The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment is within the means of merging three schemes, aimed on the welfare of Scheduled Castes, beneath one head. The schemes are the Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana, the Special Central Assistance to Scheduled Castes sub-plan and the Babu Jagjivan Ram Chhatrwas Yojana.
Officials within the ministry stated that the schemes are being merged to streamline them and make their implementation extra environment friendly by taking away the factor of duplication.
“We are in the process of re-evaluating all our schemes of which these three are a part. The aim is to restructure them, making their implementation more efficient. Some schemes will be left as they are, some would be disbanded while some others would be clubbed together. We expect the schemes to reach the desired beneficiaries in a much better manner, this way, and they may even guarantee increased financial benefits once they are merged,” R.Subrahmanyam, secretary, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, stated.
One of the Centre’s flagship initiatives, the Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana obtained a significant increase final 12 months after the Union authorities recognized 26,968 Dalit-majority villages for focussed implementation of varied focused welfare schemes. These embrace all current central and state schemes which are key to assembly important gaps in socio-economic and infrastructure wants of the Dalits and bringing them on par with different communities.
In all, there are 46,859 income villages the place greater than half the inhabitants comprise folks belonging to Scheduled Castes. Of these, 26,968 villages, with a inhabitants of over 500, have been recognized by the ministry final 12 months for time-bound implementation of focused schemes.
While the concept behind this scheme is to make sure centered implementation and convergence of all current central and state schemes, the ministry allocates Rs 11 lakh per village to deal with funding gaps.
As per of the Special Central Assistance Scheme, every ministry units apart a minimal of 15 per cent of their budgets for allocation to welfare schemes for Scheduled Castes and an extra 7.5 per cent for tribals. Under the Babu Jagjivan Ram scheme, the Centre allocates Rs 30 crore yearly for organising hostels for Scheduled Caste college students.
“Under PMAGY, we have to take the benefits of schemes to 3,500 villages every year to ensure that by 2024-’25, every village receives funds at least once. However, this (financial) year proved to be a bit of non-starter on this front because of the pandemic. Villages have been rated on 50-point monitorable indicators which include infrastructure development such as street-lighting, power and water connections and roads, among others, as well as social welfare schemes such as immunisation or opening of bank accounts. We are assessing gaps in many of the schemes which sometimes happen due to official inaction – at the level of the panchayat secretary, for instance. The fact is that even when the SC population in a particular village is more, the most vulnerable get left of such schemes as the local leaders are from an upper caste,” a ministry official stated.
To deal with this, the ministry will arrange venture monitoring groups on the state and district ranges to make sure that schemes are being applied and the fruits of them are reaching the focused beneficiaries. The plan is to ultimately arrange such groups at ward-level as properly.
Officials stated the ministry can be exploring the opportunity of clubbing totally different scholarship schemes for SC college students collectively in a bid to make them extra streamlined and accessible to the specified beneficiaries.