Government initiatives for welfare of Scheduled Castes (SC)

Synopsis: Government has recently launched post-matric scholarship scheme for SCs, apart from many other steps taken for the welfare of Scheduled Castes (SC) in India. 

Post-matric scholarship scheme 

  • Government has recently passed an outlay of Rs 59,000 crore for the post-matric scholarship scheme for students from Scheduled Caste groups.
  • Almost 60 percent of the cost of scheme will be borne by Central government and rest by the states.

How this scheme promotes welfare of Scheduled Castes (SC)? 

  • More than four crore SC students would benefit from this allocation in the next five years.  
    • These students were facing challenges in pursuing higher education because of the financial constraints but this decision will provide them a sense of hope. 
  • The gross enrolment ratio of SC students in higher education will increase with the help of this scheme.  
    • Proper education will provide the next generation of Dalits paths for upward mobility, dignity and recognition in society. 

Other Government initiatives for welfare of Scheduled Castes (SC) 

Development of SC concentrated villages  

  • The Union government identified almost 27,000 such villages where a government programme will make sure the dedicated implementation of welfare schemes to improve infrastructure and reduce socio-economic gaps in 2019. 

Political empowerment 

  • The current government has ensured meaningful representation for Dalits within the organisation and government. 
    • For example, the youngest woman MLA from Gujarat, Malti Maheshwari, and numerous other leaders, are now making themselves heard and are suitably voicing the concerns and aspirations of Dalits across the country.

Promotion of entrepreneurship 

  • Schemes such as Stand-up India and MUDRAhave significantly benefited young people from the community in the last 6 years.  
  • Milind Kamble, the chairperson of Dalit Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DICCI),has been working with the government to create opportunities for entrepreneurship and self-employment for Dalit youth.  
    • “Be Job Givers and not Job Seekers” is a theme for the government.
    • Milind kamble has a team of more than 5,000 entrepreneurs from SC and ST groups. 
  • Several youngsters have benefitted from schemes like a venture capital fund for SCs and a credit enhancement guarantee plan. 
  • The youth who want to become entrepreneurs are being supported through a network of growth centres and aiding financial assistance architecture.

Way forward 

  • India should become extremely inclusive in its foundation, review its approach and focus on making the country a leading light in the new world order. 
  • Sustained economic empowerment, political representation and educational opportunities like the boost in the post-matric scholarship for SC students should be provided so that Dalits become an inseparable part of the New India story.
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