Government Initiatives taken for Scheduled Caste development

Various scholarships are provided to the students belonging to the Scheduled Castes (SCs) 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 students for obtaining higher education in India and abroad, including premier educational institutions. The Scholarships can broadly be classified into the following three types:

  • Pre-Matric Scholarships: 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.
  • Post Matric Scholarship for Scheduled Caste Students (PMS-SC): The Scheme is the single largest intervention by Government of India for educational empowerment of scheduled caste students.
  • Scholarships for obtaining Higher Education and Coaching Scheme: These include:
    • Top Class Education for Scheduled Caste Students
    • National Fellowship
    • National Overseas Scholarship
    • Free Coaching for SC and OBC Students
  • National Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corporation (NSFDC): NSFDC assists the target group by way of refinancing 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): It is another corporation under the Ministry which provides credit facilities to beneficiaries amongst Safai Karamcharis, manual scavengers and their dependants for income generating activities for socio-economic development through State Channelizing Agencies
  • Special Central Assistance (SCA) to Scheduled Castes 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.
  • Credit Enhancement Guarantee Scheme for Scheduled Castes: The objective of this Scheme is to provide credit guarantee facility to Young and start-up entrepreneurs, belonging to Scheduled Castes, who aspire to be part of neo middle class category, with an objective to encourage entrepreneurship in the lower strata of the Society resulting in job creation besides creating confidence in Scheduled Castes.
  • Venture Capital Fund for Scheduled Castes: The objective of the fund is to promote entrepreneurship amongst the Scheduled Castes who are oriented towards innovation and growth technologies and to provide concessional finance to the scheduled caste entrepreneurs.
  • The Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955: The Act extends to the whole of India and provides punishment for the practice of untouchability.
  • 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.
    • The Act also made news in March 2018 after the Supreme Court issued guidelines severely diluting its powers, including restraints on the arrests of public official if they are accused under the Act.
  • The ‘Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013’ (MS Act, 2013): Eradication of dry latrines and manual scavenging and rehabilitation of manual scavengers in alternative occupation has been an area of high priority for the Government.