Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment Current Affairs

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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Government launches Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana in Nellore

The Union Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment has launched Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana in Nellore District of Andhra Pradesh.

The Scheme aims at providing physical aids and assisted-living devices for senior citizens belonging to Below Poverty Line (BPL) category.

Key Provisions of the Scheme
  • The scheme will be distribute free of cost physical aids and assisted-living devices for senior citizens belonging to BPL category in Camp mode.
  • It is the first-of-its-kind Central Sector Scheme (CCS) in India, to be fully funded by the Union Government.
  • It is expected to benefit 5,20,000 Senior Citizens and its expenditure implementation will be met from the “Senior Citizens’ Welfare Fund“.
  • Implementing Agency: Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation (ALIMCO), a PSU under Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. It will also undertake one year free maintenance of the devices.
  • Aids and Assisted-Living Devices to be provided under it: The eligible elderly beneficiary will get walking sticks, elbow crutches, walkers/crutches, tripods/qadpods, hearing aids, wheelchair, aificial Dentures and Spectacles depending upon their physical impairment.
  • Purpose: The assisted-living devices will help the Senior Citizens to overcome their age related physical impairment and to lead a dignified and productive life with minimal dependence on care givers or other members of the family.
  • Identification of beneficiaries: It will be done by the State Governments/UTs through a Committee chaired by the Deputy Commissioner/District Collector. 30% of the beneficiaries in each district shall be women.
  • The Committee can utilize the data of BPL beneficiaries receiving Old Age Pension under the NSAP or any other Scheme of the State/UTs for identification of senior citizens belonging to BPL category.
Background

In the Union Budget 2015-16, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had proposed formulation of a scheme for providing Physical Aids and Assisted-Living Devices to senior citizens belonging to BPL Category. Pursuant to this, “Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana” has been formulated. As per the Census figures of 2011, population of senior citizens in India is 10.38 crore. More than 70% of the population of senior citizens live in rural areas of the country. A sizeable percentage (5.2%) of the senior citizens suffers from some sort of disabilities related to old age.

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