,000 for Non-Gazetted Post.

8. Nalanda Project “Nalanda Project” is an innovative Faculty Development Program of the Ministry for awareness, orientation, and development of faculties of Minority Universities/Minority Managed Degree Colleges (MMDCs) and higher educational institutions located in minority concentration areas in the country. The Project has been launched under the scheme of “Research/Studies, Monitoring, Evaluation of the Development Schemes including Publicity” in February 2014 at Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh (UP).

The Ministry is of the firm conviction that to strengthen the efforts for educational development of minorities, it is also essential to organize orientations programs for teachers from time to time, in addition, to support to students. Though agencies like NCERT, NEUPA, etc. are involved in such teachers training and development programs, yet Ministry considers that in case of minorities, more efforts are required to develop faculty of higher education institutions.

The need for faculty development programs in higher education is immense for several reasons, viz., increases in the complexity of higher education; demands from internal and external constituencies and the necessity to balance teaching, scholarship, service, and personal responsibilities. Faculty development is a process through which faculty enhance their teaching and research base in an effort to become a more effective teacher, scholar, and contributor to academic and professional communities.

The aims and objectives of the project are mentioned below:

(i) To inspire, stimulate, and motivate faculty to go beyond usual routines.
(ii) To help them understand student perspectives.
(iii) To introduce varied approaches to teaching and learning.
(iv) To integrate these into their repertoire of knowledge and skills.
(v) To integrate modern pedagogy and higher education system with information technology skills to meet the global standards.

9. Padho Pardesh (Scheme of Interest Subsidy on Educational Loans for Overseas Studies) “Padho Pardesh” is the new scheme of the Ministry launched in 2013-14, wherein the Ministry provides interest subsidy to minority students who avail loans from banks for overseas studies. The scheme of Interest Subsidy on educational loans for overseas studies promotes educational advancement of a student from minority communities.

The objective of the scheme is to award interest subsidy to meritorious students belonging to economically weaker sections of notified minority communities so as to provide them better opportunities for higher education abroad and enhance their employability.

This is a Central Sector-Scheme to provide interest subsidy to the student belonging to the minority communities on the interest payable for the period of the moratorium for the education loans under the Scheme of interest subsidy on Educational Loans for Overseas Studies to pursue approved courses of studies abroad at Masters and Ph.D. levels.

The Scheme is applicable for higher studies abroad. The interest subsidy is linked with the existing Educational Loan Scheme of Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) and restricted to students enrolled for courses at Masters, M.Phil, and Ph.D. levels. The interest subsidy under the scheme is available to the eligible students only once, either for Masters or Ph.D. levels.

C. Schemes of Socio-Economic Empowerment

1. Identification of Minority Concentration Districts (MCDs) In 1987, a list of 41 minority concentration districts were drawn up based on a single criterion of the minority population of 20 percent or more in a district as per 1971 Census for enabling focused attention of government programmes and schemes on these districts.

In order to ensure that the benefits of schemes and programmes of government reach the relatively disadvantaged segments of society, it was decided to identify districts on the basis of the minority population of Census 2001 and backwardness parameters. A fresh exercise was, therefore, carried out based on population figures and the following backwardness parameters of 2001 Census:

Religion-specific socio-economic indicators at the district level:

(i) literacy rate;
(ii) female literacy rate;
(iii) work participation rate; and
(iv) female work participation rate.

Basic amenities indicators at the district level:

(i) percentage of households with pucca walls;
(ii) percentage of households with safe drinking water;
(iii) percentage of households with electricity; and
(iii) percentage of households with water closet latrines.

The process of identification of minority concentration districts has been carried out as follows:-

(i) (a) Districts with a ‘substantial minority population’ of at least 25% of the total population were identified in 29 States/UTs.
(b) Districts having a large absolute minority population exceeding 5 lakh and the percentage of minority population exceeding 20% but less than 25% were identified in 29 States/UTs.
(c) In the six States/UTs, where a minority community is in majority, districts having 15% of the minority population, other than that of the minority community in a majority in that State/UT were identified.

(ii) Thereafter, the position of these districts in terms of “backwardness” was evaluated against the two sets of socio-economic and basic amenities indicators. 90 Minority Concentration Districts (MCDs) having a substantial minority population, which are relatively backward and falling behind the national average in terms of socio-economic and basic amenities indicators, have been identified in 2007 based on population data and the backwardness parameters of 2001 Census.

The Government while approving the identification of 90 MCDs directed for implementation of a special area development programme. To sharpen the focus on minority concentration areas and to extend the benefit to other deserving areas, the Ministry is proposing to identify the blocks and towns having a substantial minority population during the 12th Five Year Plan.

2. Scheme of Multi-Sectoral Development Programme The Multi-Sectoral Development Programme (MsDP) was launched in 2008-09. The programme aims at improving the socio-economic and basic amenity facilities for improving the quality of life of the people and reducing imbalances in the Minority Concentration Districts (MCDs).

The identified ‘development deficits’ are addressed through a district-specific plan for the provision of better infrastructure for school and secondary education, sanitation, pucca housing, drinking water and electricity supply, besides beneficiary oriented schemes for creating income-generating activities.

The absolutely critical infrastructure linkages like connecting roads, basic health infrastructure, ICDS centers, skill development, and marketing facilities required for improving living conditions and income generating activities and catalyzing the growth process are eligible for inclusion in the plan.

The focus of this programme is on rural and semi-rural areas of the identified 90 minority concentration districts.

The programme is implemented by the Department in the State/UT dealing with minority affairs/welfare. Panchayati Raj Institutions/urban local bodies are involved in the implementation of the MsDP wherever the mechanism is established. The State may, however, decide to execute the project through any qualified, reputed, experienced agency, including renowned and widely accepted NGOs.

As far as possible, the focus of the programme is on providing appropriate social and economic infrastructure rather than targeting individual beneficiaries. In case schemes for individual benefits are taken up under the programme, there will be no divergence from existing norms for selection of beneficiaries from the list of BPL families in the district so that benefits from the additional funds flow to all BPL families and not selectively to families of minority communities.

Financial assistance is sanctioned to the State Government/UT administration concerned on 100% grant basis in two installments linked with the satisfactory progress made as per approved plan. Funds under the programme are released to the states/UTs only against the approved district development plans. Once the proposal is approved for support by the Ministry of Minority Affairs, the first installment is released. State share wherever applicable is given by the State Government.

3. Nai Roshni (Scheme for Leadership Development of Minority Women) The scheme of Leadership Development of Minority Women (Nai Roshni) is a new initiative of the Ministry in the area of gender empowerment. The Ministry has started the implementation of this scheme from the year 2012-13. The objective of the programme is to empower and instill confidence in women, by providing knowledge, tools, and techniques for interacting with Government systems, banks, and intermediaries at all levels so that they are emboldened to move out of the confines of home and community and assume leadership roles and assert their rights, collectively and individually, in accessing services, facilities, skills and opportunities besides claiming their due share of development benefits for improving their lives and living conditions.

The eligible women belonging to notified minority communities are the target group. However, to further, strengthen the mosaic of plurality in the society and bring about solidarity and unity through their own efforts to improve their lot, the scheme permits a mix of women from non-minority communities not exceeding 25% of a project proposal.

The scheme is implemented through registered Civil Societies, Public Trusts, Private Limited Non- Profit Companies, Universities/Institutions recognized by University Grants Commission (UGC) and Training Institutes of Central and State Government including Panchayati Raj institutions.

The leadership training modules invariably cover the issues and rights of women, relating to education, employment, livelihood, etc. under the Constitution and various Acts; opportunities, facilities and services available under schemes and programmes of the Central Government and state the government in the fields of education, health, hygiene, nutrition, immunisation, family planning, disease control, fair price shop, drinking water supply, electricity supply, sanitation, housing, self-employment, wage employment, skill training opportunities, crimes against women, etc.

The organization implementing the scheme are required to visit the village/locality periodically for providing nurturing/handholding service to the group of women imparted leadership development training so that they are guided in the use of tools and techniques taught to them and are able to extract the benefit from their efforts.

Villages/urban localities in rural/urban areas having a substantial percentage of minority population are selected by the organization for conducting the leadership development training programme. The organization selected for carrying out training for leadership development of minority women has the responsibility to motivate, identify and select women to be trained in accordance with the criteria of the scheme from villages/localities having a substantial minority population. Although there is no annual income bar, woman/parent or guardian of the woman having an annual income not exceeding ₹ 2.50 lakh from all sources would be given preference in selection. They should be between the age group of 18 years to 65 years.

Under the scheme, two kinds of training namely, Non-Residential and Residential are supported by the Ministry in a batch of 25 women each. The training programme is for one week only. The Ministry provides financial assistance of 71550 for Non-Residential training per batch and 221250 for Residential training per batch.

4. Research/Studies, Monitoring and Evaluation of Development Schemes Including Publicity The Ministry under the Central Sector Scheme ‘Scheme of Research/Studies, Monitoring and Evaluation of Development Schemes including Publicity’ provides professional charges to those institutions/Organisations which have the expertise and are willing to undertake purposeful studies on the problems, issues and requirement of notified minorities including baseline survey/surveys and also carrying out concurrent monitoring on the implementation of various schemes undertaken for minorities. Financial support is also extended to the organization (s) for holding Workshop/Seminar/Conference provided the theme of workshop/seminar/conference has direct relevance to the mandate of the Ministry.

The scheme also provides to carry out multi-media campaign involving print media, electronic media, outdoor publicity, etc. for the dissemination of information to generate awareness relating to programmes, schemes, and initiatives were undertaken for notified minorities.

During 2012-13, the Ministry impaneled 37 expert Organisations to carry out research studies, baseline surveys, concurrent monitoring, evaluation and impact assessment of the programmes of the Ministry.

5. Scheme for Computerisation of the Records of the State Waqf Boards The Waqf properties are spread out all over the country but an effective survey of Waqf properties has not been carried out in most states. There is scope for large scale development of Waqf properties to ensure substantial income for the welfare schemes of the community.

In order to streamline record keeping of the Waqf lands, introduce transparency and social audit and to computerize the various functions/processes of the Waqf Boards and to develop a single web-based centralised application, the scheme for computerisation of the records of the State Waqf Boards with the help of Central financial assistance was launched in 2009.

The broad objectives of the scheme for computerization of Management of Waqf properties are as follows:-

(a) Properties Registration Management.
(b) Muttawalli Returns Management.
(c) Leasing of Properties Management.
(d) Litigations Tracking Management.
(e) Documents Archiving & Retrieval Management.
(f) GIS of Waqf Properties.
(g) Funds Management to Mosques, Durgah, Kabristan, Imams, Muzzins, widows, girls marriages, scholarships, schools, hospitals, dispensaries, musafirkhanas, skill development centers, etc.
(h) Loans Management for the development of Urban Waqf properties.

6. National Minorities Development and Finance Corporation The National Minorities Development and Finance Corporation (NMDFC) was incorporated in 1994 as a non-profit company under the Companies’ Act , 1956. NMDFC provides concessional loans for self-employment and income generating activities to persons of minority communities, having a family income below double the poverty line which at present is ₹ 55,000 per annum and ₹ 40,000 per annum in urban and rural areas respectively. NMDFC provides loans through (i) State Channelising Agencies (SCAs) nominated by the respective State/UT Governments and (ii) through Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs). The following are the schemes run by NMDFC:

(i) The scheme of Term Loan is implemented through SCAs, for individual beneficiaries, wherein projects costing up to 5 lakh are financed.
(ii) Under the Educational Loan Scheme implemented through the SCAs, NMDFC provides 2,50,000 to the eligible candidates belonging to minority communities.
(iii) Under the micro-financing scheme, implemented through SCAs as well as NGOs, microcredit up to 25,000 is being given to each of the members of the Minority Self Help Groups (SHGs).
(iv) In addition, NMDFC is also implementing schemes of Vocational Training and Marketing Assistance through the SCAs for capacity building of the target groups for self-employment as well as wage employment.

7. Grants-in-Aid Scheme to State Channelising Agencies The National Minorities Development and Finance Corporation implements its schemes through the State Channelising Agencies (SCAs). These agencies are nominated by the respective state governments. The SCAs identify beneficiaries, channelize the lending and make recoveries from the beneficiaries. However, most of the State Channelising Agencies have a very weak infrastructure leading to a weak delivery system. Consequently, the performance and the ambit of coverage of NMDFC may not improve unless the infrastructure of these agencies is improved.

The Ministry launched a scheme of Grants-in-Aid for improving the infrastructure of the SCAs during 2007-08. Under the scheme, assistance is provided on a matching basis, the Central and the state govt. contributing to the ratio of 90:10.

8. National Waqf Development Corporation The Ministry has set up a new National Waqf Development Corporation (NAWADCO) in January 2014. This is an initiative to finance the development of Waqf properties for public purposes throughout the country.

The setting up of NAWADCO would facilitate and mobilize financial resources for the provision of amenities like schools, colleges, hospitals on Waqf properties for community purposes.

India has the largest number of Waqf properties in the world. The Prime Minister’s High-Level Committee on the Social, Economic and Educational Status of Muslim Community of India (also known as the Sachar Committee) in its report published in 2006 had mentioned that there are more than ₹ 4.9 lakhs registered auqaf spread over the country but the current annual income from these properties is only about ₹ 163 crores.

Many of these Auqaf (Waqf Properties/Assets) are on prime urban land and they have the potential of generating considerable returns for fulfilling the objectives of the auqaf. The Sachar Committee had estimated that such properties, if properly developed, with a minimum return of 10%, would have potential of generating an income of about ₹ 12000 crore per annum.

The Corporation has an authorized share capital of ₹ 500 crores with initial paid-up capital of ₹ 100 crores only. The contribution of the National Minorities Development & Finance Corporation (NMDFC) in the authorized share capital of the corporation is 49%. The Central Waqf Council (CWC) and the individual Waqf Institutions and the Public have 9% and 42% shares respectively.

9. Minority Cyber Gram The Ministry has launched a pilot project “Minority Cyber Gram” for Digital literacy of Minorities in collaboration with Digital Empowerment Foundation in PPP Mode at village Chandauli, District Alwar, Rajasthan, in February 2014. Total 2,600 villagers have been targeted under this pilot project.

The MCGY programme seeks to introduce digital literacy skills in identified minority clusters in India through designated Digital Fellows towards knowledge empowerment and entitlement gains of minority-focused groups and beneficiaries.

With basic literacy level low among the backward sections of the minorities, the social and the economic profile is further aggravated due to lack of basic digital skills and knowledge to derive advantages from digital tools, devices, platforms, and knowledge networks. In order to mainstream minority groups and communities with national development goals and objectives, it is extremely important and relevant to deploy and introduce digital literacy skills to get benefits in knowledge-based networks and in public schemes and other services through information empowerment.

The objectives of the scheme are as follows:

(i) To impart digital literacy and skills among identified minority groups and beneficiaries through designated Digital Fellows (DFs) in identified minority clusters for information and knowledge empowerment and entitlement gains.
(ii) To provide opportunities in information and knowledge networks for local communities.

10. Jiyo Parsi (Scheme for Containing Population Decline of Parsis) The Ministry has launched a unique scheme with the name “Jiyo Parsi” during 2013-14 for containing population decline of Parsis in India. The scheme is being implemented with the participation of Parzor Foundation, Bombay Parsi Panchayat, and local Anjuman.

The studies conducted by the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) and the joint studies conducted by Parzor Foundation and Tata Institute of Social Science (TISS) have identified the following reasons as the important causes for the decline in the population of Parsis:

(a) Late and non-marriages;
(b) Fertility decline;
(c) Emigration;
(d) Out-Marriages; and
(e) Separation and divorces

There has been a demand from the members of the Parsi community for Government intervention to arrest the declining trend. In view of this, the Government of India considered it necessary to intervene immediately to arrest the declining trend of population of the Parsi community and reverse it to bring their population above the threshold level.

The objective of the scheme is to reverse the declining trend of Parsi population by adopting a scientific protocol and structured interventions, stabilise their population and increase the population of Parsis in India. The target groups within the Parsi community for the infertility treatment are as follows:

(i) Parsi married couples of childbearing age who seek assistance under the scheme.
(ii) Adults/young men/women/adolescent boys/girls for the detection of diseases resulting in infertility.

Seekho Aur Kamao (Scheme for Skill Development of Minorities) The Ministry has launched a new scheme “Seekho Aur Kamao (Learn & Earn) for skill development of minorities during 2013-The scheme guarantees minimum 75% employment of trained minority youths and out of them, 50% would be in the organised sector. The Ministry has sanctioned ₹ 17 crores for skill development training of 20,164 minority youths in 29 states through 32 expert skill development organizations.

The objectives of the scheme are as follows:

(i) To bring down the unemployment rate of minorities during the Twelfth Plan period.
(ii) To conserve and update traditional skills of minorities and establish their linkages with the market.
(iii) To improve the employability of existing workers, school dropouts, etc. and ensure their placement.
(iv) To generate means of better livelihood for marginalized minorities and bring them in the mainstream.
(v) To enable minorities to avail opportunities in the growing market.
(vi) To develop potential human resource for the country.

The scheme aims at upgrading the skills of the minority youths in various modern/traditional vocations depending upon their educational qualification, present economic trends, and the market potential, which can earn them suitable employment or make them suitably skilled to go for self-employment.

The Ministry took up a skill development programme for Modular Employable Skills (MES) which are approved by National Council of Vocational Training (NCVT). The MES courses approved by NCVT include the majority of traditional skills being practiced by the minority communities e.g. Embroidery, Chikankari, Zardosi, Patchwork, Gem and Jewelry, Weaving, Wooden works, Leather goods, Brass metal works, Glasswares, Carpet, etc. Moreover, other courses approved by NCVT may also be taken up in a particular state or region depending on the demand and local market potential. This would help, on one hand, to conserve the traditional arts and crafts practiced by minorities and on the other hand empower the minority communities to face the market challenges and avail opportunities.

Central Waqf Council

The Ministry of Minority Affairs is responsible for the implementation of the Waqf Act, 1995 (erstwhile Waqf Act, 1954). The states have constituted Waqf Boards under this Act.

The Central Waqf Council is a statutory body working under the aegis of the Ministry of Minority Affairs. It was established in 1964 under the provision of Waqf Act, 1954 (now Waqf Act, 1995). Its the function is to advise the Government of India on matters pertaining to working of the State Waqf Boards and proper administration of the Waqfs in the country. Therefore, it has been taking up the issue of common concern to promote the interest of waqf in the country for a better realization of its objectives.

The Union Minister of Minority Affairs is the ex-officio Chairperson of the Council. The Council has also been participating in the development process of the society by way of implementing the following schemes:

  1. Scheme for Development of Urban Waqf Properties
  2. Minor Waqf Projects
  3. Educational Development Schemes
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Rights Of Backward Classes

updated on April 20th, 2019

Rights Of Backward Classes

Constitutional Rights

The rights and safeguards embodied in the constitution for the backward classes (BCs) are mentioned below:

  1. The State is permitted to make any special provision for the advancement of any socially and educationally backward classes of citizens (Article 15(4)).
  2. The State is empowered to make any special provision for any socially and educationally backward classes of citizens regarding their admission to educational institutions including private educational institutions (whether aided or unaided by the state), except minority educational institutions (Article 15(5)).
  3. The State can provide for the reservation of appointments or posts in favor of any backward class which is not adequately represented in the state services (Article 16(4)).
  4. The State is directed to promote with special care the educational and economic interests of the weaker sections of the people and protect them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation (Article 46).
  5. The tribal welfare minister appointed in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, and Odisha may also be put additionally in charge of the welfare of the BCs (Article 164(1)).
  6. The President may appoint a commission to investigate the conditions of socially and educationally backward classes and to recommend the steps to improve their condition. The report of the commission is to be placed before the Parliament, along with action is taken memorandum (Article 340).
  7. The National Commission for Scheduled Castes is also required to discharge similar functions with regard to the BCs as it does with respect to the SCs. In other words, the commission has to investigate all matters relating to the constitutional and other legal safeguards for the BCs and report to the President upon their working (Article 338(10)).

Legal Rights

The following legislations contain the rights and safeguards for the BCs:

  1. Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Act (2006) provides for reservation of 27% for the students belonging to the BCs (excluding creamy layer) in central educational institutions (other than those exempted under the Act).
  2. National Commission for Backward Classes Act (1993) provided for the establishment of a National Commission for Backward Classes. The Commission examines requests for inclusion of any class of citizens in the list of BCs for the purpose of the reservation. It also hears complaints of over-inclusion or under-inclusion of any BC in the list.

Welfare Of Backward Classes

The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MSJ & E) is implementing various schemes and programmes for the welfare and development of Backward Classes (BCs)/Other Backward Classes (OBCs). These are explained below :

A. Schemes of Educational Empowerment

1. Pre-Matric Scholarship The aim of this scheme is to motivate children of OBCs studying at the parametric stage. As such, scholarships are awarded to students belonging to OBCs whose parents,/guardian’s income from all sources does not exceed ₹ 44,500 per annum.

The scholarship is available in such institutions and for such pre-matriculation courses, which have been duly recognized by the concerned state governments and Union Territory Administrations. Under the scheme, 50% Central Assistance is provided to the state governments over and above their committed liability, while in case of UTs 100% central assistance is provided. However, North-East states are exempted from this committed liability under the Scheme.

2. Post-Matric Scholarship The scheme is intended to promote higher education by providing financial support to OBC students studying at post-matric/post-secondary levels including Ph.D. degrees. The scholarships are awarded through the State Government/UT Administration to which the applicant belongs for study in recognized institutions. Under the scheme, 100% Central assistance is provided to State Governments/UT Administrations over and above their committed liability. The Scheme has been revised in 2011. The major changes effected under the Scheme are as under:

(i) The parental income ceiling for eligibility has been raised from 44,500 to 1 lakh per annum.
(ii) Increase in maintenance and other allowances of the OBC students.
(iii) Regrouping of courses.

3. Construction of Hostels for OBC Boys and Girls The Scheme of Construction of Hostels for OBC Boys and Girls has been revised in 2010-11. The scheme aims at providing hostel facilities to students belonging to socially and educationally backward classes, especially from rural areas, to enable them to pursue secondary and higher education. The following important changes have been incorporated in the revised scheme:

(i) Earlier, only State Governments, UT Administrations and Universities were eligible for Central assistance. Now, NGOs with a good track record are also eligible.
(ii) Enhancement of Central assistance to North-Eastern states & Sikkim from 50% to 90%. However, in the case of other states, the Central assistance is restricted to 50% of the cost, while in the case of UTs and Central institutions, 100% Central funding is provided. In the case of NGOs, the funding pattern is 45% each by Central and state government and the balance 10% by the NGO. This funding pattern has been made with reference to the approved cost.
(iii) Indicative physical norms have been laid down for a typical 100 seater hostel with a view to improving the quality and “livability” of hostels to be constructed henceforth, and to introduce a degree of uniformity in the physical norms across the country, and
(iv) Introduction of a one-time non-recurring grant of 2500 per seat for providing furniture/equipment to the hostels constructed under the scheme.

4. Free Coaching for OBC Students A scheme for providing free coaching to students belonging to Scheduled Castes (SCs) is being implemented since the Sixth Five Year Plan. Similar schemes are also being implemented to provide free coaching to students belonging to other backward classes (OBCs) and minorities. With a view to ensure effective implementation and monitoring and to assist the students in a better manner, the separate coaching schemes for SCs, OBCs, and Minorities were amalgamated and a combined Scheme, namely Coaching and Allied Assistance for Weaker Sections including Scheduled Castes, Other Backward Classes and Minorities was introduced in 2001.

After the creation of a separate Ministry to handle matters relating to the minorities, viz. the Ministry of Minority Affairs, the scheme underwent further revision in 2007 for removing the minority component from the ambit of the scheme. Again, the scheme was revised in 2012.

The objective of the Scheme is to provide coaching of good quality for economically disadvantaged Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Other Backward Classes (OBCs) candidates to enable them to appear in Competitive examination and succeed in obtaining an appropriate job in Public/Private sector. The courses for which the coaching is imparted are as follows:

(i) Group A and B examinations conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), the Staff Selection Commission (SSC) and the various Railway Recruitment Boards (RRBs).
(ii) Group A and B examinations conducted by the State Public Service Commissions.
(iii) Officers’ Grade examinations conducted by Banks, Insurance Companies and Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs).
(iv) Premier Entrance Examinations for admission in (a) Engineering (eg., IIT-JEE & AIEEE), (b) Medical (eg., AIPMT), (c) professional courses like Management (eg., CAT) and Law (eg., CLAT) and (d) such other disciplines, Ministry may decide from time to time.
(v) Finishing courses/Job oriented courses for employment in the private sector like IT, Bio-Technology, etc. in need of soft skill and other professional courses specified by the Government from time to time.

The scheme is implemented through the reputed institutions/centers run by the:

(i) Central Government/State Governments/UT Administrations/PSUs/autonomous bodies under Central/State Governments;
(ii) Universities (both Central and State including the Deemed Universities in the private sector); and
(iii) Registered private institutions/NGOs.

5. National Overseas Scholarship for OBC candidates The Scheme was started in the year 2014. It provides financial assistance to the finally selected candidates for pursuing Master level courses and Ph.D. abroad in the following specified fields of study:

(a) Engineering;
(b) Management;
(c) Agricultural Science; and
(d) Medicine.

Twenty-Five awards per year are available under the scheme. 30% of the awards for each year are earmarked for women candidates. However, in case adequate women candidates are not found available, the unutilized slots are utilized by selecting suitable male candidates.

Total family income from all sources of the employed candidate or his/her parents/guardians, should not exceed ₹ 3 lakh per annum.

Not more than one child of the same parents/guardians are eligible for award of this scholarship. The awardee cannot be considered for the award for second or subsequent times as one individual can be awarded for once.

B. Schemes of Socio-Economic Empowerment

1. Assistance to Voluntary Organisations for Welfare of OBCs (NGO Scheme) The main purpose of this scheme of grants-in-aid to voluntary organizations is to involve the civil society and non-Government sectors in the improvement of the socio-economic conditions of OBCs, through skill up-gradation in various trades, to enable them to start income generating activities on their own and get gainfully employed. Under the Scheme, financial assistance is provided to Non-Governmental Organisations for imparting various vocational training in various trades like craft, type and shorthand, carpentry, dari making, electrician, motor winding and fitting/plumbing, printing/composing/bookbinding, spinning and weaving, TV, VCR, and Radio repair, etc. The Government of India meets 90% of the approved expenditure of the training programme.

2. National Backward Classes Finance & Development Corporation The National Backward Classes Finance & Development Corporation (NBCFDC) was set up in the year 1992. The main objective of the Corporation is to provide concessional financial assistance to the members of the backward classes for their socio-economic development and to upgrade the technological and entrepreneurial skills of the individuals or groups belonging to the Backward Classes through State Channelising Agencies (SCAs) nominated by respective State Governments/UT.

The members of Backward Classes having an annual family income less than double the poverty line (i.e. ₹ 81,000 in rural areas and ₹ 1,03,000 in urban areas) are eligible to obtain loan from NBCFDC. The NBCFDC assists a wide range of income generating activities which include agricultural and allied activities, small business/artisan and traditional occupation, transport sector & service sector, technical and professional trades/courses.

Reservation in Education & Employment

Reservation in Central Educational Institutions The Supreme Court upheld the validity of Central Educational Institutional [Reservation in Admission] Act, 2006, in its Judgment on 10.04.2008. Under this Act, OBC students are entitled to 27% reservation in Central Educational Institutions.

Reservation in Employment Reservation of 27% to OBCs has been provided in Central Government Services and Posts since 1993, subject to exclusion of the “creamy layer”.

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Rights Of SCs And STs

updated on May 1st, 2019

Rights Of SCs And STs

Constitutional Rights

The Constitution contains various provisions which provide for several rights and safeguards for the scheduled castes (SCs) and the scheduled tribes (STs). While most of these provisions are common to both SCs and STs, some are exclusively meant for either of these two.

The constitutional rights and safeguards of SCs and STs can be classified into the following categories:

  1. Social Rights and Safeguards
  2. Educational/Economic Rights and Safeguards
  3. Service Rights and Safeguards
  4. Political Rights and Safeguards
  5. Administrative Rights and Safeguards

1. Social Rights and Safeguards

  1. Untouchability is abolished and its practice in any form is forbidden (Article 17).
  2. Traffic in human beings and forced labour are prohibited (Article 23).
  3. The State is empowered to throw open Hindu religious institutions of a public character to all classes and sections of Hindus (Article 25(2)(b)).
  4. The right to move freely throughout the territory of India and the right to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India can be restricted on the ground of the protection of interests of the STs (Article 19(5)).

2. Educational/Economic Rights and Safeguards

  1. The State shall promote with the special case the educational and economic interests of the SCs and STs and shall protect them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation (Article 46).
  2. The State is empowered to make any special provision for the advancement of the SCs and STs (Article 15(4)).
  3. The State is empowered to make any special provision for the SCs and STs regarding their admission to educational institutions including private educational institutions (whether aided or unaided by the State), except the minority educational institutions (Article 15(5)).

3. Service Rights and Safeguards

  1. The State is empowered to provide for reservation in promotions (with consequential seniority) to any services under the State in favour of the SCs and STs (Article 16(4-A)).
  2. The claims of the SCs and STs shall be taken into consideration (consistently with the maintenance of efficiency of administration) in making appointments to the public services of the Centre and the states (Article 335).
  3. While taking into consideration the claims of SCs and STs in making appointments to the public services of the Centre and the states, the consultation with the respective Public Service Commission (UPSC or SPSC) shall not be required (Article 320(4)).

4. Political Rights and Safeguards

  1. Seats shall be reserved for the SCs and STs in the Lok Sabha (Article 330).
  2. Seats shall be reserved for the SCs and STs in the State Legislative Assemblies (Article 332).
  3. The reservation of seats for the SCs and STs in the Lok Sabha and State Legislative
    Assemblies shall cease after seventy years from the commencement of the Constitution (Article 334). The 95th Constitutional Amendment Act of 2009 has extended this reservation for a further period of ten years (i.e., upto 2020).
  4. Seats shall be reserved for the SCs and STs in every Panchayat (i.e., at all the three levels) (Article 243-D(1)).
  5. The offices of the Chairpersons in the Panchayats at the village or any other level shall be reserved for the SCs and STs (Article 243-D(4)).
  6. The reservation of seats and offices of Chairpersons for the SCs and STs in the Panchayats shall cease after seventy years from the commencement of the Constitution (Article 243-D(5)).
  7. Seats shall be reserved for the SCs and STs in every Municipality (Article 243-T(1)).
  8. The offices of Chairpersons in the Municipalities shall be reserved for the SCs and STs (Article 243-T(4)).
  9. The reservation of seats and offices of Chairpersons for the SCs and STs in the Municipalities shall cease after seventy years from the commencement of the Constitution (Article 243-T(5)).

5. Administrative Rights and Safeguards

  1. The provisions of the Fifth Schedule shall apply to the administration and control of the Scheduled Areas and Scheduled Tribes in any state other than the states of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Mizoram (Article 244(1)).
  2. The provisions of the Sixth Schedule shall apply to the administration of the tribal areas in the states of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Mizoram (Article 244(2)).
  3. The president is required to appoint a commission to report on the administration of the scheduled areas and the welfare of the STs in the states. He can appoint such a commission at any time but compulsorily after ten years of the commencement of the Constitution (Article 339(1)).
  4. The executive power of the Centre extends to the giving of directions to a state with respect to the drawing up and execution of schemes for the welfare of the STs in the state (Article 339(2)).
  5. The Centre should pay grants-in-aid to the states for meeting the costs of schemes of the welfare of the STs and for raising the level of administration in the scheduled areas (Article 275(1)).
  6. A minister in charge of tribal welfare should be appointed in the states of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, and Odisha. He may also be put additionally in charge of the welfare of the SCs (Article 164(1)).
  7. The President should set up a National Commission for the SCs to investigate and monitor all matters relating to the constitutional and legal rights and safeguards for the SCs and to report to him (Article 338).
  8. The President should set up a National Commission for the STs to investigate and monitor all matters relating to the constitutional and legal rights and safeguards for the STs and to report to him (Article 338-A).

Legal Rights

The legislations which contain the rights and safeguards for the SCs and STs are as follows:

  1. Protection of Civil Rights Act (1955) prescribes punishment for the preaching and practice of “untouchability”and for the enforcement of any disability arising therefrom. It provides penalties for preventing a person, on the ground of untouchability, from enjoying civil rights i.e., rights accruing to a person on account of the abolition of untouchability.
  2. Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act (1989) prevents the commission of offences of atrocities against the SCs and STs by persons other than the SCs and STs. It also provides for the establishment of special courts for speedy trial of such offences. Further, it makes provision for the relief and rehabilitation of the victims of such offences.
  3. Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act (1976) freed unilaterally all the bonded labourers from bondage with simultaneous liquidation of their debts. It provides for the identification and release of bonded labourers and rehabilitation of freed bonded labourers.
  4. Minimum Wages Act (1948) provides for fixation, review, revision and enforcement of minimum wage in respect of notified employments.
  5. Legal Services Authorities Act (1987) provides for free legal services to the SCs and STs.
  6. Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act (2013) seeks to prohibit employment of individuals as manual scavengers by prescribing stringent punishment, including imprisonment upto five years. It also has provisions for rehabilitation of manual scavengers and their families. This new law overrides the old Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act (1993). This means that the 1993 Act would become practically infructuous.
  7. Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Act (2006) provides for reservation of 15% for the students belonging to the SCs and 7.5% for STs in central educational institutions (other than those exempted under the Act).
  8. Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act (2006) seeks to recognise and vest the forest rights and occupation in forest land in forest dwelling STs and other traditional forest dwellers who have been residing in such forests for generations but whose rights could not be recorded.
  9. Provisions of the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act (1996) (PESA) is aimed at the preservation of the customs, practices, and resources of the STs. It provides for reservation to the STs in the Panchayats.
  10. The following other legislations contain certain rights and safeguards for the STs:
    (i) Indian Forest Act (1927)
    (ii) Forest (Conservation) Act (1980)
    (iii) State Acts relating to the prevention of alienation and restoration of land belonging to the STs. In some states, such provisions exist in the Land Revenue Code.
    (iv) State Acts regulating money-lending to the STs.

NATIONAL TRIBAL POLICY

A draft National Tribal Policy was formulated in 2006. It covers all important issues that concern tribals. Its objectives are as follows:

  1. Preservation of traditional and customary systems and regime of rights and concessions enjoyed by different ST communities
  2. Preventing alienation of land owned by STs and restoring possession of wrongfully alienated lands
  3. Protection and vesting of rights of STs on forest lands and other forest rights
  4. Providing a legislative frame for rehabilitation and resettlement in order to minimise displacement
  5. Empowerment of tribal communities to promote self-governance and self-rule
  6. Protection of political rights to ensure greater and active participation of tribals in political bodies at all levels
  7. Reducing and removing the gap in the HDI of the tribal population and the general population
  8. Ensuring access to health care services, safe drinking water and improved sanitation
  9. Increase the participation of STs in sports and culture at local, district state and National levels
  10. Promotion and development of tribal handicrafts and organic and ethnic products
  11. Arresting the increasing demand from new communities for inclusion in the list of STs by rationalising the process of scheduling
  12. Focussing on the development of Primitive Tribal Groups (PTGs), which are to be renamed as Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups
  13. Development of nomadic and semi-nomadic Tribes through need based specific programmes
  14. Conservation and protection of the intellectual property regime of STs

Welfare Of Scs

The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MSJ&E) is implementing various schemes and programmes for the welfare and development of Scheduled Castes (SCs). These are explained below:

A. Schemes of Educational Empowerment

1. Post-Matric Scholarship for Scheduled Caste Students The Scheme is the single largest intervention by Government of India for educational empowerment of scheduled caste students. The scheme is in operation since 1944.

The objective of the scheme is to provide financial assistance to scheduled caste students studying at post matriculation or post-secondary stage to enable them to complete their education.

The financial assistance includes maintenance allowance, reimbursement of the non-refundable compulsory fee charged by educational institutions, Book Bank facility and other allowances. The scholarships are available for studying in India only and are awarded by the Government of the States/Union Territories to which the applicant actually belongs.

The scheme was revised in the year 2010 with the following main modifications:-

(i) Revision of income ceiling (of parents/guardians from all sources) from existing ₹ 1 lakh p.a. to ₹ 2 lakh p.a.;
(ii) Regrouping of courses; and
(iii) Revision of maintenance and other allowances.

2. Pre-Matric Scholarship for Children of Those Engaged in ‘Unclean’ Occupations The the scheme was started in 1977-78. Initially, the scheme covered only hostellers. Subsequently, in the year 1991 day scholars were also brought within the purview of the scheme. Under the scheme financial assistance is provided for pre-matric education to children of the following target groups, viz. (i) scavengers of dry latrines, (ii) tanners, and (iii) flayers.

The salient features of the scheme are :

(i) Assistance under the scheme consists of two components, viz.
(a) Monthly Scholarship (for 10 months), and
(b) Annual Ad hoc Grant (to cover incidental expenses like stationery, uniform, etc.).
(ii) There is no income ceiling or caste restriction for eligibility.
(iii) There are special provisions for students amongst the target group with disabilities.
(iv) The scheme is implemented through state governments.

The ‘object’ and ‘conditions of eligibility’ of the scheme have been modified in 2011, to do away with the condition which restricts the scholarship to the children of only existing manual scavengers. The condition of giving annual certificate by the manual scavengers has been done away with. More students are likely to be benefitted under this scheme after these changes.

3. Babu Jagjivan Ram Chhatrawas Yojana The objective of the scheme is to provide hostel facilities to SC boys and girls studying in middle schools, higher secondary schools, colleges, and universities.

The State Governments/Union Territory Administrations and the Central & State Universities/institutions are eligible for central assistance, both for fresh construction of hostel buildings and for expansion of the existing hostel facilities while NGOs and deemed universities in the private sector can avail the benefit only for the expansion of their existing hostel facilities.

In addition to the admissible central assistance under the Scheme, one-time grant of ₹ 2500 per student would also be provided for making provisions of a cot, a table and a chair for each student.

4. Upgradation of Merit of SC Students The objective of this scheme is to upgrade the merit of Scheduled Caste students, studying from Class IX to Class XII, by providing them the facilities for education in residential schools. It is being done by (i) removing their educational deficiencies, (ii) facilitating their entry into professional courses by upgrading their merit, and (iii) generating self-confidence and self-reliance in them.

The salient features of the scheme are:
(i) 100% Central assistance to the States/UTs through a packaged grant of 15,000 per student per year.
(ii) Special allowances like reader allowance, transport allowance, escort allowance, etc. are given to students with disability.

5. Pre-matric Scholarship for SC Students Studying in IX and X The Scheme has been introduced in 2012. The objectives of the scheme are:

(i) To support parents of SC children for the education of their wards studying in classes IX and X so that the incidence of drop-out, especially in the transition from the elementary to the secondary stage is minimized, and
(ii) To improve the participation of SC children in classes IX and X of the pre-matric stage, so that they perform better and have a better chance of progressing to the post-matric stage of education.

The salient features of the scheme are as follows :
(i) Assistance under the scheme consists of two components, viz.
(a) Monthly Scholarship (for 10 months), and
(b) Annual Ad hoc Grant (to cover incidental expenses like stationery, uniform, etc.).

(ii) Parent/Guardian’s income should not exceed ₹ 2 lakh per annum.

(iii) There are special provisions for students amongst the target group with disabilities.

(iv) The scheme is implemented through state governments.

6. Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowships for SC Students The scheme provides financial assistance to Scheduled Caste students for pursuing research studies leading to M. Phil., Ph.D. and equivalent a research degree in universities, research institutions, and scientific institutions.

The University Grants Commission (UGC) is the nodal agency for implementing the scheme. Two thousand Research Fellowships (Junior Research Fellows) per year are awarded to Scheduled Caste Students. The number of fellowships was increased from 1333 to 2000 in 2010-11. In the case of nonavailability of the adequate number of Scheduled Caste candidates, the number of fellowships not availed during a year will be carried forward to the next academic session.

7. Scholarship Scheme of Top Class Education for SC Students The objective of the scheme is to promote qualitative education amongst SC students, by providing full financial support for pursuing studies beyond twelfth class. The salient features of the scheme are:

(i) There are 229 institutions of excellence spread all over the country in the list of notified institutions. Notified institutions include all IIMs, IITs, NITs (earlier known as RECs), Commercial Pilot License training institutes and reputed Medical/Law and other institutes of excellence. Maximum 1,250 fresh scholarships can be given each year.
(ii) All the Government notified institutes (of IITs, NITs, and IIMs) are allotted 12 awards/scholarships each, whereas the Commercial Pilot License training institutes are allotted two awards each.
(iii) Courses of study covered are Engineering, Medicine/Dentistry, Law, Management, Hotel Management, Fashion Technology, and other streams.
(iv) SC students whose total family income is up to 4.50 lakh per annum are eligible for the scholarship w.e.f the academic year 2012-13.

8. National Overseas Scholarship for SC, etc Candidates The National Overseas Scholarship is meant to provide assistance to selected Scheduled Caste, de-notified, nomadic, semi-nomadic tribes, landless agricultural laborers and traditional artisans students for pursuing higher studies of Master level courses and Ph.D. programmes abroad in specified fields of study.

The scheme provides for fees charged by institutions as per actual, monthly maintenance allowance, passage visa fee and insurance premium, etc. annual contingency allowance, incidental journey allowance. Only one child of the same parents/guardians are eligible to get benefit under the scheme. The prospective awardees should not be more than 35 years of age. The total number of awards to be given each year is 30 and 30% of the awards have been earmarked for women candidates. Financial assistance under the Scheme is provided for a maximum period of four years for Ph.D. and three years for the Master’s programme. The income ceiling from all sources of the employed candidate or his/her parents/guardians should not be more than ₹ 25,000 per month.

Free Coaching for SC Students The objective of the scheme is to provide quality coaching for–Group ‘A’ and ‘B’ examinations conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), the Staff Selection Commission (SSC), the Railway Recruitment Boards (RRB) and the State Public Service Commissions; Officers’ Grade Examinations conducted by Banks, Insurance Companies and Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) and; Finishing course/job-oriented courses for employment in the private sector like IT, Biotechnology, etc. in need of soft skill as well. The scheme is implemented through the reputed coaching institutions/centers run by the State Governments/UT Administrations, Universities and the private sector Organisations.

B. Schemes of Economic Empowerment

1. Scheduled Castes Sub-Plan (SCSP) The Special Component Plan for Scheduled Castes evolved in 1979 has been renamed as Scheduled Castes Sub-Plan (SCSP). The strategy of Scheduled Castes Sub-Plan (SCSP) is one of the most important interventions through the planning process for social, economic and educational development of Scheduled Castes and also for improvement in their working and living conditions.

The Scheduled Castes Sub-Plan (SCSP) is not a scheme by itself. It is an umbrella strategy to ensure the flow of targeted financial and physical benefits from all the general sectors of development for the benefit of Scheduled Castes. Under this strategy, States/UTs and Central Ministries are required to formulate and implement Scheduled Castes Sub-Plan (SCSP) as part of their Annual Plans by earmarking resources in proportion to their share in the total population.

At present, 27 States/UTs having sizeable SC populations are implementing Scheduled Castes Sub- Plan. The Ministry regularly impresses upon the States to ensure adequate allocations under Scheduled Castes Sub-Plan during interactions with them. As an incentive, 25% Special Central Assistance is released to States/UTs on the basis of percentage allocation made by them under Scheduled Castes Sub-Plan as compared to the share of Scheduled Castes population in the total population.

2. Special Central Assistance (SCA) to Scheduled Castes Sub-Plan (SCSP) The Special Central Assistance (SCA) to Scheduled Castes Sub Plan (SCSP) is a central sector scheme, started in 1980, under which 100% grant is given 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. The Central assistance under the scheme is released to States/UTs on the basis of the following criteria:

Criteria for Release of Funds to States/UTs Under SCA to SCSP

Sl.No.BasisPercentage
(i)SC Population of the States/UTs40%
(ii)Relative backwardness of the States/UTs10%
(iii)Percentage of SC families in the States/UTs covered by composite
economic development programmes in the State Plan to enable
them to cross the poverty line
25%
(iv)Percentage of SCSP to the Annual Plan as compared to SC
population percentage of the States/UTs
25%

The salient features of the scheme are mentioned below:

(i) Funds under the scheme are provided as an additive to States/UTs implementing SCSP.
(ii) The main thrust is on the economic development of SC population in order to bring them above the poverty line through self-employment or training.
(iii) Amount of subsidy admissible under the scheme is 50% of the project cost, subject to a maximum of 10,000 per beneficiary.
(iv) Up to 10% of the total release to State/UT can be utilized for infrastructure development in villages having 50% or more SC population.
(v) At least 15% of the SCA to be utilized by States/UTs for SC women.
(vi) Five percent of the total SCA released to the States/UTs will be utilized by them exclusively for the economic development of disabled persons among SCs.
(vii) Three percent of the total SCA released to the States/UTs shall be utilized by States for supervision, monitoring, and evaluation of economic development schemes implemented with the support of SCA funds.
(viii) Two percent of the total budget allocation for the scheme will be earmarked for North Eastern States which implement SCSP for SCs.
(ix) At least 10% of the funds of SCA to SCSP should be utilized for skill development programmes within the existing framework of the Scheme in order to enhance the employability of the target group.

3. Assistance to State Scheduled Castes Development Corporations The Centrally Sponsored Scheme for participating in the equity share of the Scheduled Castes Development Corporations (SCDCs) in the ratio of 49:51 (Central: State) was introduced in 1979. At present, SCDCs are functioning in 27 States/UTs. The main functions of SCDCs include identification of eligible SC families and motivating them to undertake economic development scheme, sponsoring the schemes to financial institutions for credit support, providing financial assistance in the form of margin money at low rate of interest and subsidy in order to reduce the repayment liability and providing necessary tie up with other poverty alleviation programmes. The SCDCs are playing an important role in providing credit and inputs by way of margin money loans and subsidy to the target group.

The SCDCs finance employment oriented schemes covering (i) Agriculture and allied activities including minor irrigation, (ii) Small Scale Industry, (iii) Transport, and (iv) Trade and Service Sector. The SCDCs finance projects by dovetailing loan component from NSFDC/banks along with margin money out of their own funds and subsidy out of Special Center Assistance (SCA).

4. National Scheduled Castes Finance & Development Corporation The National Scheduled Castes Finance & Development Corporation (NSFDC) was set up by the Government of India in the year 1989. The broad objective of NSFDC is to provide financial assistance in the form of concessional loans to Scheduled Castes families, and skill-cum-entrepreneurial training to the youth of the target group, living below Double the Poverty Line [presently ₹ 81,000 per annum for rural area and ₹ 1,03,000 per annum for urban areas] for their economic development.

The Authorised Share Capital of the Corporation is ₹ 1,000 crore and Paid-Up Capital is ₹ 781.80 crore including ₹ 100 crores released during 2012-13. The Corporation has so far disbursed ₹ 2504.70 crores covering 8.60 lakh beneficiaries up to 2013. The NSFDC functions through Channel Finance System in which concessional loans are routed to the beneficiaries through the State Channelising Agencies (SCAs) appointed by the respective State Governments/Union Territories.

5. National Safai Karamcharis Finance & Development Corporation The National Safai Karamcharis Finance and Development Corporation (NSKFDC) was incorporated in the year 1997 as a company, not for profit. The target group of the Corporation is “Scavengers”, which means persons wholly or partially employed for manual handling of human excreta and their dependents, and “Safai Karamcharis” which means persons engaged in or employed for any sanitation work, and their dependents.

No income limit is fixed for availing financial assistance. However, the Corporation accords priority to the economic development and rehabilitation of scavengers, women, and Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) from among the target group. The NSKFDC provides loan at the concessional rate of interest to the beneficiaries through the State Channelising Agencies (SCAs) appointed by the respective State Governments/Union Territories across the country.

Initially, the Authorised Share Capital of the Corporation was ₹ 200 crores which were enhanced to ₹ 300 crores in 2009 and to ₹ 600 crores in 2012. The paid-up capital of the Corporation in 2013 was ₹ 394.99 crores. During 2012-13, ₹ 50 crores have been released as Equity Share Capital to the Corporation.

The Corporation implements schemes to promote self-employment in an alternative occupation through concessional finance and skill development. Since its inception, the Corporation has disbursed ₹ 829.81 crores covering 248,019 beneficiaries.

C. Schemes of Social Empowerment

1. Assistance for Implementation of the Protection of Civil Rights Act and the SCs and STs (Prevention of Atrocities) Act: These two Acts are implemented by the respective State Governments and Union Territory Administrations. With a view to ensuring their effective implementation by the states, Central assistance is provided to them under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme for implementation of the Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955 and the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, for the following purposes:-

(i) Functioning and strengthening of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Protection Cell and Special Police Stations.
(ii) Setting up and functioning of exclusive Special Courts.
(iii) Relief and Rehabilitation to atrocity victims.
(iv) The incentive for Inter-Caste Marriages, where one of the spouses is a member of Scheduled
Caste Awareness generation.

The funding pattern of the scheme is such that over and above the committed liability of respective State Governments, the expenditure is shared between Centre and States on 50:50 basis and UT Administrations receive 100% Central assistance.

2. Pilot Scheme of Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana (PMAGY) The pilot PMAGY scheme has been launched in 2010. The scheme aims at integrated development of the selected 1000 villages having more than 50% SC population, into “model villages” so that, inter alia,

(i) they have the requisite physical and social infrastructure for their socio-economic development;
(ii) the disparity between SC and non-SC population of the village in terms of common socioeconomic indicators (e.g., literacy rate, the completion rate of elementary education,
(iii) IMR/MMR, ownership of productive assets, etc.) are eliminated, and the indicators are raised to at least the level of the national average; and
(iv) untouchability, discrimination, segregation, and atrocities against SCs are eliminated, as are other social evils like discrimination against girls/women, alcoholism and substance (drugs) abuse, etc., and all sections of society are able to live with dignity and equality, and in harmony with others.

3.Scheme of Grants-in-aid to Voluntary Organisations Working for Scheduled Castes The main the objective behind the scheme is to involve the voluntary sector to improve educational and socioeconomic conditions of the target group i.e. Scheduled Castes with a view to upgrading skill to enable them to start income generating activities on their own or get gainfully employed in some sector or the other. The principle that good voluntary organizations should not only be assisted but also consciously built up, has been guiding spirit behind the formulation of the scheme. The following facts can be noted:

(i) The scheme was started in 1953-54.
(ii) The scheme was last revised in 1998.
(iii) Projects covered under the scheme are 40.

The scheme provides that quantum of assistance shall be determined in each case on merit. However, the Government of India may meet 90% of the approved expenditure. The remaining expenditure is to be met by the concerned voluntary organization from its own source.

Self-Employment Scheme for Rehabilitation of Manual Scavengers A National Scheme of Liberation and Rehabilitation of Scavengers and their Dependents (NSLRS) was started in 1992 to rehabilitate manual scavengers and their dependents in alternative occupations. As per reports received from State Governments from time to time, there were about 7.70 lakh manual scavengers and their dependents, to be rehabilitated under NSLRS. Out of this, about 4.23 lakh beneficiaries were assisted for rehabilitation, during the period of implementation of NSLRS.

This Ministry formulated a ‘Self Employment Scheme for Rehabilitation of Manual Scavengers’ (SRMS) which was introduced in January 2007 with the objective of rehabilitating remaining manual scavengers and their dependents by March 2009. Under the scheme, the identified beneficiaries were provided a loan, at the subsidized rate of interest, and credit linked capital subsidy for setting up self-employment projects. It also had liberal provisions for training of beneficiaries in marketable skills to enhance their employability. They were paid a stipend of 1000 per month during the period of training.

The Self Employment Scheme for Rehabilitation of Manual Scavengers originally envisaged rehabilitation of all manual scavengers in alternative occupations by March 2009. However, as this could not be done by the target date, the scheme was extended up to March 2010, with a provision for the coverage of spill-over beneficiaries even thereafter, if required. As per the updated number reported by States/UTs after the launch of the scheme, about 1.18 lakh manual scavengers and their dependents in 18 States/UTs were identified for implementation of the scheme.

There was a proposal to revise the existing SRMS to make it more effective. Hence, the Scheme has been revised w.e.f. November 2013. As per the revised scheme, identified manual scavengers, one from each family, are provided one-time cash assistance. The identified manual scavengers and their dependents are provided project-based back-ended capital subsidy up to ₹ 3,25,000 and concessional loan for undertaking self-employment ventures. Beneficiaries are also provided training for skill development for a period up to two years, during which a stipend of ₹ 3,000 per month is also provided.

Reservation in Education & Employment

Reservation in Education The Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Act, 2006 came into force with effect from academic session 2008-09. The Act provides for Reservation of 15% for the students belonging to the Scheduled Caste, 7.5% for Scheduled Tribes & 27% for Other Backward Classes (excluding creamy layer) in central educational institutions (other than those exempted under the Act).

Reservation in Employment Instructions was issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs in 1947, providing 12.5% reservation in direct recruitment made by open competition and 16.66% for other than by open competition for Scheduled Castes. With the increase in the percentage of Scheduled Castes population, a need was felt to increase the reservation percentage. The 1961-Census showed that the percentage of the population of Scheduled Castes was 14.7%. Accordingly, in 1970, the percentage of reservation for Scheduled Castes in direct recruitment by open competition was increased from 12.5% to 15%. The percentages of reservation in the case of direct recruitment otherwise than by open competition was kept unchanged at 16.66%. The position regarding the percentage of reservation for SCs/STs in public employment has remained unchanged since then. The reservation policy of the Government is mutatis-mutandis extended to Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs).

Welfare Of Sts

The Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA) is implementing various schemes and programmes for the welfare and development of the Scheduled Tribes (STs). These are explained below:

A. Schemes of Educational Empowerment

1. Scheme for Construction of Hostels for ST Girls and Boys The objective of the scheme is to promote literacy among tribal students by providing hostel accommodation to such ST students who would otherwise have been unable to continue their education because of their poor economic condition, and the remote location of their villages. The scheme was revised in 2008.

The scheme covers the entire ST population in the country and is not area-specific. However, the hostels under the scheme would be sanctioned as far as possible as a part of the established educational institutions or in the close vicinity of such institutions/vocational training centers.

The scheme provides for the construction of new hostels and extension of existing hostel buildings for the middle, secondary, college and university levels of education.

2. Scheme for the Establishment of Ashram Schools in Tribal Sub-Plan Areas The objective of the scheme is to promote the expansion of educational facilities for Scheduled Tribe students including PTGs. Ashram Schools provide education with residential facilities in an environment conducive to learning. The Scheme was revised in 2008.

The scheme covers all the Tribal Sub-plan areas of the country spread over 22 States and 2 Union Territories.

The scheme provides funds for the construction of school buildings from the primary to the senior secondary stage and also provides for the upgradation of the existing Ashram Schools for Scheduled Tribes Boys and Girls including PTGs.

3. Post-Matric Scholarship Scheme The objective of the scheme is to provide financial assistance to the Scheduled Tribe students studying at post-matriculation or post-secondary levels to enable them to complete their education. The scheme was revised in 2010.

The scheme is open to all ST students whose parents’ annual income is ₹ 2 lakh or less and the scholarships are awarded through the Government of the State/Union Territory where he/she is domiciled. The Commercial Pilot Licence Course (CPL) is also included in the scheme of Post- Matric Scholarship for ST students and 10 scholarships are to be given to the eligible ST students per year.

The students are provided different rates of scholarships depending on the course. The courses have been divided into four categories and the rates vary from ₹ 230 per month to ₹ 1200 per month. Besides, the compulsory fees are also being reimbursed.

4. Book Bank Scheme Many ST students selected in professional courses find it difficult to continue their education for want of books on their subjects, as these are often expensive. In order to reduce the dropout rate of ST students from professional institutes/universities, funds are provided for the purchase of books under this scheme.

The scheme is open to all ST students pursuing medical (including Indian Systems of Medicine & Homeopathy) engineering, agriculture, veterinary, polytechnic, law, chartered accountancy, business management, bio-science subjects, who are receiving Post-Matric Scholarships.

5. Upgradation of Merit Scheme The objective of the scheme is to upgrade the merit of Scheduled A tribe including PTG students in classes IX to XII by providing them with facilities for all-round development through education in residential schools so that they can compete with other students for admission to higher education courses and for senior administrative and technical occupations.

Coaching is provided in languages, science, mathematics as well as special coaching for admission to professional courses like engineering and medicine. A revised package grant of ₹ 19,500 per student per year is provided from 2008-09 which includes the honorarium to be paid to the Principal or Experts imparting coaching and also to meet incidental charges.

6. National Overseas Scholarship Scheme for Higher Studies Abroad The objective of the scheme is to provide financial assistance to selected ST students pursuing higher studies abroad (Masters, Doctoral and Post-Doctoral level) in certain specified fields of Engineering, Technology, and Science only. This was a Non-Plan scheme, which became a Plan scheme from 2007-08.

Thirteen Scheduled Tribe candidates and two candidates belonging to PTGs can be awarded the scholarship annually for pursuing Post Graduate, Doctoral and Post-Doctoral level courses abroad. The scholarship is not awarded for pursuing graduate courses.

The scholarship is awarded to ST candidates (one member from each family) below 35 years of age on the date of advertisement provided the total income of the candidate or his/her parents/guardians do not exceed ₹ 25,000 per month.

7. Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship The objective of the scheme is to provide fellowships in the form of financial assistance to students belonging to the Scheduled Tribes to pursue higher studies such as M.Phil and Ph.D. The scheme has been started from the year 2005-06.

This scheme covers all the Universities/Institutions recognized by the University Grants Commission (UGC).

Under the scheme, 667 fellowships are provided to the ST students each year. The maximum duration of the fellowships is five years.

8. Scheme of Top Class Education for ST Students The objective of the scheme is to encourage meritorious ST students for pursuing studies at degree and post-degree level in any of the selected list of institutes, in which the scholarship scheme would be operative. The scheme has been started from 2007-08.

There are 213 institutes approved under the scheme in both the Government and private sectors covering the field of management, medicine, engineering, law, and commercial courses. Each institute has been allocated five awards, with a ceiling of the total of 625 scholarships per year.

The family income of the ST students from all the sources should not exceed ₹ 2 lakh per annum. The ST students are awarded scholarship covering full tuition fee and other non-refundable dues in respect of Government/Government-funded institutions. However, there is a ceiling of ₹ 2 lakh per annum per student for private sector institutions and ₹ 3.72 lakh per annum per student for the private sector flying clubs for Commercial Pilot Training.

9. Vocational Training in Tribal Areas The main aim of this scheme is to upgrade the skills of the tribal youth in various traditional/modern vocations depending upon their educational qualification, present economic trends, and the market potential, which would enable them to gain suitable employment or enable them to become self-employed.

The scheme has been revised from 2009 and is being implemented through the State Governments/UT Administrations, Institutions or Organisations set up by Government as autonomous bodies, educational and other institutions like local bodies and cooperative societies and Non-Governmental Organisations, etc.

The scheme covers all the States and Union Territories. The scheme is exclusively for the benefit of the Scheduled Tribes as well as PTGs. As far as possible minimum 33% seats will be reserved from tribal girl candidates.

Each Vocational Training center set up under the scheme may cater to a maximum of five trades and will provide training to 100 or more trainees, i.e., for one trade there should be at least 20 candidates. There is provision for a monthly stipend and for raw material for the trainees.

10. Pre-Matric Scholarship for Needy Scheduled Tribe Students Studying in Classes IX & X The objectives of the Scheme are to (i) support parents of ST students for the education of their wards studying in Classes IX and X so that the incidence of dropout, especially in the transition from the elementary to secondary and during the second stage of education, is minimized, and (ii) improve participation of ST students in Classes IX and X of Pre-Matric stage, so that they perform well and have a better chance of progressing to Post-Matric stages of education.

Scholarships are paid @ ₹ 150 per month for day scholars and @ ₹ 350 per month for hostellers, for a period of 10 months in a year. Books and ad-hoc grant are paid @ ₹ 750 per year for day scholars and ₹ 1000 per year for hostellers.

11. Free Coaching for Scheduled Tribes The scheme of free coaching of Scheduled Tribes (erstwhile Coaching & Allied) has been in operation since the Fourth Five Year Plan Period. The scheme was revised during the financial year 2007-08.

The scheduled tribes coming from deprived families and disadvantaged environment find it difficult to compete with those coming from a socially and economically advantageous background. To promote a more level playing field, and give ST candidates a better chance to succeed in competitive examinations, the Ministry of Tribal Affairs supports a scheme of coaching for disadvantaged ST candidates in quality coaching institutions for various competitive examinations meant for admission into professional courses and recruitment for jobs in Civil Services/Public sector.

The scheme is implemented through State Governments/UT Administrations/Universities and reputed Professional Coaching Institutions which run Pre-examination Coaching Centres (PECs). There are efforts to shift the focus from Government run institutions to quality professional coaching institutions. The funds are provided per student cost basis. Union Territories, Universities and Private Institutions are provided assistance to the extent of 100% on a contractual basis, while state-run institutions are provided 80% assistance from the Ministry.

The funding includes the coaching fees (including the charges of faculty), advertisement charges, a stipend to candidates and assistance for boarding/lodging to outstation students, etc.

12. Scheme of Strengthening Education among ST girls in Low Literacy Districts This gender-specific scheme was introduced in 1993-94 for ST girls in low literacy pockets. The scheme has been revised in 2008-09.

The scheme aims to bridge the gap in literacy levels between the general female population and tribal women, through facilitating 100% enrolment of tribal girls in the identified districts or blocks, more particularly in Naxal affected areas and in areas inhabited by Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (earlier known as Primitive Tribal Groups (PTGs), and reducing drop-outs at the elementary level by creating the required ambience for education.

The scheme lays emphasis on providing hostel facilities to enable the ST girls to attend regular schools and wherever schools are not available within five km distance, both schooling and hostel facilities are provided. Improvement of the literacy rate of tribal girls is essential to enable them to participate effectively in and benefit from, socio-economic development.

The scheme covers the 54 identified districts as indicated in the revised scheme where the ST the population is 25% or more, and ST female literacy rate below 35%, as per 2001 census. Any other tribal block in a district, other than aforesaid 54 identified districts, which has scheduled tribe population 25% or above, and tribal female literacy rate below 35% as per 2001 census is also covered.

13. Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRS) With the objective of providing quality education to the tribal students, it was decided during 1997-98 to utilize a part of the grant under Article 275(1) of the Constitution of India for setting up of 100 Model Residential Schools from Class VI to Class XII. Till the end of Xth Plan, 100 schools were sanctioned to 22 States, of which 92 are reported to be functional.

The schools were required to be operated in each state through an autonomous society formed for this purpose. In order to provide a uniform pattern of education in those schools and enable their students to compete effectively for higher education programmes (medical, technical, etc.), these schools are mainly affiliated to State Boards. These schools have been named as Eklavya Model Residential Schools and envisaged on the lines of Navodaya Vidyalayas but with state-centered management.

B. Schemes of Economic Empowerment

1. Tribal Sub-Plan The Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP) strategy was developed for the rapid socio-economic development of tribal people and was adopted for the first time in the Fifth Five Year Plan. The strategy adopted continues till this day and the salient features are given as follows.

9i) Preparation of plan meant for the welfare and development of tribals within the ambit of a State or a UT plan is a part of the overall plan of a State or UT and is therefore called a Sub- Plan.
(ii) The funds provided under the Tribal Sub-Plan have to be at least equal in proportion to the ST population of each State or UT.
(iii) Tribals and tribal areas of a State or a UT are given benefits under the TSP, in addition to what percolates from the overall Plan of a State/UT.
(iv) The Sub-Plan should:
(a) Identify the resources for TSP areas;
(b) Prepare a broad policy framework for development; and,
(c) Define a suitable administrative strategy for its implementation.
(v) The TSP strategy has been in operation in 22 States and 2 UTs.
(vi) TSP concept is not applicable to the tribal majority States of Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland and in the UTs of Lakshadweep and Dadra & Nagar Haveli where tribals represent more than 60% of the population since the Annual Plan in these States/UTs is itself a Tribal Plan.

The TSP strategy is expected to be followed in the Central Ministries/Departments also so that an adequate flow of funds in the Central Ministries/Departments is ensured.

The funds for tribal development under TSP are sourced from the following:

(i) State Plans
(ii) The Special area programmes of Special Central Assistance (SCA) to Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP) and Grant under Article 275 (1) of the Constitution and, funds under other Schemes of the Ministry;
(iii) Sectoral programmes of Central Ministries/Departments; and
(iv) Institutional Finance.

2. Special Central Assistance to Tribal Sub-Plan (SCA to TSP) This is a major programme administered by the Ministry and under this grant is provided to the States Governments based on annual allocation made by the Planning Commission. This is treated as an additive to the State Plan, for areas where State Plan provisions are not normally forthcoming to bring about economic development to tribals. The programme was launched during 1974 and till the end of the IX Five Year Plan, the SCA to TSP was meant for filling up critical gaps in the family-based income-generating activities of TSP.

From the Tenth Five Year Plan period, the objective and scope of SCA to TSP was expanded to cover employment-cum-income generation activities and infrastructure incidental thereto. Besides family-based activities, other activities run by the Self-Help Groups (SHGs)/Community are also to be taken up. The ultimate objective of extending SCA to TSP is to boost the demand based income generation programmes and thus raise the economic and social status of tribals.

The SCA is provided to the 22 Tribal Sub-Plan States and 2 Union Territories including the North The Eastern States of Assam, Manipur, Sikkim and Tripura, and two Union territories. However, since 2003-04 funds meant for UTs are being provided for in the budget of Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry is not concerned in the administration of funds in the UTs.

The SCA is released for economic development in the following areas and for the following population:

(i) Integrated Tribal Development Project/Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDP/ITDA) areas (192 Nos.), which are generally contiguous areas of the size of at least tehsil or block or more in which the ST population is 50% or more of the total population;
(ii) Modified Area Development Approach (MADA) pockets (259 Nos.), which are identified pockets having 50% or more ST population with a minimum population of 10,000;
(iii) Clusters (82 Nos.), which are identified pockets having 50% ST population with a minimum population of 5,000;
(iv) Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PTGs) (72 Nos.), characterized by a low rate of growth of population, pre-agricultural level of technology and extremely low level of literacy;
(v) Dispersed tribal population – those tribals who fall outside the categories (i) to (iv) above.

3. Programme for Development of Forest Villages Prior to Independence, habitations were set up in forest areas for secured availability of labor force for various forestry operations. Over the years, these habitations grew into villages. These villages are outside the revenue administration of the districts and have, therefore, missed the fruits of development. A process of conversion of these forest villages into revenue villages is underway. However, there are about 2,474 such identified forest villages in 12 States, which are managed by State Forest Departments. Most of the inhabitants in these villages are tribals. The level of development in these villages is not at par with the rest of the areas in the State.

Development of forest villages estimated to be having about ₹ 2.5 lakh tribal families was one of the thrust areas of tribal development during the Tenth Five Year Plan. Accordingly, the Planning Commission allocated ₹ 450 crores to the Ministry of Tribal Affairs in the Tenth Five Year Plan for Development of Forest Villages with an average allocation of 15 lakh per village. The Ministry of Tribal Affairs initiated the programme for Development of Forest Villages as an extension of the Special Central Assistance to Tribal Sub-Plan (SCA to TSP).

Towards the end of Tenth Plan, a considered view was taken that the programme may be continued for a limited period during the XI Plan also, keeping in view the need for adequate developmental activities to be undertaken in these villages pending conversion into revenue villages. It was decided that additional funding up to ₹ 15 lakh each would be provided to all those forest villages that have availed the first phase funding during the X Plan.

4. Grants under Article 275(1) of the Constitution of India In pursuance of the Constitutional obligation, the Ministry of Tribal Affairs provides Funds to State Government having Scheduled Tribe population through the Special Area programme ‘Grants under Article 275(1) of the Constitution’.

Under this Special Area Programme, 100 percent grant is provided by the Ministry to meet the cost of such project for tribal development, undertaken by a State Government, for (a) raising the level of administration of Scheduled Areas to bring them at par with the rest of the state, and (b) for the welfare of the tribal people. The grants are provided to the states on the basis of the percentage of ST population in the State.

In this regard, the following guidelines have been laid down:

(i) Prior to 2000-01, Grants under Article 275(1) of the Constitution of India used to be released as block grants to states. Since then, the fund is provided for taking up specific projects for the creation and up gradation of critical infrastructure required to bring the tribal areas at par with the rest of the State.
(ii) The states are to identify the areas/sectors critical to the enhancement of the Human Development Index (HDI) and projects can be taken up for bridging gaps in critical infrastructure.
(iii) People’s participation in planning and implementation of schemes and projects has been envisaged in the guidelines. Due regard is to be given to the provisions of the States Panchayats Acts, and the PESA Act, 1996.
(iv) Integrated and holistic approach for preparing micro plans for ITDP/MADA/Cluster through multi-disciplinary teams is also envisaged.
(v) At least 30% projects are to be targeted to benefit women.
(vi) Two percent of the grants may be used for project management, training, MIS, administrative expenses, monitoring, and evaluation.
(vii) Up to 10% of the allocation to the state can be used with prior approval of the Ministry for the maintenance of infrastructure.
(viii) Ten percent of the total allocation of funds out of grants under Article 275 (1) of The constitution is allocated as an innovative grant.

5.National Scheduled Tribes Finance and Development Corporation The National Scheduled Tribes Finance and Development Corporation (NSTFDC) was incorporated in 2001 as a Government of India company under Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA) and was granted a license under the Companies Act, 1956 (a company not for profit). It is managed by the Board of Directors with representation from Central Government, State Channelising Agencies, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), Industrial Development Bank of India (IDBI), Tribal Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd. (TRIFED) and eminent persons from the Scheduled Tribes.

The NSTFDC is an apex organization under MoTA for providing financial assistance for the economic development of the Scheduled Tribes. The broad objectives of NSTFDC are:

(i) To identify economic activities of importance to the Scheduled Tribes so as to generate self-employment and raise their income level.
(ii) To upgrade their skills and processes through both institutional and on the job training.
(iii) To make existing State/UT Scheduled Tribes Finance and Development Corporations (SCAs) and other developmental agencies engaged in the economic development of the Scheduled Tribes more effective.
(iv) To assist SCAs in project formulation, implementation of NSTFDC assisted schemes and in imparting training to their personnel.
(v) To monitor implementation of NSTFDC assisted schemes in order to assess their impact.

The functions of NSTFDC are as follows:

(i) To generate awareness amongst the STs about NSTFDC concessional schemes.
(ii) To provide assistance for skill development and capacity building of the beneficiaries as well as of the officials of SCAs.
(iii) To provide concessional finance for viable income generating schemes through SCAs and other agencies for the economic development of the eligible Scheduled Tribes.
(iv) To assist in the market linkage of tribal produce.

6. Tribal Co-operative Marketing Development Federation of India Ltd. The Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India Limited (TRIFED) is a Multi-State Cooperative Society. It was set up in 1987 under the Multi-State Cooperative Societies Act, 1984 (now the Multi-State Cooperative Societies Act, 2002)

The TRIFED is now functioning both as a service provider and market developer for tribal products. Further, in the role as a capacity builder, it imparts training to ST Artisans and Minor Forest Produce (MFP) gatherers.

This Ministry extends Grants-in-Aid to TRIFED under the Scheme “Market Development of Tribal Product” for undertaking the following four main activities:

(i) Marketing Development Activities;
(ii) Tribal MFP Gatherers’ Training & Capacity Building;
(iii) Tribal Artisans Training & Capacity Building; and
(iv) Research & Development.

7. Grants-in-Aid for Minor Forest Produce (MFP) Operations In order to help tribals, the State Governments have established State-level Government Organisations like State Tribal Development Cooperative Corporations (STDCCs), Forest Development Corporations (FDCs), etc. with the mandate to purchase MFP from tribals paying them remunerative prices for their MFP.

The Central Sector Scheme of Grants-in-Aid for MFP Operations was launched in 1992-93 to help these State-level Organisations. Grants-in-Aid are extended to these Organisations under this Scheme through their respective State Governments for: –

(i) increasing the quantum of MFP handled by setting off operational losses, if need be;
(ii) strengthening the share capital base of the corporation for undertaking MFP operations thereby increasing the quantum of MFP presently handled;
(iii) setting up of scientific warehousing facilities, wherever necessary;
(iv) establishing processing industries for value addition with the objective of ensuring maximum returns on the MFPs for the tribals;
(v) giving consumption loans to the tribals; and
(vi) supplementing Research & Development (R&D) activities/efforts.

C. Schemes of Social Empowerment

1. Scheme of Grants-in-aid to Voluntary Organisations working for the welfare of Scheduled Tribes The ‘Grants-in-aid to Voluntary Organisations working for the welfare of Scheduled Tribes’ scheme was launched in 1953-54 and is continuing. The prime objective of the scheme is to enhance the reach of welfare schemes of Government and fill the gaps in service deficient tribal areas, in the sectors such as education, health, drinking water, agro-horticultural productivity, social security net etc. through the efforts of voluntary organisations, and to provide an environment for socio-economic upliftment and overall development of the Scheduled Tribes (STs). Any other innovative activity having a direct impact on the socio-economic development or livelihood generation of STs may also be considered through voluntary efforts.

The scheme is a Central Sector Scheme. The grants are provided to the eligible non-governmental organizations/autonomous societies for the categories of projects prescribed in the scheme. Funds are generally provided to the extent of 90% by the Government. The voluntary organization is expected to bear the remaining 10% as the contribution from its own resources. However, the extent of assistance under the scheme is 100% for those projects being implemented in the Scheduled Areas.

Many categories of projects have been prescribed under the scheme which may be considered for grant. The list of categories is as below:

(i) Residential schools
(ii) Non-residential schools
(iii) Hostels
(iv) Mobile dispensaries
(v) Ten-bedded hospitals
(vi) Computer training centre
(vii) Library
(viii) Mobile library cum AV unit
(ix) Rural night school for tribal adult education
(x) Balwadi/Creche centre
(xi) Preventing health and sanitation programme
(xii) Drinking water programme
(xiii) Training in agriculture and allied activities
(xiv) Sponsoring of 15 tribal girls of NE States, A & N Islands and Lakshadweep
(xv) Training centres for employable skills
(xvi) Old age homes
(xvii) Involving school children in spreading awareness
(xvii) Any other innovative project for socio-economic development

2. Scheme for Development of Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups In 1998-99, a separate 100% Central Sector Scheme for exclusive socio-economic development of PTGs was started. Based on the knowledge and experience gathered meanwhile, the scheme was revised in 2008-09, to make it more effective.

The scheme covers only the 75 identified Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups among Scheduled Tribes. The scheme is very flexible and it enables every State to focus on any area that they consider is relevant to their PTGs and their socio-cultural environment. Activities under it may include housing, land distribution, land development, agricultural development, cattle development, construction of link roads, installation of non-conventional sources of energy for lighting purpose, social security including Janshree Beema Yojana or any other innovative activity meant for the comprehensive socio-economic development of PTGs.

The funds under this scheme are made available for those items/activities which are very crucial for the survival, protection, and development of PTGs and are not specifically catered to by any other scheme of State or Central Government.

The scheme is implemented by the State/UT through various agencies of the State Government/UT Administration like Integrated Tribal Development Projects (ITDPs)/Integrated Tribal Development Agencies (ITDAs), Tribal Research Institutes (TRIs), and also Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs).

3. Grants-in-aid to Tribal Research Institutes Under the scheme, so far 18 Tribal Research Institutes (TRIs) have been set up in the States of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Manipur, Tripura and Union Territory of Andaman & The Nicobar Islands.

The Ministry of Tribal Affairs releases 50% Central share to the State Governments and 100% to Union Territories for the Tribal Research Institutes, for meeting the expenses, including administrative costs. These institutes are engaged in the work of providing planning inputs to the State Governments, conducting research and evaluation studies, collection of data, conducting training, seminars and workshops, documentation of customary laws; setting up of tribal museum for exhibiting tribal artifacts, and other related activities.

As part of the research activities of the Tribal Research Institutes (TRIs), the Ministry also supports the construction of tribal museums within the premises of the TRIs to preserve the tribal art, craft and material culture.

In order to effectively coordinate all the functions presently being carried out in Tribal Research Institutes (TRIs) throughout the country, as well as for new activities, the Ministry of Tribal Affairs has evolved the concept of Nodal TRI (NTRI). The NTRI is to provide policy inputs to the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, carry out and coordinate research and evaluation studies, and undertake other related activities for the TRIs which are clubbed under their charge.

4. Supporting Projects of All-India or Inter-State Nature This scheme is in operation since 1979-80 for the dissemination of knowledge about tribal issues, and developmental schemes/works through study, seminars/workshops, and publication of tribal literature. Under the scheme financial support is extended to Non-Governmental Organisations/Institutions/Universities on 100% basis for following:

(i) Research and Evaluation studies,
(ii) Workshops/Seminars helpful in orienting developmental programmes for the Scheduled Tribes and disseminating knowledge and experience concerning tribal people and their areas, and
(iii) Publication of literature on tribal development.

For Research studies, assistance is provided to the Universities/Institutions/Non-Governmental Organisations to carry out research/evaluation studies. The research grant is ordinarily given up to a maximum of ₹ 2.50 lakh for each project to be completed in a period of 8-12 months.

Grants-in-aid for workshops/seminars are released to Institutions/Non-Governmental Organisations/Universities or a group of institutions for organizing workshops/seminars which help in disseminating research findings, identifying thrust areas, promoting arts, culture, and tradition of tribal groups, issues relating to tribal development.

5. Organisation of Tribal Festivals The scheme ‘Organisation of Tribal Festivals’ envisages increasing the participation of Scheduled Tribes in sports and culture at local, District, State and National levels by encouraging their inherent talent and ensuring participation at national and international events. Under the scheme cultural melas, festivals and sports meet are organised at the State and National level encouraging tribal artists/folk art performers and sports persons and preserving, promoting and disseminating tribal arts and traditional tribal sports.

The scheme addresses itself mainly to the well-identified and urgent need for creating awareness, promotion, and dissemination of tribal art and culture and traditional sporting events. The Scheme also supports/provides grants to the state governments for organizing tribal cultural festivals and traditional sports event, etc. in their own environment.

6. Exchange of Visits by Tribals Exchange of visits by the Scheduled Tribes (STs) is one of the ongoing schemes implemented by the Ministry with an endeavor to cultivate the spirit of oneness. It is specifically aimed at knowledge sharing and knowledge acquisition by both the host and the visiting tribal groups in order to emulate and draw lessons from best practices and lifestyles across states.

The objectives of the scheme of exchange of visits by tribals include inter-alia:

(i) Enhancing the exposure of the Scheduled Tribes, including students and teachers, resulting in a better appreciation of various development, welfare and educational programmes under implementation as well as cultural and social practices adopted across different States/Tribes.
(ii) Acquainting the Scheduled Tribes with the latest techniques of agriculture, animal husbandry, processing of Non-Timber Forest Produce (NTFP), small scale industries, etc.
(iii) Encouraging sports development and/or cultural programmes, thereby being catalytic in improving and harnessing their inherent talent.

Scs And Sts Atrocities Act, 1989

The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 (the PoA Act) came into force in the year 1990. This legislation aims at preventing the commission of offenses by persons other than Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes against Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

The Act extends to the whole of India except Jammu and Kashmir. The Act is implemented by the respective state governments and Union Territory Administrations, which are provided due central assistance under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme for effective implementation of the provisions of the Act.

Provisions of the Act

The provisions of the Act are mentioned below:

(i) Defines offences of atrocities and prescribes punishment, therefore.
(ii) Punishment for willful neglect of duties by non-SC/ST public servants.
(iii) Enhanced punishment for a subsequent conviction.
(iv) Forfeiture of property of certain persons.
(v) Designating for each District a Court of Session as a Special Court for speedy trial of offences under the Act.
(vi) Powers of Special Court to inter-alia, extern persons likely to commit an offence.
(vii) Penalty for non-compliance with the order of a Special Court.
(viii) Appointment of Public Prosecutors/Special Public Prosecutors for conducting cases in special courts.
(ix) Power of state government to impose a collective fine.
(x) Preventive action to be taken by the law and order machinery.
(xi) Measures to be taken by state governments for effective implementation of the Act, including:

(a) Economic and social rehabilitation of victims of the atrocities;
(b) Setting up of committees at appropriate levels;
(c) Identification of atrocity prone areas;
(d) Legal aid to the persons subjected to atrocities to enable them to avail themselves of justice;
(e) Appointment of officers for initiating or exercising supervision over prosecution for a contravention of the provisions of the Act; and
(f) Periodic survey of the working of the provisions of the Act.

Provisions of the Rules

The Comprehensive Rules under PoA Act, titled “Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Rules, 1995” were notified in 1995 which, inter-alia, provide norms for relief and rehabilitation. Certain amendments in the PoA Rules related to the minimum scale of relief for atrocity victims have been made. Accordingly, the previous rates (between 20,000 and 2,00,000) of relief to the victims of atrocity, their family members and dependents have been generally increased by 150% (between 50,000 to 5,00,000). The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) (Amendment) Rules, 2011, have been notified in 2011.

The provisions of the PoA Rules are as under:

(i) Precautionary and Preventive Measures to be taken by the State Governments regarding offences of atrocities.
(ii) Investigation of offenses under the Act to be done by not below the rank of a DSP level officer.
(iii) Investigation to be completed within 30 days and report forwarded to Director General of Police of the State.
(iv) Setting up of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes Protection Cell at State headquarters under the charge of Director General of Police/IG Police.
(v) Nomination of (a) a Nodal Officer at the state level (not below the rank of a Secretary to the state government), and (b) a Special Officer at the district level (not below the rank of an Additional District Magistrate) for districts with identified atrocity prone areas to co-ordinate the functioning of DMs, SPs and other concerned officers, at the State and District levels, respectively.
(vi) Provision of immediate relief in cash or kind to victims of atrocities as per prescribed norms.
(vii) State-level Vigilance and Monitoring Committee under the Chief Minister to meet at least twice a year.
(viii) District-Level Vigilance and Monitoring Committees under the District Magistrate to meet at least once every quarter.

Implementation of the Act

The structure and mechanisms for implementation of the PoA Act in various States/UTs is as under: –

(i) Special Courts In accordance with the Act, the state government, for the purpose of providing for a speedy trial, specifies for each district, a Court of Session to be Special Court to try the offenses under the Act. State governments and Union Territory Administrations of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu, Delhi, Lakshadweep and Puducherry have designated District Session Courts as Special Courts. For ensuring speedy trial of cases under the Act, 178 exclusive Special Courts, have also been set up by ten of the states.

(ii) Special Public Prosecutor The Act provides for the appointment of advocates as Public Prosecutors and Special Public Prosecutors for the purpose of conducting cases in special courts. Accordingly, the States/Union Territories, which have set up special courts, have appointed Public Prosecutors/Special Public Prosecutors.

(iii) Setting up of SC/ST Protection Cells at State Headquarters The PoA Rules requires the state government to set up an SC/ST Protection Cell, at the state headquarters, under the charge of a DGP, ADGP/IGP and assign to it the following responsibilities:

(a) conducting a survey of, maintaining public order and tranquility in, and recommending deployment of the special police force in identified areas;
(b) investigating causes of offenses under the Act, restoring a feeling of security among SC/ST;
(c) liaising with nodal and special officers about law and order situation in identified areas;
(d) monitoring the investigation of offenses and enquiring into willful negligence of public servants;
(e) reviewing the position of cases registered under the Act; and
(f) submitting a monthly report to the State Government/Nodal Officer about the action taken/proposed to be taken in respect of the above.

SC/ST Protection Cells have been set up in Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Daman & Diu and NCT of Delhi.

(iv) Special Police Stations Special Police Stations for registration of complaints of offenses against SCs and STs have also been set up by the Governments of Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Kerala, and Madhya Pradesh.

(v) Nodal Officers: The PoA Rules provides for the appointment of the nodal officers for coordinating the functioning of the District Magistrates and Superintendents of Police or other authorized officers.

(vi) State and District-Level Vigilance and Monitoring Committees The PoA Rules provide for setting up State Level Vigilance and Monitoring Committees under the Chairpersonship of the Chief Minister and District-level Vigilance and Monitoring Committees under the Chairpersonship of the District Magistrate to review the implementation of the provisions of the Act.

(vii) Identification of Atrocity Prone Areas and Undertaking of Consequential Steps

(a) As per the PoA Rules, the state governments have identified the atrocity prone/sensitive areas in their respective states.
(b) The PoA Rules provide for the appointment of a Special Officer not below the rank of an Additional District Magistrate in the identified area, to coordinate with the District Magistrate, Superintendent of Police or other officers responsible for implementing the provisions of the Act.

Review Committee

The Parliamentary Committee on the Welfare of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes in its fourth Report (2006-2007) had inter-alia recommended that the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Ministry of Home Affairs, National Commission for Scheduled Castes and National Commission for Scheduled Tribes should meet regularly to devise ways and means to curb atrocities and ensure effective administration of the Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955 and the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

In pursuance of this recommendation, a Committee for effective coordination to devise ways and means to curb offenses of untouchability and atrocities against Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and effective implementation of the two Acts was set up under the Chairpersonship of Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment in March 2006. Apart from other official members, the Committee has three non-official representatives from amongst Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, as Members. The Committee has so far held twenty meetings wherein 24 States and 4 Union Territories have been reviewed.

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Rights Of Children

updated on May 1st, 2019

Rights Of Children

Constitutional Rights

The constitutional rights and safeguards provided to children are mentioned below.

  1. The state is empowered to make any special provision for children. In other words, this provision enables the state to make affirmative discrimination in favour of children (Article 15(3)).
  2. The state shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of six to fourteen years (Article 21-A).
  3. Traffic in human beings and forced labor are prohibited (Article 23(1)).
  4. No child below the age of fourteen years shall be employed in any factory, mine or any other hazardous occupation (Article 24).
  5. The state is required to ensure that children of tender age are not abused and that they are not forced by economic necessity to enter vocations unsuited to their age (Article 39(e)).
  6. The state is required to ensure that children are given opportunities and facilities to develop in a healthy manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity and that childhood and youth are protected against exploitation and moral as well as material abandonment (Article 39(f)).
  7. The state shall endeavour to provide early childhood care and education for all children until they complete the age of six years (Article 45).
  8. It shall be the duty of every parent or guardian to provide opportunities for education to his child or ward between the age of six and fourteen years (Article 51-A(k)).

Legal Rights

The various legislations which contain several rights and safeguards for children are as follows:

  1. Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act (2009) provides for every child of the age of six to fourteen years, the right to free and compulsory education in a neighbourhood school till the completion of elementary education.
  2. Prohibition of Child Marriage Act (2006) was enacted repealing the Child Marriage Restraint Act (1929) in order to prohibit child marriages rather than only restraining them. It makes child marriages voidable by giving choice to the children in the marriage to seek annulment.
  3. Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act (2000) aims at providing a juvenile justice system for juveniles in conflict with law as well as children in need of care and protection. It adopts a child-friendly approach in the adjudication and disposition of matters in the best interest of children and for their ultimate rehabilitation.
  4. Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act (1986) prohibits employment of children below 14 years in notified hazardous occupations and processes. It also regulates the working conditions of children in other employments. Further, it obtains uniformity in the definition of “child” in the related laws. It has repealed the Employment of Children Act (1938).
  5. Infant Milk Substitutes, Feeding Bottles and Infant Foods (Regulation of Production, Supply and Distribution) Act (1992) provides for the regulation of production, supply and distribution of infant milk substitutes, feeding bottles and infant foods with a view to the protection and promotion of breastfeeding and ensuring the proper use of infant foods.
  6. Guardians and Wards Act (1890) provides that the court must take into consideration the welfare of the child while appointing a guardian.
  7. Young Persons (Harmful Publications) Act (1956) prevents the dissemination of certain publications harmful to young persons. Harmful publication is that which tend to corrupt a young person to commit offences or acts of violence or cruelty.
  8. Children (Pledging of Labour) Act (1933) prohibits the parent or guardian from pledging the services of a child in return for any payment or benefit.
  9. Children Act (1960) provides for the care, protection, maintenance, welfare, training, education and rehabilitation of neglected or delinquent children and for the trial of delinquent children in the Union Territories.
  10. Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act (1956) codified the law relating to minority and guardianship among the Hindus. It says that the welfare of the minor shall be the paramount consideration for a court in the appointment of any person as guardian of a Hindu minor.
  11. Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act (1956) is the premier legislation for prevention of trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation. In other words, it prevents trafficking in women and girls for the purpose of prostitution as an organised means of living.
  12. Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act (1994) prohibits sex selection before or after conception and prevents the misuse of pre-natal diagnostic techniques for sex determination leading to female foeticide.
  13. Legal Services Authorities Act (1987) provides for free legal services to children.
  14. The following legislations prohibit the employment of children in the related occupations and processes:
    (i) Factories Act (1948)
    (ii) Plantation Labour Act (1951)
    (iii) Merchant Shipping Act (1951)
    (iv) Mines Act (1952)
    (v) Motor Transport Workers Act (1961)
    (vi) Apprentices Act (1961)
    (vii) Beedi and Cigar Workers (Conditions of Employment) Act (1966)
  15. The following other legislation also contains certain rights and safeguards for children:
    (i) Code of Criminal Procedure (1973)
    (ii) Indian Penal Code (1860)
    (iii) Indian Divorce Act (1869)
    (iv) Family Courts Act (1984)
    (v) Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act (1956)
    (vi) Hindu Marriage Act (1955)
    (vii) Indian Succession Act (1925)
    (viii) Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act (1986)
    (ix) Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act (1936)
    (x) Probation of Offenders Act (1958)
    (xi) Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (2005)
    (xii) Special Marriage Act (1954)
    (xiii) Employees’ State Insurance Act (1948)
    (xiv) Orphanages and other Charitable Homes (Supervision and Control) Act (1960)
    (xv) Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act (1976)
    (xvi) Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act (1995)
  16. Commissions for Protection of Child Rights Act (2005) provides for the establishment of a National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, State Commissions for Protection of Child Rights and Children’s Courts for the purpose of providing speedy trial of cases of violation of child rights.
  17. Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act (2012) provides protection to children from the offences of sexual assault, sexual harassment and pornography. It also provides for the establishment of special courts for trial of such offences.

NATIONAL POLICY FOR CHILDREN

The first National Policy for Children was adopted in 1974. This policy was revised and replaced by a new policy in 2013.

The new National Policy for Children (2013) reaffirms the government’s commitment to the realization of the rights of all children in the country. It recognizes every person below the age of eighteen years as a child and that childhood is an integral part of life with a value of its own, and a long term, sustainable, multi-sectoral, integrated and inclusive approach is necessary for the harmonious development and protection of children.

The policy lays down twelve guiding principles that must be respected by national, state and local governments in their actions and initiatives affecting children. They are:

  1. Every child has universal, inalienable and indivisible human rights.
  2. The rights of children are interrelated and interdependent.
  3. Every child has the right to life, survival, development, education, protection and participation.
  4. Right to life, survival and development goes beyond the physical existence of the child and also encompasses the right to identity and nationality.
  5. The mental, emotional, cognitive, social and the cultural development of the child are to be addressed in totality.
  6. All children have equal rights and no child shall be discriminated.
  7. The best interest of the child is of primary concern in all decisions and actions affecting the child.
  8. The family environment is most conducive for the all-round development of children.
  9. Every child has the right to a dignified life, free from exploitation.
  10. Children are to be protected from all forms of harm, abuse, neglect, violence, maltreatment and exploitation in all settings.
  11. Children must be provided the opportunity to express their views in matters affecting them.
  12. Children’s views are to be given due consideration in accordance with their age, maturity and evolving capacities.

The policy has identified survival, health, nutrition, education, development, protection and participation as the undeniable rights of every child, and has also declared these as key priority areas.

As children’s needs are multi-sectoral, interconnected and require collective action, the policy aims at purposeful convergence and strong coordination across different sectors and levels of governance; active engagement and partnerships with all stakeholders; setting up of a comprehensive and reliable knowledge base; provision of adequate resources; and sensitisation and capacity development of all those who work for and with children.

The policy provides for the formulation of a National Plan of Action for Children and the constitution of a National Coordination and Action Group for Children to monitor the progress of implementation.

NATIONAL POLICY ON CHILD LABOUR

A National Policy on Child Labour was formulated in 1987. It contains the action plan for tackling the problem of child labour. It envisages:

  1. A legislative action plan for strict enforcement of Child Labour Act and other labour laws
  2. Focusing and convergence of general development programmes for benefiting working children wherever possible
  3. Project-based plan of action for launching of projects for the welfare of working children in areas of high concentration of child labour

In pursuance of the above policy, the National Child Labour Project (NCLP) Scheme was started in 1988 to rehabilitate the working children. The Scheme seeks to adopt a sequential approach with a focus on rehabilitation of children working in hazardous occupations and processes in the first instance. Under the Scheme, after a survey of child labour engaged in hazardous occupations and processes has been conducted, children are to be withdrawn from these occupations and processes and then put into special schools in order to enable them to be mainstreamed into formal schooling system.

Welfare Of Children

The Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) and the Central Social Welfare Board (CSWB) are implementing various schemes and programmes for the welfare and development of children. These are explained below:

1. Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme

The Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) of the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme was launched in 1975. It is one of the flagship programmes of the Government of India and represents one of the world’s largest and unique programmes for early childhood care and development. It is the foremost symbol of country’s commitment to its children and nursing mothers, as a response to the challenge of providing pre-school non-formal education on one hand and breaking the vicious cycle of malnutrition, morbidity, reduced learning capacity and mortality on the other. The beneficiaries under the scheme are children in the age group of 0-6 years, pregnant women and lactating mothers.

Objectives The objectives of the scheme are as follows:

(i) to improve the nutritional and health status of children in the age-group 0-6 years;
(ii) to lay the foundation for proper psychological, physical and social development of the child;
(iii) to reduce the incidence of mortality, morbidity, malnutrition and school dropout;
(iv) to achieve effective coordination of policy and implementation amongst the various departments to promote child development; and
(v) to enhance the capability of the mother to look after the normal health and nutritional needs of the child through proper nutrition and health education.

Package of Services The ICDS Scheme offers a package of six services, viz.,

(i) supplementary nutrition
(ii) pre-school non-formal education
(iii) nutrition & health education
(iv) immunization
(v) health check-up
(vi) referral services

The last three services are related to health and are provided by the Ministry/Department of Health and Family Welfare through NRHM & Health System.

The perception of providing a package of services is based primarily on the consideration that the overall impact will be much larger if the different services develop in an integrated manner as the efficacy of a particular service depends upon the support it receives from the related services.

For better governance in the delivery of the scheme, convergence is, therefore, one of the keys features of the ICDS scheme. This convergence is in-built in the scheme which provides a platform in the form of Anganwadi Centres for providing all services under the Scheme.

Restructuring of ICDS In order to address various programmatic, management and institutional gaps and to meet administrative and operational challenges, the Government has approved the Strengthening and Restructuring of ICDS Scheme with an allocation of 1,23,580 crore during the Twelfth Five Year Plan. The administrative approval in this regard has been issued to the States/UTs in October 2012. The key features of Strengthened and Restructured ICDS, inter-alia, include addressing the gaps and challenges with:

A. Programmatic Reforms

(i) Repositioning the AWC as a “vibrant Early Child Development (ECD) center” to become the first village outpost for health, nutrition and early learning – a minimum of six hours of working, etc.
(ii) Construction of AWC Building and revision of rent including up-gradation, maintenance, improvement, and repair.
(iii) Strengthening Package of Services-strengthening Early Childhood Care & Education (ECCE), focus on under-3s, Care and Nutrition Counselling service for mothers of under-3s and management of severe and moderate underweight.
(iv) Improving the Supplementary Nutrition Programme with revision of cost norms.
(v) Management of severe and moderate underweight–identification and management of severe and moderate underweight through community-based interventions, Sneha Shivirs, etc.
(vi) Strengthening training and capacity as well as technical human resource, etc.

B. Management Reforms

(i) Decentralised planning, management and flexible architecture introduction of Annual Programme of Implementation Plan (APIP) and flexibility to States for innovations.
(ii) Ensuring convergence at all the levels including the grassroots level.
(iii) Strengthening governance—including PRIs, civil society & institutional partnerships with the proposed norm of up to 10% projects to be implemented in collaboration with such agencies.
(iv) Strengthening of ICDS Management Information System (MIS).
(v) Using Information, Communication Technology (ICT)—web-enabled MIS and use of mobile telephone and others.
(vi) Deploying adequate human and financial resources with revision of some of the existing norms in components, training, etc. introducing new items, — a pool of untied/flex kind (for promoting voluntary action, local innovations, Anganwadi-cum-creche, and worker and link worker, provision for children in special needs, etc).

C. Institutional Reforms

(i) ICDS in Mission Mode with missions at National, State and District levels.
(ii) Introducing APIPs and MoUs with States/UTs.
(iii) Technical and management support for ICDS at various levels hitherto not available.
(iv) Delivery of quality services with measured inputs, processes, outputs, and outcomes.
(v) Mission to report to the PM’s Council at national and to the CMs at the State level on Nutrition, child development including early learning, etc. State Child Development Society will be set up at the State level with powers to set up its District Units and fund transfer of the ICDS Mission will be channeled through the Consolidated Fund of the State. However, in the event the State fails to transfer the funds within 15 days, it will be liable to pay interest on the amount on the pattern of releases for the Finance Commission funds.
(vi) Nutrition Counsellor cum Additional Worker in 200 high-burden districts and link workers in other districts will be on demand by State Government approved through Annual Programme Implementation Plans (APIPs) by Empowered Programme Committee (EPC). Incentives proposed for link workers including Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) workers under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) will be linked to outcomes.
(vii) For those States not covered in the implementation plan during the initial two years, two technical persons would be provided, until the State Mission Directorates are set up and functional.
(viii) District Mission Unit would be set up as per the phasing plan of the ICDS Mission. Besides, District ICDS Cells to continue to operate as per existing norms and District Cells to be set up in those districts where the Cell is not there.
(ix) Constitution of a Mission Steering Group (NMSG) and Empowered Programme Committee (EPC) at national and state levels for effective planning, implementation, monitoring and supervision of ICDS Mission.
(x) Creation of a separate ICDS Mission Budget head to allow flexibility and integration within the child development and nutrition sectors and for convergent action with wider determinants of maternal and child under-nutrition.
(xi) The ICDS Mission targets would be to attain three main outcomes namely; (a) Prevent and reduce young child under-nutrition (underweight children 0-3 years) by 10 percentage point; (b) Enhance early development and learning outcomes in all children 0-6 years of age; and (c) Improve care and nutrition of girls and women and reduce anaemia prevalence in young children, girls and women by one-fifth. Annual Health Survey (AHS) and District Level Household Survey (DLHS) to be used as a baseline for measuring the outcomes of ICDS mission.
(xii) To strengthen training and capacity building with the Broad Framework as part of the EFC.
(xiii) To revise the rent for AWC building up to 750, 3000 and 5000 per month per unit for Rural/Tribal, Urban and Metropolitan cities respectively, revised norms for pre-school education (PSE) kits for 3000 per AWC p.a and 1500 per mini-AWC p. a; revised cost norms for two uniforms @ 325 each per annum per worker subject to overall budgetary allocations and piloting of crèche services in 5% of the AWCs.

Wheat Based Nutrition Programme (WBNP)

Under the Wheat Based Nutrition Programme (WBNP), food grains viz., wheat, rice, and other coarse grains are allocated at BPL rates to the states/UTs through the Department of Food & Public Distribution (DoFPD), for preparation of supplementary food in ICDS.

The Ministry is responsible for processing and approval of the proposals from the States/UTs for allocation of food grains in coordination with the DoFPD.

Anganwadi Karyakartri Bima Yojana (AKBY)

The ICDS Scheme envisages Anganwadi Workers (AWWs) and Anganwadi Helpers (AWHs) as honorary workers who are paid a monthly honorarium. AKBY under the LIC’s Social Security Scheme is one of the welfare measures extended to the grassroots functionaries of the ICDS Scheme.

The Government of India has introduced the Anganwadi Karyakatri Bima Yojana in the year 2004.

The premium under the scheme is ₹ 280 per annum per member out of which ₹ 100 is paid by LIC from Social Security Fund, ₹ 100 by the Government of India and ₹ 80 by the Anganwadi Worker/Helper (insured member).

ICDS Systems Strengthening and Nutrition Improvement Project In the year 2013, the Ministry of Women and Child Development launched a specific project called “ICDS Systems Strengthening and Nutrition Improvement Project (ISSNIP)” (formerly called ICDS-IV Project). The project is assisted by the International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank.

The ISSNIP has been designed to supplement and provide value addition on the existing ICDS the programme, through a process of systems strengthening at different levels of programme implementation. It also facilitates the select states/districts to experiment, innovate and conduct pilots of potentially more effective approaches to achieve the early childhood education and nutrition outcomes and offer evidence for scale-up. The additional financial and technical support through the project is catalytic and is an important dimension of MWCD’s overall efforts to strengthen and restructure the ICDS programme. The project, inter-alia, supports building capacities of district and block level ICDS functionaries for development of District ICDS Action Plans and result-oriented monitoring and evaluation system. The project has four major components, viz.,

(a) Institutional and systems strengthening in ICDS;
(b) Community mobilization and behavior change communication;
(c) Piloting multi-sectoral nutrition actions; and
(d) Project Management, Technical Assistance, and Monitoring & Evaluation.

The project is implemented in identified 162 districts having a higher proportion of child undernutrition across eight States, viz. Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Andhra Pradesh. Besides, urban pilots are undertaken in and around NCR of Delhi and convergent nutrition action pilots in some selected districts in two non-project States, viz., Odisha and Uttarakhand.

2. Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS)

The Ministry of Women & Child Development introduced, in 2009-10, a comprehensive scheme, namely, the Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) under which financial and technical support is provided to the State Governments/UT Administrations. ICPS brings several existing child protection programmes, under one umbrella, with improved norms. These include: (i) A Programme for Juvenile Justice; (ii) An Integrated Programme for Street Children; and (iii) Scheme for Assistance to Homes [Shishu Greh] to promote In-country Adoption. A number of new initiatives have also been incorporated, such as dedicated service delivery structures at State and district levels, child tracking system, sponsorship, foster care, etc.

Objectives The objectives of the Scheme are to contribute to improvement in the well being of children in difficult circumstances, as well as to the reduction of vulnerabilities to situations and actions that lead to abuse, neglect, exploitation, abandonment, and separation of children from their families. These will be achieved by (i) improved access to and quality of child protection services; (ii) increased public awareness about the reality of child rights, situation and protection in India; (iii) clearly articulated responsibilities and enforced accountability of these responsibilities for child protection; (iv) established and functioning structures at all government levels for delivery of statutory and support services to children in difficult circumstances; (v) evidence-based monitoring and evaluation system.

Target Group ICPS focuses its activities on –

(i) Children in Need of Care and Protection as listed in the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act, 2000.
(ii) Children in conflict with the law; who are alleged to have or have committed an offense.
(iii) Children in contact with law; who have come into contact with the law as a victim, witness or under any other circumstance.
(iv) Any other vulnerable child (including but not limited to) – children of migrant families, children living on the streets, child beggars, exploited/trafficked/drug affected children, children of prisoners, children of women in prostitution and children affected/infected with HIV/AIDS.

Major Components The services that are strengthened/introduced and provided finances for ICPS are:

(a) Institutional Services: Shelter Homes; Children’s Homes; Observation Homes; Special Homes; and Specialised services for children with special needs.
(b) Service-delivery structures for the above services at Central, State and District levels.
(c) Emergency outreach services for children in difficult circumstances through childline.
(d) Open shelters for children in need in urban and semi-urban areas.
(e) Family-based-non-institutional care through: Sponsorship; Foster Care; Adoption; and After- Care Programme.
(f) Child Tracking System including a website for missing children.
(g) Advocacy, public education, and communication.
(h) Training and capacity building.
(i) General grants-in-aid for need-based/innovative interventions.

Childline Services Childline is a 24-hour toll-free emergency outreach telephone service (1098) for children in distress, being run by the Ministry through a mother NGO – Childline India Foundation (CIF). Any child requiring assistance, or adults on their behalf, can call the service for help. Childline personnel reach out to the child and provide necessary assistance through linkages with hospitals, Child Welfare Committees, Shelter Homes, police, etc. This service was started in 1996.

3. Scheme for Welfare of Working Children in Need of Care and Protection

Objective The objective of the scheme is to provide opportunities for non-formal education and vocational training to working children to facilitate their entry/re-entry into mainstream education in cases where they have either not attended any learning system or where, for some reasons, their education has been discontinued. The scheme lends support to projects only in urban areas and does not support projects in areas covered by the existing schemes of the Ministry of Labour & Employment. This scheme is being implemented since 2005.

Target Group This scheme provides support for the holistic development of child workers and potential child workers, especially those with none or ineffective family support such as children of slum/pavement dwellers/drug addicts, children living on railway platforms/along railway lines, children working in shops, dhabas, mechanic shops, children engaged as domestic workers, children whose parents are in jail, children of migrant/sex workers, leprosy patients, etc.

Components The programme components are:

(a) Facilitating introduction and/or return to the mainstream education system as children at study are not children at work.
(b) Counseling of parents, heads of families, relatives of the children so as to prevent their exploitation, and
(c) Vocational training wherever necessary.

The Scheme is operated through the voluntary sector and Non-Governmental Organisations are eligible for financial assistance to set up composite centers under this scheme. The Ministry provides 90 percent financial assistance and the concerned organization is required to bear 10 percent of the expenditure on the project as per the norms of the scheme.

4. Rajiv Gandhi National Creche Scheme for the Children of Working Mothers

Rajiv Gandhi National Creche Scheme for the Children of Working Mothers provides Day Care facilities to children in the age group 0-6 years from families with a monthly income of less than In addition to being a safe space for the children, the crèches provide services such as supplementary nutrition, pre-school education, and emergency health care, etc.

The scheme envisages implementation through the Central Social Welfare Board (CSWB), Indian Council for Child Welfare (ICCW) and Bhartiya Adim Jati Sevak Sangh (BAJSS).

The scheme provides a grant of 3532 per month for a crèche, limited to 90% of the schematic pattern or actual expenditure, whichever is less; and the remaining expenditure is borne by the implementing agencies. Honorarium to creche workers is fully funded under the scheme.

The scheme has an in-built component of monitoring of creche. State-wise independent monitoring agencies have been identified which include schools of Social Work, Women’s Studies Centres, and other reputed agencies. Grant for monitoring of creches is given @ ₹700 per crèche visited and inspected and a lump sum one-time grant of ₹ 10000 to each monitoring agency. Every crèche is required to be inspected at least once in a period of two years.

5. Dhanlakshmi (Conditional Cash Transfer for Girl Child)

A pilot Scheme Dhanlakshmi was launched in 2008 with the objective of:

(i) Providing a set of staggered financial incentives for families to encourage them to retain the girl child and educate her.
(ii) Changing the attitudinal mindset of the family towards the girl, by looking upon the girl as an asset rather than a liability, since her very existence has led to cash inflow to the family.
(iii) Cash transfers are made under the Scheme to the family of the girl child (preferably the mother) on fulfilling the following conditions:

(a) Birth registration of the girl child
(b) Progress of immunization
(c) Full immunization
(d) Enrolment in school and retention in school

“Dhanlakshmi” is being implemented in 11 blocks across seven states on a pilot basis and is being implemented by the state governments through the District Authorities.

6. Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Boys (Saksham)

In March 2014, the Ministry of Women & Child Development has launched a new scheme called Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Boys (RGSEAB) (Saksham) on a pilot basis. The Saksham is operational in 20 districts from seven States/UTs, viz., Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Sikkim. These districts have been selected from seven states/UTs on the basis of a composite index based on indicators relevant to the condition of adolescent boys across the country.

The Scheme aims at all-round development of Adolescent Boys (Abs) to make them self-reliant, gender-sensitive and aware citizens when they grow up. The scheme covers all adolescent boys (both schools going and out of school) in the age-group of 11 to 18 years.

The Scheme is implemented using the platform of Integrated Child Services Scheme. Anganwadi centers are the focal point for the delivery of services. However, where infrastructure and other facilities are inadequate in AWC, alternative arrangements have been made in schools/Panchayats or community buildings, etc.

The Saksham is a centrally sponsored scheme, implemented by the State Government for which the Government of India and States/UTs shares the cost in ratio of 75:25, except in case of North Eastern State (Sikkim), where the share of Centre and State/UT is in the ratio of 90:10 of the financial norms.
The key objective of the scheme is to facilitate, educate and empower ABs so as to enable them to become self-reliant, gender-sensitive and aware citizens. The scheme has the following objectives:-

(i) To make the Adolescent Boys gender sensitive.
(ii) To create sensitized Ahimsa Messengers to address Violence against Women.
(iii) To enable ABs for self-development and empowerment.
(iv) To address the health needs, i.e., the physical, mental and emotional health of ABs.
(v) To promote awareness about health, hygiene, nutrition and Adolescent Reproductive & Sexual Health (ARSH) and family and child care.
(vi) To provide appropriate information and vocational skills for ABs above 16 years through National Skill Development Program (NSDP) for future work-participation.
(vii) To provide necessary life skill education and to provide information/guidance about existing public services.
(viii) To channelize the energies of ABs for Nation building.

The 17 selected districts are those where Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent

Girls (RGSEAG) (Sabla) is operational. This provides an opportunity for healthy interaction between Adolescent Boys and Girls.

7. Scheme of Grants-in-aid for Research, Publication, and Monitoring

The Ministry of Women and Child Development has been implementing the scheme of Grants-in-Aid for Research, Publication, and Monitoring since 1986-87 with the objectives to promote:

(i) Research studies on emerging issues in the field of women and child development,
(ii) Workshops/seminars which help in promoting awareness, discuss the problems and strategies to resolve the problems of women and children, and
(iii) Publications on women and child related topics for wider dissemination of results.

Priority is given to research projects of an applied nature keeping in view the policy requirements of the Ministry, social problems requiring urgent public interventions and evaluation of the ongoing programmes. The Ministry revised upwards the financial norms for the scheme from 2011.

General Grants-in-aid Scheme for Innovative Work on Women and Children

Under this scheme, project proposals of following nature related to women and children, are approved for execution by voluntary organizations/institutions, universities and research institutes, including that setup and funded by Central Government/State Governments/Public Sector Undertakings/Local authorities/Corporations/Institutions:

(i) Projects to tackle problem areas which are relatively un-serviced but where the need is urgent;
(ii) Projects, which fill in essential gaps in existing services and complement them so as to maximize the impact;
(iii) Projects, which provide integrated services, where all the components need not be financially supported by one source;
(iv) Projects which build the capacity of the individual to be self-reliant rather than dependent;
(v) Projects located in backward, rural and tribal areas and urban slums which are poorly serviced by existing services;
(vi) Projects which are community-based and render non-institutional services. In certain cases where the nature of the problem so demands institutional programmes are also supported;
(vii) Projects to mobilize public opinion and support to tackle the pressing social problems;
(viii) Projects to tackle problems which require coverage of more than one state;
(ix) Projects not covered by any of the existing schemes of the Ministry of Women and Child Development including the Central Social Welfare Board.

9. Bal Bandhu Scheme

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) is implementing the Bal Bandhu Scheme for Protection of Children in Areas of Civil Unrest on Pilot basis in nine districts of five States namely: Kokrajhar, Chirang district of Assam, Khammam district of Andhra Pradesh, Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra, Jamui, Rohtash, East Champaran and Sheohar districts of Bihar and Sukma district of Chhattisgarh.

The objectives of the scheme are:

(i) to bring stability in the lives of children in the process of ensuring that all their entitlements to protection, health, nutrition, sanitation, education, and safety are fulfilled through Government action;
(ii) to enhance democracy through community participation and action and renew hope in harmonizing the society; and
(iii) to stabilize their lives while a child’s well-being becomes the focus of all activities in the area.

Central Adoption Resource Authority

The Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) was set up in 1990 to promote domestic adoption and regulate inter-country adoption in the country. It was registered in 1999 as an autonomous body under the Registration of Societies Act, 1860.

The functions of CARA are:

1. To act as the Central Authority with regard to adoption matters as envisaged under the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in respect of Inter-country Adoption, 1993.
2. To coordinate with the State Governments for promoting in-country adoptions and all other related adoption matters including regulation and monitoring of Recognised Indian Placement Agencies (RIPAs) and Adoption Coordinating Agencies (ACAs).
3. To recognize/renew the Indian Placement Agencies as accredited bodies for processing intercountry adoption cases and to regulate, inspect and monitor their functioning.
4. To enlist/renew enlistment of foreign adoption agencies as authorized bodies to sponsor applications for inter-country Adoption of Indian children.
5. To act as a clearinghouse of information in regard to abandoned/relinquished/orphaned children available for both inter-country and in-country adoption.

National Institute Of Public Cooperation And Child Development

The National Institute of Public Cooperation and Child Development (NIPCCD) is an autonomous organization under the aegis of the Ministry of Women and Child Development. It is a premier organization devoted to the promotion of voluntary action and research, training and documentation in the overall domain of women and child development.

The objectives of the Institute are as follows:

1. To develop and promote voluntary action in social development
2. To take a comprehensive view of women and child development
3. To develop and promote programmes in pursuance of the National Policy for Children
4. To develop measures for coordination of governmental and voluntary action in social development
5. To evolve a framework and perspective for organizing children’s programmes through governmental and voluntary efforts.

The Institute is the apex body for training of functionaries of the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Programme. It provides technical advice and consultancy to the government and voluntary agencies in promoting and implementing policies and programmes for women and child development and voluntary action. In addition, it collaborates with regional and international agencies, research institutions, universities, and technical bodies.

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Posted in General Studies 2, Polity

Rights of Women

updated on May 10th, 2019

Rights of Women

The rights available to woman can be classified into two categories, namely, constitutional rights and legal rights. The constitutional rights are those which are provided in the various provisions of the constitution. The legal rights, on the other hand, are those which are provided in the various laws (acts) of the Parliament and the State Legislatures.

Constitutional Rights

The rights and safeguards enshrined in the constitution for women are as follows:

  1. The state shall not discriminate against any citizen on the ground of sex (Article 15(1))
  2. The state is empowered to make any special provision for women. In other words, this provision enables the state to make affirmative discrimination in favor of women (Article 15(3))
  3. No citizen shall be discriminated against or be ineligible for any employment or office under the state on the ground of sex (Article 16(2))
  4. Traffic in human beings and forced labor are prohibited (Article 23(1))
  5. The state to secure for men and women equally the right to an adequate means of livelihood (Article 39(a))
  6. The state to secure equal pay for equal work for both men and women (Article 39(d))
  7. The state is required to ensure that the health and strength of women workers are not abused and that they are not forced by economic necessity to enter avocations unsuited to their strength (Article 39(e))
  8. The state shall make provision for securing just and humane conditions of work and maternity relief (Article 42)
  9. It shall be the duty of every citizen of India to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women (Article 51-A(e))
  10. One-third of the total number of seats to be filled by direct election in every Panchayat shall be reserved for women (Article 243-D(3)).
  11. One-third of the total number of offices of Chairpersons in the Panchayats at each level shall be reserved for women (Article 243-D(4)).
  12. One-third of the total number of seats to be filled by direct election in every Municipality shall be reserved for women (Article 243-T(3)).
  13. The offices of Chairpersons in the Municipalities shall be reserved for women in such manner as the State Legislature may provide (Article 243-T(4)).

Legal Rights

The following various legislations contain several rights and safeguards for women:

  1. Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (2005) is comprehensive legislation to protect women from all forms of domestic violence. It also covers women who have been/are in a relationship with the abuser and are subjected to violence of any kind—physical, sexual, mental, verbal or emotional.
  2. Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act (1956) is the premier legislation for prevention of trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation. In other words, it prevents trafficking in women and girls for the purpose of prostitution as an organized means of living.
  3. Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act (1986) prohibits indecent representation of women through advertisements or in publications, writings, paintings, figures or in any other manner.
  4. Commission of Sati (Prevention) Act (1987) provides for the more effective prevention of the commission of sati and its glorification.
  5. Dowry Prohibition Act (1961) prohibits the giving or taking of dowry at or before or any time after the marriage.
  6. Maternity Benefit Act (1961) regulates the employment of women in certain establishments for certain period before and after childbirth and provides for maternity benefit and certain other benefits.
  7. Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act (1971) provides for the termination of certain pregnancies by registered medical practitioners on humanitarian and medical grounds.
  8. Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act (1994) prohibits sex selection before or after conception and prevents the misuse of pre-natal diagnostic techniques for sex determination leading to female foeticide.
  9. Equal Remuneration Act (1976) provides for payment of equal remuneration to both men and women workers for the same work or work of a similar nature. It also prevents discrimination on the ground of sex, against women in recruitment and service conditions.
  10. Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act (1939) grants a Muslim wife the right to seek the dissolution of her marriage.
  11. Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act (1986) protects the rights of Muslim women who have been divorced by, or have obtained divorce from, their husbands.
  12. Family Courts Act (1984) provides for the establishment of Family Courts for speedy settlement of family disputes.
  13. Indian Penal Code (1860) contains provisions to protect women from dowry death, rape, kidnapping, cruelty and other offenses.
  14. Code of Criminal Procedure (1973) has certain safeguards for women like the obligation of a person to maintain his wife, arrest of the woman by female police and so on.
  15. Indian Christian Marriage Act (1872) contains provisions relating to marriage and divorce among the Christian community.
  16. Legal Services Authorities Act (1987) provides for free legal services to women.
  17. Hindu Marriage Act (1955) introduced monogamy and allowed divorce on certain specified grounds. It provided equal rights to man and woman in respect to marriage and divorce.
  18. Hindu Succession Act (1956) recognizes the right of women to inherit parental property equally with men.
  19. Minimum Wages Act (1948) does not allow discrimination between male and female workers or different minimum wages for them.
  20. Mines Act (1952) and Factories Act (1948) prohibits the employment of women between 7 P.M. and 6 A.M. in mines and factories and provides for their safety and welfare.
  21. The following other legislation also contains certain rights and safeguards for women:
    (i) Employees’ State Insurance Act (1948)
    (ii) Plantation Labour Act (1951)
    (iii) Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act (1976)
    (iv) Legal Practitioners (Women) Act (1923)
    (v) Indian Succession Act (1925)
    (vi) Indian Divorce Act (1869)
    (vii) Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act (1936)
    (viii) Special Marriage Act (1954)
    (ix) Foreign Marriage Act (1969)
    (x) Indian Evidence Act (1872)
    (xi) Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act (1956)
  22. National Commission for Women Act (1990) provided for the establishment of a National Commission for Women to study and monitor all matters relating to the constitutional and legal rights and safeguards of women.
  23. Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal). Act (2013) provides protection to women from sexual harassment at all workplaces both in public and private sector, whether organized or unorganized.

NATIONAL POLICY FOR EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN

A National Policy for the Empowerment of Women was adopted in 2001. The goal of the policy is to bring about the advancement, development, and empowerment of women. Specifically, the objectives of the policy include:

  1. Creating an environment through positive economic and social policies for the full development of women to enable them to realise their full potential
  2. The de-jure and de-facto enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by women on an equal basis with men in all spheres-political, economic, social, cultural and civil
  3. Equal access to participation and decision-making of women in the social, political and economic life of the nation
  4. Equal access to women to health care, quality education at all levels, career and vocational guidance, employment, equal remuneration, occupational health and safety, social security and public office etc
  5. Strengthening legal systems aimed at elimination of all forms of discrimination against women
  6. Changing societal attitudes and community practices by active participation and involvement of both men and women
  7. Mainstreaming a gender perspective in the development process
  8. Elimination of discrimination and all forms of violence against woman and the girl child
  9. Building and strengthening partnerships with civil society, particularly with women’s
  10. organisations

Sabarimala Temple Case

  • There is a temple in South India , Kerela with the name , Sabarimala
  • women who are mesuraiting are considered impure there , hence not allowed to enter the temple .
  • someone went to Supreme Court , the court said open the gates of the temple for the women and girls .
  • State government , imposes the judgement on temple .
  • Left parties happy that archaic rituals are done away with
  • BJP and orthodox people feel the women should not visit temple .
  • Conclusion we live in a male dominated society , even Supreme court fails in securing rights of women.

Welfare Of Women

The Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) and the Central Social Welfare Board (CSWB) are implementing various schemes and programmes for the welfare and development of women. These are explained as follows:

Please see : You need not to remember all the schemes below , but you should have basic idea how these schemes work , They are generally written in answers favouring an argument

1. Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls (Sabla)

A comprehensive scheme for the holistic development of adolescent girls called ‘Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls’ (Sabla) was introduced in the year 2010. Sabla is being implemented in 205 selected districts across the country, using the ICDS platform. In these districts, Sabla has replaced the Nutrition Programme for Adolescent Girls (NPAG) and Kishori Shakti Yojana (KSY). In the nation-Sabla districts, KSY continues as before.

Sabla is being implemented through the State Governments/UTs with 100 percent financial assistance from the Central Government for all inputs other than nutrition provision for which 50% Central assistance is provided to states. Anganwadi Centre is the focal point for the delivery of the services. Sabla aims at an all-round development of adolescent girls (AGs) of 11–18 years by making them self reliant by facilitating access to learning, health, and nutrition through various interventions such as health, education, vocational training, etc.

The scheme has two major components, i.e., Nutrition and Non-Nutrition. Nutrition component containing 600 calories, 18-20 grams of protein and micronutrients per beneficiary per day for 300 days in a year is being given in the form of taking Home Ration or Hot Cooked Meal to 11–14 years out of school girls and all girls of 14–18 years age (out-of-school and in school girls). In the Non-Nutrition Component, the Out-of-school Adolescent Girls 11–18 years are being provided IFA supplementation, Health check-up and Referral services, Nutrition & Health Education, Counseling/Guidance on family welfare, Adolescent Reproductive Sexual Health (ARSH), childcare practices and Life Skill Education and accessing public services. 16–18-year-old AGs are also given vocational training.

2. Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana (IGMSY)

The IGMSY is a Conditional Cash Transfer Scheme for pregnant and lactating women. It was introduced in the year 2010 to contribute to a better enabling environment by providing cash incentives for improved health and nutrition to pregnant and nursing mothers.

The Scheme envisages providing cash to Pregnant & Lactating (P&L) women during pregnancy and lactation in response to individual fulfilling specific conditions. It addresses short-term income support objectives with the long-term objective of behavioral and attitudinal changes. The scheme attempts to partly compensate for wage loss to Pregnant & Lactating women both prior to and after delivery of the child.

Being implemented on a pilot basis in 53 selected districts using the platform of ICDS, 12.5 lakh P & L women are expected to be covered every year under IGMSY. The beneficiaries are paid 4000 in three installments per P & L woman between the second trimester and till the child attains the age of 6 months on fulfilling specific conditions related to maternal and child health. Pregnant women of 19 years of age and above for first two live births are eligible under the scheme. All Government/Public Sector Undertakings (Central and state) employees are excluded from the scheme as they are entitled to paid maternity leave. The wives of such employees are also excluded from the Scheme.

3. Support to Training & Employment Programme for Women (STEP)

The STEP scheme was launched as a Central Sector Scheme in 1986-87. The scheme aims to make a significant impact on women by upgrading skills for employment on a self-sustainable basis and income generation for marginalized and asset-less rural and urban women especially those in SC/ST households and families below the poverty line. The key strategies include training for skill development, mobilizing women in viable groups, arranging for marketing linkages and access to credit.

The scheme also provides for enabling support services in the form of health checkups, child-care, legal & health literacy, elementary education, and gender sensitization. The scheme envisages each project to thrive on a self-sustainable basis with minimum governmental support and intervention even after the project period is over.

The scheme covers 10 sectors of employment i.e. Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, Dairying, Fisheries, Handlooms, Handicrafts, Khadi and Village Industries, Sericulture, Waste Land Development, and Social Forestry. The scope and coverage of the scheme have been enlarged with the introduction of locally appropriate sectors.

4. Hostel for Working Women (WWH)

The Scheme of Hostel for Working Women envisages provision of safe and affordable hostel accommodation to working, single working woman, women working at places away from their hometown and for women being trained for employment.

The scheme has been revised with the following salient features:

(i) Financial assistance for construction of hostel building to be given only on public land.
(ii) Financial assistance available for rent of the hostels run in rented premises also.
(iii) Provision for maintenance grant of hostel building (maximum 5 lakh) and one-time nonrecurring grant for furnishings for 7500 per beneficiary.
(iv) State government agencies, Urban Municipal Bodies, Cantonment Boards, Civil Society Organisations, Panchayati Raj Institutions, Self Help Groups, recognized Colleges/Universities and Corporate or associations like CII, ASSOCHAM and FICCI included under the revised scheme.

Since its inception in 1972–73, 902 working women hostels have been sanctioned under the scheme all over the country benefiting about 67,284 working women.

5. Women Empowerment and Livelihood Programme in Mid-Gangetic Plains (Priyadarshini)

From the year 2011, the Ministry is administering IFAD assisted pilot project namely Women’s Empowerment and Livelihoods Programme in the Mid-Gangetic Plains “Priyadarshini” in 13 blocks spread over five districts in Uttar Pradesh and two districts in Bihar. The Programme aims at holistic empowerment (economic and social) of vulnerable groups of women and adolescent girls in the project area through the formation of women’s Self Help Groups (SHGs) and promotion of improved livelihood opportunities. Over 1,00,000 households are to be covered under the project and 7,200 SHGs will be formed during the project period ending 2016–17. Though the focus of the project is on livelihood enhancement, the beneficiaries will be empowered to address their political, legal and health problems issues through rigorous capacity building.

National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) is the lead programme agency for the implementation through the engagement of Resource NGOs and Field NGOs (FNGOs). FNGOs are envisaged to carry out all field level activities, whereas a Resource NGO (RNGO) has been envisioned to undertake activities relating to specialized capacity building and provide other technical support to all field level project functionaries to ensure effective implementation of the programme. The programme envisages giving training to the SHG members on topics such as income generation and allied activities, marketing of products and social issues, etc.

6. Swadhar (Scheme for Women in Difficult Circumstances)

Swadhar Scheme was launched by the Ministry during the year 2001-02 for the benefit of women in difficult circumstances with the following objectives:

(i) To provide the primary need for shelter, food, clothing and care to the marginalized women/girls living in difficult circumstances who are without any social and economic support;
(ii) To provide emotional support and counseling to rehabilitate them socially and economically through education, awareness, etc.;
(iii) To arrange for specific clinical, legal and other support for women/girls in need; and
(iv) To provide for helpline or other facilities to such women in distress.

The Target Group/Beneficiaries under the scheme include the following:

(i) Widows deserted by their families and relatives;
(ii) Women prisoners released from jail and without family support;
(iii) Women survivors of natural disaster who have been rendered homeless;
(iv) Trafficked women/girls rescued or run away from brothels;
(v) Women victims of terrorist/extremist violence who are without any family support and without any economic means for survival;
(vi) Mentally challenged women (except for the psychotic categories who require care in a specialised environment in mental hospitals) who are without any support of family or relatives;
(vii) Women with HIV/AIDS deserted by their family and without social/economic support.

The Scheme is being implemented through Social Welfare/Women and Child Welfare Department of State Government, Women’s Development Corporations, Urban Local Bodies, reputed Public/Private Trust or Voluntary Organisations. At present, 311 Swadhar Homes are functioning across the country.

7. Scheme for Combating Trafficking

“Ujjawala”, a comprehensive scheme to combat trafficking was launched by the Ministry in the year 2007 and is being implemented mainly through NGOs. The Scheme has five components – Prevention, Rescue, Rehabilitation, Re-Integration, and Repatriation of trafficked victims for commercial sexual exploitation.

The activities envisaged under the Scheme are:

(i) Formation of community vigilance groups, adolescents groups, awareness creation and preparation of IEC material, holding workshops, etc.
(ii) Safe withdrawal of victims from the place of exploitation.
(iii) Rehabilitation of victims by providing them safe shelter, basic amenities, medical care, legal aid, vocational training and income generation activities.
(iv) Re-integration of victims into society.
(v) Provide support to cross-border victims for their safe repatriation to their country of origin.

Under the Scheme, assistance is provided to eligible organizations for undertaking the above activities.

8. Family Counselling Centers (FCCs)

The Family Counselling Centre programme was introduced in 1983 due to increasing violence against women, especially dowry-related cases. The centers provide counseling, referral, and rehabilitative services to women and girls who are victims of atrocities, family maladjustments, and social ostracism.

Through the centers, crisis intervention and trauma counseling are also provided in case of natural or manmade disasters. Public opinion on social issues affecting the status of women is mobilized through this programme and awareness is created on welfare and development schemes being implemented by the Government.

The Counselling Centres work in close collaboration with the local administration, police, courts, free legal aids cells, medical and psychiatric institutions, vocational training centers, short stay homes, etc.

9. Short Stay Home Programme

The objective of the Short Stay Homes programme is to rehabilitate women and girls who are facing social, economic and emotional setback due to family problem, exploitations, violence or being forced into prostitution.

Under Short Stay Home programme, temporary shelter to women and girls, medical care, counseling, occupational therapy, education, and vocational training is provided according to the requirements of the inmates. The period of stay normally extends from six months to three years.

Under the programme, meetings have been held all over India with the functionaries of the voluntary organizations and rehabilitation officers for capacity building and improved networking so that the inmates are made self-reliant and can join the mainstream.

10. Awareness Generation Programme (AGP)

The Scheme aims to empower women by providing knowledge on issues ranging from health/nutrition to constitutional rights by providing information through organizing awareness generation camp and to ensure their participation in the development process and decision making. The scheme was reformulated in 1986-87.

Under the scheme, camps are organized throughout the country which provides a platform for women to come together to exchange their experiences and their ideas. Its main aim is to identify the needs of rural and poor women and to increase women’s active participation in development and other allied programmes. Issues such as status of women, women & law, women & health, community health and hygiene, technology for women, environment and economy are being taken up in the camps with special focus on local burning issues/problems like female foeticide, domestic violence, trafficking, drug addiction and low sex ratio, etc.

11. Condensed Courses of Education for Adult Women (CCE)

The scheme of Condensed Courses of Education for Adult Women was initiated by CSWB to cater to the needs of adult girls/women who dropped outs from formal schools.

The main focus of the scheme is to ensure that the contents of the course are need-based and modified according to local requirement and simultaneously targeting various stages of educational levels of middle/high school and matric/secondary level courses for adult girls/women above the age of 15 years who could not join mainstream education.

12. Integrated Scheme for Women’s Empowerment (ISWE)

The Integrated Scheme for Women’s Empowerment is a pilot project for North East, designed to address the socio-economic need of the region for the empowerment of women and development of children with the following objectives:

(i) Mobilizing community action.
(ii) Converging available services and resources in the area.
(iii) To address the felt needs of the area.
(iv) Income Generation through feasible and sustainable activities for women.
(v) Provide support services for health awareness, Career Counseling Centers, vocational training to prevent child trafficking, drug de-addiction.

The project is being implemented in three phases. A State Level Committee is formed in all the States with representatives from State Government Departments, social workers, local leaders, and respective State Boards. The committee identifies and adopts the most backward districts of the State and also a Mother NGO having a good track record, adequate infrastructure and experience from the concerned area for implementation of the project. Motivational camps are conducted in identified areas in the States culminating into the formation of Community-Based Groups (CBG). The groups democratically decide the activity to be undertaken by them.

13. Gender Budgeting Scheme

Gender Budgeting is not an accounting exercise but an ongoing process to ensure that the benefits of development reach women as much as men. It entails maintaining a gender perspective at various stages like programme/policy formulation, assessment of needs of target groups, review of existing policies and guidelines, allocation of resources, implementation of programmes, impact assessment, reprioritization of resources, etc. A gender-responsive budget is the culmination of this process.

Gender Budgeting involves dissection of the Government budget to establish its gender-differential impacts and to translate gender commitments into budgetary commitments. It does not seek to create a separate budget but to provide affirmative action to address the specific needs of women. It goes beyond the allocation of resources for women, to cover tracking the utilization of allocated resources, impact analysis and beneficiary incidence analysis of public expenditure and policy from a gender perspective.

To institutionalize Gender Budgeting in India, the setting up of Gender Budgeting Cells (RBCs) in all Ministries/Departments was mandated by the Ministry of Finance in 2004-05.

In 2004-05, the Ministry of Women and Child Development adopted “Budgeting for Gender Equity” as a Mission Statement. The Ministry as the nodal agency for Gender Budgeting has been undertaking several initiatives for taking it forward at the National and State levels. The Ministry has been following a three-pronged strategy to pursue the process of Gender Budgeting in the country:

(i) Placing emphasis on and advocating for setting up of gender budgeting structures/mechanisms in all Ministries/Departments of the Government;
(ii) Strengthening internal and external capacities and building expertise to undertake gender mainstreaming of policies/schemes/programmes; and
(iii) Initiating the exercise of gender auditing of existing programmes, which would then feed into addressing gaps and strengthening service delivery mechanisms.

A Plan Scheme for Gender Budgeting was launched in the year 2008 during the Eleventh Plan period, for conducting training/workshops, capacity building, research surveys, etc. Under the Scheme, inter alia, the Ministry undertakes many programmes as well as provides financial support to Central/State Government agencies, for the purpose. This scheme is being continued in the Twelfth Plan.

National Mission For Empowerment Of Women

The National Mission for Empowerment of Women (NMEW) was launched in the year 2010. It is an initiative of the Government of India for holistic empowerment of women by securing convergence of schemes/programmes of different Ministries/Department of Central Government as well as State Governments. The Mission utilises existing structural arrangements of participating Ministries wherever available and partners with Panchayati Raj Institution (PRIs), CSOs, Central and State Governments/Departments, etc. in implementation of activities.

The NMEW has a National Mission Authority (NMA) at the apex level under the Chairmanship of the Prime Minister, to provide policy direction to the Mission and enable convergence across ministries. NMA comprises of ministers from 14 partner ministries of the Government of India along with the Chairperson of National Commission of Women (NCW), two Chief Ministries of States and five representatives from Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).

The State level institution consists of the State Mission Authority (SMA) and State Resource Centre for Women (SRCW), which works in coordination with NMEW. The SMA under the Chairmanship of the Chief Minister and Ministers of key Departments related to women’s issues besides civil society representatives as members provide direction to the Mission’s activities in the respective States.

The State Resource Centre for Women (SRCW) operationalizes the activities of the Mission; there is a multitude of agencies that have been designated as SRCWs from Women Development Corporations (WDC) to separate divisions within the WDC or Social Welfare departments.

Poorna Shakti Kendras (PSKs)

The convergence model is the platform/forum for women to come together, explore their potentials and possibilities, raise women’s awareness about their contributions to society and their social, economic and political rights, facilitate access to schemes and entitlements and build capabilities for promoting women’s participation in decision-making.

The NMEW has designed and implemented a number of thematic convergence projects on various issues affecting women including declining Child Sex Ratio (CSR), Access to Rights, Access to Sustainable livelihoods, etc. in association with Partner Ministries, International Agencies and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).

RASHTRIYA MAHILA KOSH

The National Credit Fund for Women known as Rashtriya Mahila Kosh (RMK) was set up by the Government of India in 1993 as a national-level organization under the Ministry of Women and Child Development, to meet the credit needs of poor and assetless women in the informal sector.

The RMK extends micro-finance services to bring about the socio-economic upliftment of poor women. RMK has also taken a number of promotional measures to popularise the concept of women empowerment by way of micro-financing, thrift and credit, capacity building and marketing linkages through Self Help Groups (SHGs) format and also enterprise development for poor women.

Credit is provided to the poor women beneficiaries through Intermediary Microfinancing Organizations (IMOs) working at grass-root level such as NGOs, Women Federations, Cooperatives, not for profit companies registered under the Companies Act and other Voluntary/Civil society Organisations, etc., by following a client friendly, simple without collateral for livelihood and income generation activities, housing, micro-enterprises etc.

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Posted in History of Modern India

Social and Cultural Policy of Britishers in India

updated on March 14th, 2019

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The British had come to India with the idea of making immense profits. This meant buying of raw materials at very cheap rates and selling finished goods at much higher prices. The British wanted the Indians to be educated and modern enough to consume their goods but not to the extent that it proved detrimental to British interests.

Some of the Britishers believed that Western ideas were modern and superior, while Indian ideas were old and inferior. This was, of course, not true. Indians had rich traditional learning that was still relevant. By this time in England, there was a group of Radicals who had a humanistic ideology towards Indians. They wanted India to be a part of the modern, progressive world of science. But the British government was cautious in undertaking rapid modernization of India. They feared a reaction among the people if too much interference took place with their religious beliefs and social customs. The English wanted the perpetuation of their rule in India and not a reaction among the people. Hence, though they talked about introducing reforms, in reality very few measures were taken and these were also half-hearted.

How British rule transformed Indian Society ?

  • Indian society underwent many changes after the British came to India. In the 19th century, certain social practices like female infanticide, child marriage, sati, polygamy and a rigid caste system became more prevalent.
  • these practices were against human dignity and values. Women were discriminated against at all stages of life and were the disadvantaged section of society.
  • They did not have access to any development opportunities to improve their status.
  • Education was limited to a handful of men belonging to the upper castes. Brahmins had access to the Vedas which were written in Sanskrit.
  • Expensive rituals, sacrifices and practices after birth or death were outlined by the priestly class.
  • When the British came to India, they brought new ideas such as liberty, equality, freedom and human rights from the Renaissance, the Reformation Movement and the various revolutions that took place in Europe.
  • These ideas appealed to some sections of our society and led to several reform movements in different parts of the country.
  • At the forefront of these movements were visionary Indians such as Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, Aruna Asaf Ali and Pandita Ramabai. These movements looked for social unity and strived towards liberty, equality and fraternity.
  • Many legal measures were introduced to improve the status of women. For example, the practice of sati was banned in 1829 by Lord Bentinck, the then Governor General.
  • Widow Remarriage was permitted by a law passed in 856.
  • A law passed in 1872, sanctioned inter-caste and inter-communal marriages.
  • Sharda Act was passed in 1929 preventing child marriage.
  • The act provided that it was illegal to marry a girl below 14 and a boy below 18 years. All the movements severely criticized the caste system and especially the practice of untouchability.
  • The impact of the efforts made by these numerous individuals, reform societies, and religious organizations was felt all over and was most evident in the national movement. Women started getting better education opportunities and took up professions and public employment outside their homes.
  • The role of women like Captain Laxmi Sehgal of Indian National Army (INA), Sarojini Naidu, Annie Besant, Aruna Asaf Ali and many others were extremely important in the freedom struggle.

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