Social Justice & Social Empowerment

Under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme, viz., Implementation of Protection of Civil Rights (PCR) Act 1955 and Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, since 1989, financial assistance is provided for strengthening the administrative, enforcement and judicial machinery related to these legislations, publicity and relief and rehabilitation of the affected persons.

In order to ensure early prosecution of cases under the SC/ ST Prevention of Atrocity (Act), 1989, 151 exclusive Special Courts have been set up in the States: Andhra Pradesh ‘ 12, Bihar ‘ 11, Chhattisgarh ‘ 7, Gujarat ‘ 10, Karnataka ‘ 7, Madhya Pradesh ‘ 43, Rajasthan ‘ 17, Tamil Nadu ‘ 4 and Uttar Pradesh ‘ 40. State Governments such as Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh have also set up special police stations for Registration of Complaints of offences committed against SCs/STs. 77 such Special Police Stations have been set up so far.

Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana (PMAGY)

On the basis of the recommendations made by the Committee of Ministers on Dalit Affairs, a new Centrally Sponsored Scheme viz. ‘Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Grameen Yojana (PMAGY)’ has been conceived. Central Government has approved implementation of the new scheme from the financial year, 2009-10, for integrated development of 1,000 villages in the country, each with more than 50% Scheduled Castes (SC) population. PMAGY, in its pilot phase was taken up in five States i.e. Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu (225 villages in each state) and Assam (100 villages). PMAGY aims to achieve all-round, integrated development of selected villages:-

Primarily, through convergent implementation of all relevant Central and State schemes in them, and By meeting needs which cannot be met through (i) above, through provision of ‘gap-filling’ funds for which central assistance will be provided @ Rs. 10 lakh per village, with State Government also expected to make a suitable, preferably matching, contribution.

Scheduled Tribes (STs)

The Scheduled Tribes (STs) are among the most backward among the similarly disadvantaged groups and live in relative isolation with distinct culture and identity. As per the 2001 Census, the population of the Scheduled Tribes (STs) was 84.33 million, constituting 8.2 per cent of the total population of the country. Out of the total ST population, 2.59 million (3.07 per cent) belong to Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) earlier referred to as Primitive Tribal Groups (PTGs).

Social Empowerment

There are certain parallel educational development schemes implemented for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes with the same objective and, by and large, with the same modalities. These include Schemes of Post-Matric Scholarships (PMS), Top Class Education, Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowships (RGNF) for pursuing higher studies leading to M.Phil and Ph.D, Post-Matric Scholarships, National Overseas Scholarships; Hostels and Coaching and Allied Scheme.

The scheme of Ashram Schools in the Tribal Sub Plan (TSP) area is operational since 1990-91 to promote educational development in accordance with the social and cultural milieu of the Tribals especially focusing on ST girls and children of Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs).

The Centrally Sponsored Scheme of ‘Educational Complexes in the Low Literacy Pockets’ was revised in 2008-09 and renamed as ‘Strengthening Education among ST Girls in Low Literacy district’. The revised scheme is being implemented in 54 identified low literacy districts where the ST population is 25 per cent or more and ST female literacy rate is below 35 per cent. It meets the requirement of primary level students as well as middle/ secondary level students and provides residential facility to ST girl students facilitating their retention in schools. Besides formal education, the scheme also takes care of skill upgradation of ST girls in various vocations. Establishment of District Education Support Agency (DESA) is also taken up in each low literacy district which is required to make efforts to ensure 100 per cent enrolment and also pla y the role of monitor, facilitator and support linkages with various institutions.

Economic Empowerment

The National Scheduled Tribes Finance and Development Corporation (NSTFDC) was set up in 2001 to provide exclusive boost to the economic development of STs. 7.56 lakh beneficiaries during the Eleventh Plan period. Under the new scheme a comprehensive Road Map has been chalked out for the Eleventh Plan period (2007-focusing the following four activities i.e., (i) Retail Marketing Development Activity, (ii) MFP Marketing Development Activity, (iii) Vocational Training, Skill Up-gradation and Capacity Building of ST Artisans and Minor Forest Produce (MFP) Gatherers and (iv) Research Development,/Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Activity.

The scheme of Vocational Training Centre in Tribal Areas was launched in 1992-93, to develop the skills of the ST youth for a variety of jobs as well as self-employment and to improve their socio-economic condition by enhancing their income. The scheme was revised in April, 2009. The revised scheme provides enhanced financial norms and a time schedule for submission of proposals. The scheme makes organisation responsible to establish linkages with placement services and to arrange easy micro finance /loans for trained youths through financial institutions, National Scheduled Tribe Finance Development Corporation (NSTFDC), banks, etc.

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