Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment

Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment

Scheduled Castes Development Bureau-About the Division

The Scheduled Castes Development (SCD) Bureau aims to promote the welfare of Scheduled Castes through their educational, economic and social empowerment.

Educational Empowerment:
Scholarships are provided to the students belonging to the Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Other Backward Classes (OBC) etc to ensure that education is not denied due to the poor financial condition of their families. These Scholarships are provided at both pre-matric and post-matric levels. Scholarships are also provided to SC and OBC students for obtaining higher education at India and abroad, including at the premier educational institutions. The Scholarships can broadly be classified into the following three types:

Pre Matric Scholarship:
The objective of the pre-matric Scheme is to support the parents of SC children for educating their wards, so that the incidence of drop outs at this stage is minimized. Pre matric Scholarship is also provided to the children of people engaged in occupations involving cleaning and prone to health hazards.

Post Matric Scholarship:
The objective of this Scholarship is to provide financial assistance to SC and OBC students studying at post matriculation or post secondary stage to enable them to complete their education.

Scholarships for obtaining Higher education-These includes:

Top Class Scholarship for SC students: The objective of the Scheme is to promote qualitative education amongst SC students, by providing financial support for pursuing studies beyond 12th class, in identified institutes of excellence like IITs, IIMs, NITs, etc.
Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship: The Scheme provides financial assistance to SC students for pursuing research studies leading to M.Phil, Ph.D and equivalent research degrees.
National Overseas Scholarship: The Scheme provides assistance to students belonging to SCs, denotified, nomadic, semi-nomadic tribes etc for pursuing higher studies of Master level courses and PhD programmes abroad.

Economic Empowerment:
Scheduled Caste Sub Plan (SCSP)
It is an umbrella strategy to ensure flow of targeted financial and physical benefits from all the general sectors of development for the benefit of Scheduled Castes. Under this, the States /UTs are required to formulate and implement Special Component Plan (SCP) for Scheduled Castes as part of their annual plans by earmarking resources.

Special Central Assistance (SCA) to Special Component Plan is another policy initiative for development of Scheduled Castes in which 100 % assistance is given as additive to SCSP of the States/ UTs on the basis of certain criteria such as SC population of the States/ UTs, relative backwardness of States/UTs, 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, etc.

Self Employment Scheme for Manual Scavengers (SRMS):
Under this Scheme, beneficiaries are provided loan at a subsidized rate of interest, and credit linked capital subsidy. It includes one-time cash assistance (OTCA) of Rs 40,000 to one manual scavenger in a family, capital subsidy upto Rs 3.25 lakh for setting up self employment projects, training of beneficiaries upto two years with stipend [at] Rs. 3,000 p.m, etc.

National Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corporation (NSFDC) set up under the Ministry finances income generating activities of Scheduled Caste beneficiaries living below double the poverty line limits (presently Rs 81,000/- per annum for rural areas and Rs 1,03,000/- per annum for urban areas). NSFDC assists the target group by way of loans, skill training, Entrepreneurship Development Programmes and providing marketing support through State Channelizing Agencies, RRBs, Public Sector Bank and Other Institutions.

National Safai Karamcharis Finance and Development Corporation (NSKFDC), another corporation under the Ministry provides credit facilities to beneficiaries of Safai Karamcharis, scavengers and their dependants for income generating activities for socio-economic development through State Channelizing Agencies.

Social Empowerment:
Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955 and Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989:
Assistance is provided to States/ UTs for implementation of Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955 and Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. Financial assistance is provided to the States/ UTs for implementation of these Acts, by way of relief to atrocity victims, incentive for inter-caste marriages, awareness generation, setting up of exclusive Special courts, etc.

PoA Rules were amended in June 2014 for enhancing the relief amount to the victims of atrocities to become between Rs. 75,000/- to Rs. 7,50,000/- depending upon the nature of an offence.

Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana (PMAGY):
PMAGY is a centrally sponsored Scheme, introduced in the financial year 2009-10 for the integrated development of 1000 SC majority villages across 5 States in the country. The Scheme has been expanded in January 2015 to cover 1500 new SC majority villages across 10 States of the country.

Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment News