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Government launches programme for capacity building of Elected Women Representatives (EWRs) of Panchayats

The Ministry of Women and Child Development in collaboration with the Ministry of Panchayati Raj has launched a nationwide programme for capacity building of Elected Women Representatives (EWRs) of Panchayats and a training program for Trainers of women panchayat leaders at Ranchi, Jharkhand.

The Ministry of Women and Child Development has launched the programme representatives at the grassroots level in various fields like engineering (building of roads, drains, latrines etc.), finance, social development, education, health, and environment among others. In the first phase of the training, 40 master trainers of Jharkhand will be trained at the State institute of Rural Development, Ranchi. In the second phase, around 3000 Elected Women Representatives (EWRs) will be imparted training by the master trainers at the districts of Simdega, Pakur and Chatra of Jharkhand. In subsequent phases, similar training modules will be organised in different states throughout the country with the help of National Institute of Rural Development, State Institutes of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Departments of the States. At present, there are around 13 lakhs EWRs in panchayats throughout the country.

In the first phase of the training, 40 master trainers of Jharkhand will be trained at the State institute of Rural Development, Ranchi. In the second phase, around 3000 Elected Women Representatives (EWRs) will be imparted training by the master trainers at the districts of Simdega, Pakur and Chatra of Jharkhand. In subsequent phases, similar training modules will be organised in different states throughout the country with the help of National Institute of Rural Development, State Institutes of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Departments of the States. At present, there are around 13 lakhs EWRs in panchayats throughout the country.

In subsequent phases, similar training modules will be organised in different states throughout the country with the help of National Institute of Rural Development, State Institutes of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Departments of the States. At present, there are around 13 lakhs EWRs in panchayats throughout the country.

Need

The initiative is aimed at empowering EWRs by enhancing their capacity, capability and skill in governance and administration of villages as the EWRs lack appropriate knowledge and skill to administer the village.

The women sarpanches can be helpful in taking several new schemes of the government to the common man especially those in distress and the underprivileged. Women sarpanches can also play a vital role in ensuring the safety of women, education of the girl child, health of women, creation of assets under MGNREGA, immunisation and other important issues at the grassroots level.

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Government covers 14 SC, ST, OBC and DNT scholarship schemes under Digital Payments

The Government has stated that 14 scholarship schemes for Scheduled Castes and Other Backward Classes (OBCs) / Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-nomadic Tribes (DNTs) students come under Digital Payments Initiatives. This is expected to benefit 3.54 crore students across the country. As per the modalities of this initiative, all scholarship amount will be deposited in the bank accounts of the students.

Schemes for SCs

There will be a 60% Aadhaar seeding in SC student bank account. Educational Empowerment is carried out by virtue of scholarships, hostels for students, coaching facilities, capital for creation/upgradation of premises, institution etc. Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment spends 54 % of its Budget on scholarships for Scheduled castes. In addition, the government has tasked each branch of public sector banks to handhold at least one SC/ST youth, as an entrepreneur, to generate more employment among the members of the community.

Scholarships

Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment is the nodal ministry for the implementation of seven different types of scholarships:

  • Post and Pre-Matric Scholarships;
  • Top Class Scholarship;
  • National Overseas Scholarships;
  • National Fellowship for Scheduled Castes administered by the UGC;
  • Pre-Matric Scholarship for Children of those engaged in unclean occupations;
  • Free Coaching for Scheduled Castes and OBCs (70: 30 ratio); and
  • Upgradation of merit.

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Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana crosses loan targets

Loans disbursed under the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY) have crossed its target of Rs 1.8 lakh crore in the financial year 2016-17. Loans extended currently stands at Rs 1.80,087 crore. Of this, a majority of the loans were awarded by banks (Rs 1.23 lakh crore). Non-banking financial institutions have lent about Rs 57,000 crore. In this year’s budget, Rs 2.44 lakh crore has been set as a target for Mudra loans for the financial year 2017-18.

Significance

  • Significantly, out of the 4 crore borrowers, over 70% of the borrowers were women. Around 20% of the borrowers belonged to Scheduled Caste category, 5% belonged to Scheduled Tribe category and 35% belonged to other backward classes.
  • Robust growth in bank loans to unfunded and underfunded segments of the society indicates that this category of borrowers has emerged as a key driver of demand for credit.
  • Non-insistence of collateral/guarantor, simple documentation and quick processing are the three praiseworthy attributes of the MUDRA loans.

Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY)

The objective of this scheme to launch a Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency (MUDRA) Bank to support the entrepreneurs of Scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and other backward classes entrepreneurs in the MSME sector. The scheme was launched on April 8, 2015.

MUDRA cards are the unique feature of this scheme. The card permits access to working capital through ATMs and card machines.

MUDRA loans can be availed for non-agricultural activities upto Rs 10 lakh and for activities allied to agriculture such as dairy, poultry bee keeping etc. The scheme provides loans to micro units in three categories ranging from Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 10 lakh.

  • Shishu: Loan up to Rs 50,000
  • Kishore: Loan ranging from Rs 50,000 to Rs 5 lakh
  • Tarun: Loan ranging from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh.

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