- Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.
National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP)
What to study?
For Prelims and Mains: Features, performance and significance of NSAP.
Context: The Rural Development Ministry has proposed to bring in the following changes in monthly pensions under the National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP):
- For the elderly poor, disabled and widows pensions are to be increased from the current ₹200 to ₹800.
- For those above the age of 80, the proposal is to increase the pension from ₹500 to ₹1,200 a month.
The Ministry has submitted the proposal, which would have an additional annual cost implication of ₹18,000 crore, to the Finance Ministry to be considered for inclusion in the interim Budget to be presented on February 1.
About National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP):
The NSAP is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme under the Ministry of Rural Development. It came into effect from 15th August,1995.
It represents a significant step towards the fulfillment of the DPSP in Article 41 of the Constitution. In particular, Article 41 of the Constitution of India directs the State to provide public assistance to its citizens in case of unemployment, old age, sickness and disablement and in other cases of undeserved want within the limit of its economic capacity and development.
It aims to provide financial assistance to the elderly, widows and persons with disabilities in the form of social pensions.
Coverage: It currently covers more than three crore people who are below the poverty line (BPL), including about 80 lakh widows, 10 lakh disabled and 2.2 crore elderly.
Presently NSAP comprises of five schemes, namely:
- Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOAPS).
- Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme (IGNWPS).
- Indira Gandhi National Disability Pension Scheme (IGNDPS).
- National Family Benefit Scheme NFBS).