On the occasion of celebrating Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav to commemorate 75 years of independence and glorious journey of achieving the vision of Aatmanirbhar Bharat, Union Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment Dr. Virender Kumar today held a Press conference about the Achievements of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in the last 8 Years.

Dr. Virender Kumar informed that the Department of Social Justice & Empowerment is endeavoring to achieve the vision of building an inclusive society by empowering socially, educationally and economically marginalized sections like Scheduled Castes, Other Backward Classes, Senior Citizens, Victims of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, Transgender Persons, Beggars, De-notified and Nomadic Tribes (DNTs), Economically Backward Classes (EBCs) and Economically Weaker Section (EWS).This Department has been implementing various schemes for upliftment of members of aforesaid target groups.

Following are the achievements of the Department from financial year 2014-15 to 2021-22:-

1. Various schemes for educational upliftment of Scheduled Castes (SCs), Other Backward Classes (OBCs), Denotified and Nomadic Tribes (DNTs) have been implementing. An amount of ₹ 36164 Crore has been spent since the financial year 2014-15 and over 11 Crore students have been benefited by the following schemes:-

  • Pre-Matric Scholarship to SC Students and Others: 224.70 lakh beneficiarie and  expenditure approx. Rs. 3280.07 crore.
  • Post Matric Scholarship to the SC Students: 434.29 lakh beneficiaries and expenditure approx. Rs. 24968.55 Crore.
  • A component of PradhanMantri – AnusuchitJatiAbhyudayYojana (PM –AJAY):Babu Jagjivan Ram Chhtrawas Yojana : Rs. 342.5 Crore sanctioned for construction of 173 hostels, which benefitted about 15800 beneficiaries.
  • Higher Education For Young Achievers (SHREYAS):
    • Free Coaching Scheme for SC and OBC students (FCS),-approx 19437 beneficiaries and expenditure approx. Rs. 91.37 Crore since 2014-15.
    • Top Class Scholarship Scheme for SCs (TCS),-approx 17817 beneficiaries and expenditure approx. Rs. 313.48crore since 2014-15.
    • National Overseas Scholarship Scheme for SC etc. students (NOS),-534 beneficiaries and expenditure approx. Rs. 152.23crore since 2014-15.
    • National Fellowship Scheme for SCs (NFSc)-18036 beneficiaries and expenditure approx. Rs. 1511.65crore since 2014-15
  • Scheme for Residential Education in High Schools in Targeted Areas (SRESHTA): Total Rs. 247 Crore spent benefitting total 1,55,715 SC students.
  • PM Young Achievers Scholarship Award Scheme for Vibrant India for OBCs and Others (PM –YASASVI) having following five sub-schemes:-
  • Pre-Matric Scholarship for OBC, EBC and DNT Students -563.9 lakh      beneficiaries and  expenditure approx. Rs. 1195.33 Crore
  • Post-Matric Scholarship for OBC, EBC and DNT Students-302.05 lakh beneficiaries and expenditure approx. Rs. 8186.56 crore
  • Top Class School Education for OBC, EBC and DNT Students-New initiative has been taken.
  • Construction of Hostel for OBC Boys and Girls- expenditure approx. Rs. 260.70 crore for construction of Hostels having 16870 seats.
  1. Department has spent approx 10304 Crore on Social Defence front and over 42 lakh persons have been benefitted during last 08 years.
  • AtalVayoAbhyudayYojana (AVYAY)
    • National Action Plan for Senior Citizens (NAPSrC)- Total Beneficiaries since 2014 are 271365 and expenditure approx. Rs 334 Crore.
    • RashtriyaVayoshriYojana (RVY)- 8,30,739 assistive devices amounting to Rs. 182.06Crore have been distributed to 2,40,490 persons in 236 camps.
    • Livelihood & Skilling Initiatives for Senior Citizens-
  1. Scheme for Elderly Self Help Group has been started in 2021-22.
  2. Senior Able Citizens for Re-Employment in Dignity (SACRED) Portal was launched on 01.10.2021.
    • Silver Economy (SAGE portal) : 09 Start ups have been selected in the financial year 2021-22.
  • Scheme for prevention of Alcohalism and Substance Abuse:
    • National Action Plan for Drug Demand Reduction (NAPDDR)- Total Beneficiaries since 2014 are 11,35,292 and expenditure of Rs. approx. 839.09 Crore
    • Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan (NMBA)- Presently, about 357 IRCAs, 78 ODICs, 55 CPLIs and 35 ATFs are spread all over the country.Through the various activities undertaken on-ground 2.46+ Crore people reached out so far including 1.17 Crore youth & 30 lakh women
  • Support for Marginalised Individuals for Livelihood and Enterprise (SMILE):
    • Central Sector Scheme for Comprehensive Rehabilitation for Welfare of Transgender Persons
    • Central Sector Scheme for Comprehensive Rehabilitation of persons engaged in the act of Begging
    • Rs.1,75,03,200 has been spent in SMILE in 2021-22.
  1. Being the nodal ministry for prevention of atrocities, The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities){PoA} Act, 1989 enacted with a view to, inter-alia, preventing atrocities against members of SCs and STs; has been made more deterrent and effective by inserting clause 18(A) in the Act and modifying its rules in the year 2018 to set up egalitarian society across the country.
  • Total number of Atrocity victims provided relief : 435382 with amount : Rs. 3073.77 Crore
  • Inter-caste marriage initiatives: 164325 couples benefitted.
  1. Ministry has enacted “The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019” to provide protection of rights to transgender persons and for their welfare.
  1. By taking historic decision, 10% reservation has been provided for the Economically Weaker Sections by inserting 15(6) and 16(6) articles in the Constitution of India through its 103rd Amendment in the year 2019.
  1. This Department has been implementing various skill developments and loaning schemes through its Corporations for making marginalized sections of the society economically empowered and Atmanirbhar also. Over 20 lakh persons from the marginalized sections from SCs, OBCs, DNTs, EBCs and Safai Karamcharis have been benefited by spending amount of 8286 Crore since the financial year 2014-15.
  1. In the honour of Dr. B R Ambedkar, we were fortunate to build Panchtirth at five places:-
  • Amedbkar’s birthplace in Mhow
  • The place in London where he stayed while studying in the UK
  • DeekshaBhoomi in Nagpur, where he took education
  • MahaparinirvanSthal in Delhi and
  • ChaityaBhoomi in Mumbai.
  1. Dr. Amberdkar International Centre (DAIC) has also been built up at Janpath in Delhi to reduce Socio-economic inequalities by conducting rigorous and authoritative research.
  1. This Department has set up a National Helpline for prevention of atrocities on members of SCs/STs, Toll free No. “14566”. National Helpline for Sr. Citizens has also been provided on Toll free no. “14567”.
  1. All the schemes and projects have been started executing through e- files only by adopting 100% Go-green. This Department has strengthened e-governance and ensured 100% transparency by implementing IT enabled system for making end –to- end activities online. ‘e-Anudaan’ portal, has been developed and made operational where all the proposals from NGOs/Trusts/Societies etc are received and processed On line.

Department through various programs and schemes will always be striving to build an inclusive society wherein adequate support is provided to members of target groups for their development and making them economically and socially self-reliant across the country.

Speaking about the major achievements of the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities during the last 8 years, the Minister informed  that the Legislative Reform: Enactment of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016: Government enacted the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 on 28.12.2016. The Act came into force from 19.04.2017. Central Rules were notified on 15.06.2017. Till date, 32 States/ UTs have notified the Act. Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Dadar & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu and Ladakh have not notified the Act till date. He said the Main features of the RPwD Act, 2016 are:-

  • A rights based legislation unlike the PwD Act, 1995, which was welfare based.
  • Categories of Disabilities increased from 7 to 21. On 04.01.2018 Guidelines for assessment of these disabilities were prescribed.
  • Reservation in Government jobs for Persons with Disabilities increased from 3% to 4%. On 15.01.2018, DoPT issued instructions to provide 4% reservation of the total number of vacancies in direct recruitment to the persons with disabilities.
  • On 04.01.2021, the Ministry notified a list of 3566 posts (1046 – Group A; 515-Group B; 1724- Group C and 281-Group D) identified suitable for reservation for PwDs.
  • On 17.05.2022, the Central Government issued instructions providing for 4% reservation in promotion for persons with benchmark disabilities in the cadre strength within Group C, from Group C to Group B, within Group B to the lowest rung of Group A.
  • Reservation in seats for students with disabilities in Govt./Govt. aided higher educational institutions increased from 3% to 5%.
  • It focuses on creating accessible environment for PwDs in built-up environment, transportation system and ICT eco system.
  • It also focuses on promoting participation of PwDs in skill development, sports and recreation.
  • International  Cooperation in disability sector:
  • India has signed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Person with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and subsequently ratified the same on October 1, 2007.
  • India is also a Party to the Incheon Strategy “To make the Right Real” for Persons with Disabilities in Asia and Pacific Region since 2012.
  • India has signed a MoU with Government of Australia for cooperation in disability sector on 22nd November, 2018. Community Based Inclusive Development (CBID) Project is being implemented in collaboration of University of Melbourne which is in line with the area of cooperation mentioned in the said MoU.
  • On 27th April, 2022, Union Cabinet has also approved the proposal of this Department to enter into a bilateral agreement with Government of Chile for cooperation in disability sector.
  • An MoU is under process to be signed with Government of South Africa for cooperation in disability sector.
  • Two new National Institutes- Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre (ISLRTC) set up in 2015 and National Institute of Mental Health Rehabilitation (NIMHR) established in 2019.
    • ISLRTC developed of ISL Dictionary. Launched 3rd Edition of the Dictionary with total 10000 terms on 17.02.2021.
    • ISLRTC signed an MoU with NCERT on 06.10.2020 to convert textbooks of class I to XII into ISL (Digital Format). ISL e-content of NCERT textbooks of classes I-V launched on 23rd September, 2021.
  • 13 new Composite Regional Centres as outreach/ extension centres of respective NIs established – one each in the States/UTs of Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Sikkim, A&N Islands, Meghalaya and Manipur.
  • Various buildings of National Institutes & their Regional & Composite Regional Centres (CRCs) constructed at a cost of Rs. 258.82 crores to facilitate smooth service delivery to PwDs.
  • Centre for Disability Sports set up at Gwalior to provide state-of-the art training facilities for Divyang Sports Persons which is likely to be made functional in 2022. Another such centre is proposed at Shillong.
  • Modernisation of ALIMCO sanctioned at a cost of Rs 338.04 crore with financial support of Rs 200.00 crore from Central Government.
  • ALIMCO Auxiliary Production Centres were set up in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh at the cost of Rs.13.94 crores. 
  • State of the Art ALIMCO Auxillary Production Centre is being setup in Faridabad, Haryana at the cost of Rs.55.00 crores. The centre is to be completed during July, 2022. The centre is to be completed during July, 2022.
  • 14 Cross Disability Early Identification Centres (CDEIC) (0-6 years) established at 7 National Institutes at Delhi, Dehradun, Secunderabad, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Cuttackand 7 Composite Regional Centres at Lucknow, Sundernagar, Nellore, Rajnandgaon, Kozhikode, Patna and Bhopal in June, 2021.
  • Assistance to Disabled Persons for Purchase/Fitting of aids and appliances (ADIP) scheme revised from April, 2022 for providing contemporary aids and assistive devices to Divyangjan and supporting cochlear implant surgery for children with hearing impairment (0-5 years) @ Rs 7 lakh per beneficiary and Rs. 6.00 lakh in case of children with acquired hearing loss between 5 to 18 years. Aids and assistive devices worth Rs 1389.35 crores distributed to 22.38 lakh Divyangjan and 4170 cochlear implant surgeries supported.
  • Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme (DDRS) and District Disability Rehabilitation Centre (DDRC) scheme revised w.e.f. 01.04.2018 enhancing the cost norms by 2.5 times. Rs 561.00 crores released benefitting 2.83 lakh beneficiaries.
  • New Scholarship Schemes such as pre-matric, post-matric, top class education, National Overseas and free coaching for students with disabilities launched from 2014-15 onwards. Scholarships amounting to Rs 555.35 crore released to 1.84 lakh students with disabilities.
  • Accessible India Campaign launched in December, 2015 for creation of barrier free environment in public buildings, transportation and ICT eco system – 585 buildings of the States/UTs and 1030 Central Government Buildings have been made barrier free through support from the Department under Accessible India Campaign with the release of Rs 553.59 crores.
  • Under SIPDA and National Action Plan, Skill Training to 1.94 lakh Divyangjans was imparted at a cost of Rs. 204.68 crore.
  • Unique Disability Identity Card Project launched in 2016-17 to create a national database of persons with disabilities. As on 01.06.2022, 73.89 lakh Unique Disability ID cards generated in 716 Districts across all States/UTs.
  • 5 Divya Kala Shakti events organized (02 at National Level and 03 at Regional Level) since 2019, to showcase the inner potential of children and youth with disabilities in performing and fine arts.
  • Participants in the 2020 Paralympics held at Tokyo were felicitated by the Department.
  • Department and office of CCPD jointly organized a two days’ sensitization workshop on 4th to 5th March, 2022 at Kevadia, Gujarat to create awareness about the RPwD Act, 2016, various initiatives and the Schemes & Programmes of Government of India for empowerment and inclusion of Persons with Disabilities and roles and responsibilities of the States therein.