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Government of India
Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment
25-December-2014 10:37 IST
YEAR END REVIEW-2014 Department of Social Justice & Empowerment

 

Credit Enhancement Guarantee Scheme for Young and Start-Up Entrepreneurs belonging to Scheduled Castes

Swachhta Udyami Yojana’ for financing viable community toilet projects and sanitation related vehicles to collect garbage

The Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Orders (Amendment) Bill, 2014 passed

Draft National Policy on Drug Demand Reduction formulated

Scheme of Assistance for Prevention of Alcoholism and Substance (Drugs) Abuse revised w.e.f. 1.1.2015

 

(Department of Social Justice & Empowerment)

 

The Ministry of Social Justice &Empowerment (Department of Social Justice & Empowerment) is entrusted with the empowerment of the disadvantaged and marginalized sections of the society. The Target groups of the Department are: (i) Scheduled Castes (SCs), (ii) Other Backward Classes (OBCs), (iii) Senior Citizens and (iv) Victims of Substance Abuse.

    Enhancement in Plan Outlay in 2013-14

There was an increase of 1.65 % in the Plan outlay of the Ministry from Rs.6065 crore in 2013-14 to Rs 6165 crore in 2014-15 The Plan Outlay allocated to Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Department of Social Justice and Empowerment) has been enhanced from Rs 11655.20 core in the 11th Five Year Plan to Rs 29400 crore for 12th Five Year Plan.

In 2014, many initiatives were taken to empower these weaker sections as summarized below:

I. Scheduled Castes Development

 

 

               Amendments in the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989: The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2014, to amend the PoA Act, introduced in the Lok Sabha on 16.07.2014. The Bill was listed for consideration by the Lok Sabha on 17.07.2014 and on directions of Hon’ble Speaker, Lok Sabha, the Bill has been referred to the Departmental Parliamentary Standing Committee on Social Justice and Empowerment for examination and report.

 

The Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Orders (Amendment) Bill, 2014: The Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Orders (Amendment) Bill, 2014 to modify the list of Scheduled Castes in relation to the states of Kerala (inclusion of two synonymous castes), Madhya Pradesh (inclusion of one synonymous caste), Odisha (inclusion of four synonymous castes), Tripura (inclusion of three synonymous castes) and Sikkim (exclusion of one caste) was introduced in Lok Sabha on 11.08.2014. The Bill has been passed by the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha on 27.11.2014 and 8.12.14 respectively.  The bill has been sent for assent of the President.

 

The Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Orders (Amendment) Bill, 2014, which proposes to include eight castes as synonym to Scheduled Castes in relation to the States/UT of Haryana(one), Karnataka(one), Odisha (six), Dadra and Nagar Haveli (one) and substitution of the name of the State from ‘Uttaranchal’ to ‘Uttarakhand’ was introduced in the Rajya Sabha on 11.02.2014. The said Bill was referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Social Justice and Empowerment for examination and report. The committee in its sitting held on 26.11.2014 heard  views of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes , besides evidence of the Secretary, Department of Social Justice and Empowerment and Registrar General of India.

 

Revision of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Rules, 1995: The Rules notified in 1995, were revised on 23.12.2011. Further amendment in the PoA Rules for enhancing the relief amount by 50% i.e. between Rs. 75,000/- to Rs. 7,50,000/- depending upon the nature of offences has been approved on 23.06.2014, and is under notification in the Gazette of India, Extraordinary.

Upward revision of financial norms under the Scheme of Grant-in-aid to voluntary organizations working for the SCs (last fixed in 1998): The Scheme has been revised and informed to the States/UTs vide letter dated 15th July, 2014. Following revisions have been made in the financial norms:

·                     Generally 100% enhancement

·                     Honorarium of teachers has been revised upward at par with the salary of teachers in Kasturba Gandhi Vidhyalaya.

 

Swachhta Udyami Yojana: As an integral part of 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyan' launched by the Prime Minister on 2nd October, 2014, the Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment launched a new Scheme ‘Swachhta Udyami Yojana’ of NSKFDC on 2nd October, 2014 for financing viable community toilet projects and sanitation related vehicles to collect garbage.

 

Setting up ‘‘Dr. Ambedkar International Centre for Social Justice’ at 15, Janpath New Delhi: The Government has approved setting up of the Centre at an approximate cost of Rs.195 crore at Janpath.  The architectural plan and design of Dr. Ambedkar International Centre has been approved by the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) on 20.11.2014.

 

The Government has also taken a decision to fully develop the Dr. Ambedkar Memorial at 26, Alipure Road, Delhi. The CPWD has already started preliminary work.  The architectural Plan has been approved by the Hon'ble Minister (SJ&E) on 27.11.2014.

 

 

Creation of ‘Venture Capital Fund for Scheduled Caste Entrepreneurs’ Scheme: The Government has decided to set up a new Venture Capital Fund for SCs.  An allocation of Rs.200 crore has been provided for the Fund.  A scheme has been finalized in consultation with the IFCI.   The Standing Finance Committee (SFC) under the chairmanship of Secretary (SJ&E) was held on 03.12.2014 for appraisal of the proposed Scheme. Competent Authority has approved the Scheme. The fund would be operationalised during remaining part of the year 2014-15 onwards.

 

Credit Enhancement Guarantee Scheme for Young and Start-Up Entrepreneurs belonging to Scheduled Castes:

The Finance Minister in his Union Budget Speech for FY 2014-15 made on 10th July 2014, inter-alia, announced that a sum of Rs.200 crores will be allocated towards Credit Enhancement Gurantee for Young and start-up entrepreneurs, belonging to Scheduled Castes, who aspire to be part of neo middle class category, with an objective to encourage entrepreneurship in the lower strata of the Society resulting in job creation besides creating confidence in Scheduled Castes.

 

                                    The said allocation is under Social Sector Initiatives in order to promote entrepreneurship among the scheduled castes and to facilitate concessional finance to them.

The proposed Scheme and Standing Finance Committee (SFC) memo has been concurred on 17.10.2014 by the IFD M/o SJ&E. However, due to non allocation of budget under the Scheme SFC memo has not been circulated for inter-Ministerial consultation.

 

 Implementation of Direct Benefits Transfer (DBT) Scheme:

 

      Prime Minister's Office (PMO) vide ID dated 26.3.13 provided the list of 121 districts across the country selected for implementation of DBT. The necessary proformae in this regard were uploaded on the Central Plan Scheme Monitoring System (CPSMS) portal in mid February 2014. Having received the digitally signed digitized lists of beneficiaries forwarded by 8 States/ UTs and 15 Top Class Institutions, in respect of the 3 Scholarship Schemes of the Department in the Financial Year 3013-14, the Department of SJE could disburse Rs 1062.37 lakhs directly into the bank accounts of 45184 beneficiaries.

For the Financial Year 2014-15, till date the Department has been able to credit an amount of Rs 6.43 lakhs directly into the bank accounts of 9 beneficiaries. Around 15 proposals are in the pipeline where scholarships would be disbursed shortly through DBT.

Depository of the Scheduled Caste Certificates:

The persons belonging to Scheduled Castes (SCs) are entitled to admissible benefits under various Schemes of the Government.  Production of the SC Certificate is an essential requirement to avail the benefits meant for the SCs. It is thus a key document.  Complaints of fake certificates are also received from time to time. It would be a good idea to have a digitised data base of all the SC certificates, which could be linked with the Aadhar number for easy accessibility by the SC beneficiaries/Scheme implementing agencies. It would be very helpful to the genuine SC beneficiaries on one hand and also help to check the problem of fake certificates on the other.

                   Issuance of SC certificates falls within the domain of the States/UTs.  The department of Social Justice & Empowerment proposes to formulate a Scheme to provide technical and financial assistance to the States/UTs for preparing depository of Scheduled Castes Certificate.

II. Backward Classes Development

·         For the first time significant release of more than 90% of the budget amounting to over RS 1000 crore for the welfare of OBCs done before the end of third quarter.

·         National Fellowship for 300 OBC students (NF-OBC) launched. The rates revised from Rs 18000 per month for JRF to Rs 25000 per month and for SRF from Rs 20000 per month to Rs 28000 per month.

·         New scheme of National Overseas Scholarship for 25 OBCs (NOS-OBC) launched to enable the OBC students to pursue higher education abroad.

·         The norms for the “Construction of Hostels for the OBC Boys and Girls” revised with unit cost enhanced from Rs 1.40 lakhs per hostel seat to Rs 3.50 lakhs for North-east, Rs 3.25 lakh for Himalayan states and Rs 3.00 for rest of country. This will improve the quality of construction of hostels.

·         The scheme of “Assistance to Voluntary Organisations working for the Welfare of the OBCs” revised with focus on Skill Development.

·         The Ministry is forging partnership with Central Universities/Institutions to invite proposals and ideas for effective and innovative methods for monitoring, evaluating, creating databases and preparing reports for the welfare schemes.

·         E-tracking of loans in order to improve recovery initiated by the NBCFDC.

·         Skill Development training provided to 6460 beneficiaries. Further, stipend at the rate of Rs 1000 per month provided to the trainees for the first time.

·         The Recruitment Rules for strengthening the functioning of National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) framed and notified.

·         A new website which is interactive has been launched by the NBCFDC.

 

Proposed Activities/Initiatives

·         The National Overseas Scholarship for OBCs will be revised to our 100 students in place of 25 students.

·         New Schemes for DNTs namely, Dr Ambedkar Pre-Matric Scholarship Scheme for the DNTs,  Dr Ambedkar Post-Matric Scholarship Scheme for the DNTs and Nanaji Deshmukh Scheme of Construction of Hostels to be launched for welfare of these sections of the society.

·         For Economically Backward Classes (EBCs), the Dr Ambedkar Post-Matric Scholarship Scheme and Dr Ambedkar National Overseas Scholarship are to be launched.

·          The DNT Commission will be made operational by appointing the Chairperson, Member and Member Secretary. 

·         National Fellowship for OBCs will be made available to 60 more    students.

·         100% release of fund under BC Schemes by January, 2014.

·         Development of e-Scholarship Portal for scholarships in order to avoid duplicity and increase the efficiency.

·         E-marketing of the products of the artisans to provide market value to them. 

                      

                               III. Social Defence

Senior Citizens

 

Scheme of Integrated Programme for Older Persons  (IPOP) :

The Ministry has been implementing the Central Sector Scheme of Integrated Programme for Older Persons  since 1992, with the objective of  improving the quality of life of Senior Citizens by providing basic amenities like shelter, food, medical care and entertainment opportunities and by encouraging productive and active ageing through providing support to NGOs/ Panchayati Raj Institutions etc.  The Scheme was last revised with effect from 1.4.2008. The Cost Norms of the scheme have been revised which will be effective from 1.4.2015. 

 

Under the Scheme of IPOP, online processing of proposals of NGOs has been initiated from the current financial year (2014-15).  

 

The details of physical and financial performance of the Scheme during the current year (upto 30.11.2014)  are as given below :

 

Notional Allocation                                     :              Rs. 50.00 Crores

Funds released                                             :              Rs. 7.36 Crores

Beneficiaries covered                                     :              8945

Projects assisted                                           :                167

NGOs assisted                                             :                133

 

National Policy on Older Persons (NPOP), 1999 :

 

The National Policy on Older Persons(NPOP), 1999  was announced in January 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, healthcare, 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  life of the senior citizens.  The Policy is being revised keeping in view the changes in demographic pattern, socio-economic needs of senior citizens, social value system and advancement in the field of science and technology.  The draft of the new National Policy for Senior Citizens is being finalized.

 

Celebration of International Day of Older Persons (IDOP) :

 

Every year, 1st October is celebrated as International Day of Older Persons (IDOP) by organizing a series of events.  In order to recognize the efforts made by eminent senior citizens and institutions involved in rendering distinguished services for the cause of the elderly persons, especially, the indigent elderly, the Ministry has notified a Scheme of National Awards (VAYOSHRESHTHA SAMMAN) in January, 2013.

 

On 1st October, 2014, the Vayoshreshtha Samman – National Awards for Senior Citizens under different categories were conferred by the Hon'ble Speaker of the Lok Sabha on eminent senior citizens and Institutions in recognition for their contribution towards the cause of the elderly.

 

            Inter-generational Walkathon was organized in the morning of 1st October 2014 in New Delhi and 20 other State Capitals ie., Bhubaneshwar, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Shimla, Jaipur, Guwahati, Ahmedabad, Dehradun, Chennai, Kochi, Patna, Chandigarh, Ranchi, Agartala, Bhopal, Raipur, Shillong, Bengaluru and Puducherry. 

 

            A Review and improvement of the Scheme of Vayoshreshtha Samman ie., National Award for Senior Citizens is being undertaken.

 

Seminars and Conferences:

 

            A two days' Conference of State Ministers and Principal Secretaries/Secretaries of Social Welfare was held on 22-23 August, 2014 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.  The Hon’ble Minister addressed the gathering.

 

            The Ministry supported the 12th Global Conference International Federation on Ageing (IFA) on 10-13th June, 2014 at Hyderabad.  The Hon’ble Minister of SJE addressed the gathering.

 

            The Ministry supported the Multi Activity Event on “Jeevaema Sharadaha Shatam”  (May we live for 100 years)” Active & Healthy Ageing” organized by RRTC, Anugraha Delhi at Chinmaya Mission Auditorium, Lodhi Road, New Delhi on 16.10.2014.  The Hon’ble Minister inaugurated the workshop and addressed the gathering.

 

            The Ministry co-sponsored the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) on  "India's Elderly: Dignity, Health and Security"  held on 4th and 5th December, 2014 at New Delhi.    The Conference was addressed by Hon'ble Minister (SJ&E) and the Secretary, SJ&E

 

   Drug Abuse Prevention

                        The Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment implements Central Sector Scheme of Assistance for Prevention of Alcoholism and Substance (Drug) Abuse under which financial assistance is provided to Non Government Organizations, Panchayati Raj Institution, Urban Local Bodies etc. for, inter-alia, running and maintenance of Integrated Rehabilitation Centres for addicts (IRCAs). Under this scheme, financial assistance up to 90% of the approval expenditure is given to the voluntary organizations and other eligible agencies for setting up/ running Integrated Rehabilitation Centre for Addicts (IRCAs). In the case of North-Eastern States, Sikkim and Jammu & Kashmir, the quantum of assistance is 95 % of the total admissible expenditure. So far an amount of Rs 17.89 upto 22.12.2014 in the financial year 2014-15  crore has been released under the Scheme of Assistance for Prevention of Alcoholism and Substance (Drugs) Abuse against the BE of Rs 50 crore.

 

Extent Pattern and Trend of Drug Abuse:

                     In a National Survey conducted by United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, for the year 2000-2001(report published in 2004) it was estimated that about 732 lakh persons in India were user of alcohol and drugs. Of these 87 lakh used Cannabis, 20 lakh used opiates and 625 lakh were users of Alcohol. About 26%, 22% and 17% of the users of the three types respectively were found to be dependent on/addicted to them. The survey also indicated that other drugs such as Sedatives/Hypnotics, volatile substances, Hallucinogens, Stimulants and pharmaceutical preparations were also abused. It revealed that most users were in their early thirties, most had not sought treatment and very few were currently undergoing treatment.  In addition, regions of high prevalence of Opiate use were Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Western Rajasthan.  However the sample size being small (40,697 males within the age group of 12-60 years both in rural and urban areas) vis-a -vis the country’s population, the estimates can at best be taken as indicative only.

                     With a view to build a reliable data base and in view of the changing situation, it  was decided to take up another detailed round of National Survey, through a professional organization, like the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO), to capture recent trends, patterns and extent of drug use in the country.  Accordingly, the NSSO had conducted a Pilot Survey in the cities of Amritsar, Imphal and Mumbai in March 2010. The NSSO brought out the report of the survey in January, 2011. After examining the report of the pilot survey, certain issues relating to under-estimates, non-coverage of certain age groups, limitation of pilot survey being confined to cities of Amritsar, Mumbai and Imphal instead of entire States of Punjab/ Maharashtra/ Manipur and non-coverage of other potential selection units such as, homeless/ pavement dwellers, street children, rag pickers, university/ college/ school campuses/ surroundings, highways/ roadside eateries, liquor vendors, etc. were raised. Therefore, a more comprehensive and extended pilot survey was suggested. 

                     At present, a Working Group has been constituted by National Statistical Commission with National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) as nodal organisation to devise the modalities of advanced pilot survey in the states of Punjab and Manipur and to conduct the same. The matter is also being pursued with National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) to expedite the survey proceedings. It is proposed to conduct a nationwide survey, based on the experiences gained during the advanced pilot survey. 

                     As the survey has been delayed and the problem is acute in Punjab and Manipur, the Ministry has also initiated survey work in these two States through Regional Resource and Training Centre (RRTC), Punjab & RRTC Manipur respectively involving All India Institute of Medical Science & Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, Imphal.

Awareness  Generation Programmes:

Earlier, in the year 2011-12, the Ministry had conducted an awareness generation programme in two states namely Punjab and Manipur which covered 3000 villages in ten districts of Punjab and 750 villages in seven districts of Manipur. This programme was conducted through the Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan. The addicts were identified and de-addiction camps were organized for these addicts. The total project cost was Rs 3.5 crore. Due to high rate of prevalence of addiction in Punjab, the Ministry has again assigned, in October 2014, an awareness generation programme in the State through Nehru Yuvak Kendra Sangathan.

Celebration of International Day against Drug Abuse Illicit Trafficking on 26th June, 2014.

This Ministry celebrates 26th June as International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. The Govt. of India has instituted a Scheme of the National Awards for outstanding services in the field of prevention of Alcoholism & Substance (Drug) Abuse from the year 2013. This year also, National Award function was successfully conducted on 26th June 2014 and awards were conferred by the Hon’ble President of India.

 

National Policy on Drug Demand Reduction

The draft National Policy on Drug Demand Reduction has been formulated and was uploaded in November, 2014 on the Ministry's Website seeking comments/suggestions from all the stakeholders. Priority Areas of Intervention in the National policy for Drug Demand Reduction:

Education & Awareness Building at all levels.

Ø   Treatment and Rehabilitation (whole person recovery).

Ø   Networking of Service Providers.

Ø   Capacity Building & Training of service providers in the field of drug with a view to

         build up skilled manpower.

Ø   Data Collection and Management.

Ø   Inter-Sectoral Collaboration and International Cooperation.

Ø   The policy also proposes a system of accreditation of de-addiction Centres in order to standardise the treatment /facilities provided in coordination with Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and other stakeholders.

 

Revision of the cost norms of the Scheme of Prevention for Alcoholism and Substance (Drugs) Abuse

         The present Scheme of Assistance for Prevention of Alcoholism and Substance (Drugs) Abuse has been revised w.e.f. 1.1.2015.

 

Issues Relating to Transgender Persons

M/o Social Justice & Empowerment has been designated as the Nodal Ministry for Transgender with effect from July 2012. An Expert Committee was constituted to make an in-depth study of the problems being faced by the Transgender Community. The Committee has submitted its report on 27th January 2014, suggesting various measures to ameliorate the condition of the transgender persons. The concerned Central Ministries and the State/ UT Governments are being consulted for their suggestions/views on the recommendations made by the Expert Committee and also confirm what action can be taken at their end.

         The Expert Committee has recommended that “Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment may set up a Standing Coordination Mechanism in the form of an Inter-Ministerial Committee for coordinating the welfare activities being undertaken by the various Ministries and State/UT Governments for transgender community comprising representatives of concerned Central Govt. Ministries and representatives of State Governments.” Accordingly, an Inter-Ministerial Committee has been constituted to discuss these issues.

         On 15th April, 2014, the Hon’ble Supreme Court has, in a Writ Petition No. 400/2012 filed by National Legal Services Authority (NLSA) delivered its judgement on the issues of Transgender Persons directing the Central and State Governments to take various steps for the welfare of the transgender community and also to examine the recommendations of the Expert Committee based on the Legal declaration made in the above said judgment. Till date three Inter Ministerial meetings have been conducted.           

The Expert Committee, inter alia, recommended formulating an Umbrella Scheme for empowerment of the transgender community. Accordingly, the Ministry is in the process of formulating an Umbrella Scheme for the welfare of transgender persons.

Scheme for Rehabilitation of Beggars/Destitutes

 

         The word beggar or beggary is not mentioned in any of the lists of the Constitution. However, as per entry-9 of the State List in the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution, Relief of the disable and unemployable is a State subject. As per entry-15 of the Concurrent List,'' Vagrancy'' is a concurrent Subject. As information available, at present, 20 States and 2 UTs have either enacted their own Anti Beggary Legislation or adopted the legislation enacted by other States. Despite the fact that many States/ UTs have enacted laws relating to beggary, however, the provisions of these of these legislations differ across the Sates and their status of implementation including the measures taken for rehabilitation of beggars, are also not uniform.

                     A draft Scheme for Protection, Care, and Rehabilitation of Destitute is under consideration.

 

Skill development Training to youths

              Ministry of Skill Development, Entrepreneurship, Youth Affairs and Sports, Department of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Sport Authority of India, Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi-110003 and National Skill Development Agency (NSDA) is monitoring the progress in regard to the persons being provided skill development training to Youths vis-à-vis the annual target set for the Department for the year 2014-15. The target for the year 2014-15 was fixed at 82,750 for the Department of Social Justice and Empowerment. The Department has provided the skill development training to 36480 youths till November, 2014 which is 44.08% through the training providers identified by National Institutes/ Corporation and State Governments/ Union Territory Administrations. All out efforts are being made to achieve the target till the end of the current financial year 2014-15.

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