Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment
29-December-2010 17:29 IST
Reconstitution of Commissions, Simplified Procedure for Issuing Disability Certificates, Revision of Guidelines to Implement SC Sub-Plan, Launch of Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojna
Year End Review of Social Justice & Empowerment Ministry


            The significant enhancement of 80% in the Plan Outlay for 2010-11 for the Ministry of SJ&E to enable it to revise the rate of scholarship under post matric scholarship schemes for SC and OBC students and for other schemes and programmes for the persons with disabilities; reconstitution of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC), National Commission for Safai Karamcharis (NCSK) and the National Commission for Backward Classes; constitution of Task Force by Planning Commission to re-examine and revise the extant guidelines for implementation of SC Sub-Plan and Tribal Sub-plan by the Central Ministries and the State Governments; release of funds to four states under the pilot scheme of “Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojna PMAGY)”; amendments to the Central Lists of Backward Classes; submission of Report by the Commission for Economically Backward Classes, launching of accessible website of the Ministry; simplification and streamlining the procedure of issue of Disability Certificates to the persons with disabilities; establishment of new District Disability Rehabilitation Centres, Task Force set up to establish National Centre for Universal Design and Barrier-free Environment (NCUDBE); constitution of committee to review the National Policy on Older Persons; pilot National Survey on Drug Abuse and enhanced concessional loans by the National Finance and Development Corporations marked the major activities of the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment during 2010. Following is a brief account of major activities during the outgoing year:-

Utilization of Plan Outlay in 2009-10

The Ministry utilized 98% of its plan allocations during 2009-10. The plan outlay for 2009-10 and its utilization – Sector/Bureau-wise is given below:

(Rs in crore)

S. No.


BE, 2009-10

Exp in 2009-10

Col 4 as per cent to Col 3







Scheduled Castes Development





Backward Classes Development





Development and Welfare of Persons with Disabilities





Social Defence









Enhancement in Plan Outlay in 2010-11

The Plan Outlay of the Ministry was enhanced by 80% (to Rs 4500 crore, from Rs 2500 crore last year). The sector-wise breakup of the enhanced outlay is as under:

(Rs in crore)

S. No.


BE, 2009-10

BE, 2010-11



Scheduled Castes Development





Backward Classes Development





Development and Welfare of Persons with Disabilities





Social Defence









The enhanced allocation of plan outlay of the Ministry for 2010-11 aimed to support the programmes being implemented for the target population groups covering the Scheduled Castes, Other Backward Classes, persons with disabilities, senior citizens and victims of alcoholism and substance abuse. The Finance Minister in his Budget Speech, 2010-11 stated, “With this enhancement the Ministry will be able to revise the rate of scholarship under its Post Matric Scholarship Scheme for SCs and OBC students, which is long overdue.  The allocation will also assist in establishing an Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre for the benefit of the hearing impaired. District Disability Rehabilitation Centres are being set up in 50 additional districts along with two Composite Regional Centres for persons with disabilities”.

Reconstitution of National Commissions of SCs, Safai Karamcharis and OBCs

On expiry of the term of the previous Commission in May, 2010, the the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) was reconstituted with Dr. P.L. Punia as the Chairperson and Shri Raj Kumar Verka as Vice Chairperson. The other Members appointed during the year are: Shri Raju Parmar, Shri M.Shivanna and Smt. Latha Priyakumar


Similarly, the National Commission for Safai Karamcharis (NCSK) was reconstituted on the expiry of the previous Commission in March this year. The reconstituted Commission include Smt.Kamlaben S.Gurjar (Chairperson), Shri K.B. Krishnamurthy, Shri Hari Ram Sood and Shri Shyoraj Jivan.


                       The National Commission for Backward Classes was also reconstituted during 2010 with the appointment of Shri Justice (Retd) M. N. Rao as Chaireprson and Shri S.K.  Kharventham and Shri Deepak Katole as Members of the Commission.


Revision of the Scheme of Post Matric Scholarship to the S C Students


In operation since 1944, this is the oldest scholarship scheme in the country,  and is currently benefiting about 40 lakhs  SC students.  It is a means based scheme and aims to provide financial assistance to SC students for pursuing post-matriculation courses through recognized institutions including correspondence, distance and continuing education courses. The scheme was last revised in April 2003 and hence its revision is overdue. For revising the rates of scholarship under the Scheme, plan outlay for the FY 2010-11 has been increased to Rs.1700 crore, as against Rs.750 crore in FY 2009-10. Revision of the Scheme is expected to be finalized very soon.


Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowships


Under this Central sector scheme, launched in 2005-06, financial assistance is provided each year for 1333 Research Fellowships to Scheduled Caste students pursuing M. Phil., Ph.D. and equivalent courses. Number of fellowships awarded annually has been increased from 1333 to 2000 w.e.f. 2010-11.


National Overseas Scholarship Scheme for SC etc Candidates


            National Overseas Scholarship  provides assistance to selected Scheduled Caste students etc for pursuing higher studies of Master level courses and PhD programmes abroad in specified courses.           The subjects for which this scholarship  can be availed were earlier limited to advanced Engineering subjects.  This list has been expanded this year to include the disciplines Medicine, Pure Sciences, Agricultural Sciences and Management.


Scheduled Castes Sub Plan (SCSP)


            Special Component Plan (SCP) for Scheduled Castes, now renamed as Scheduled Castes Sub Plan (SCSP) was introduced in 1979-80 to channelize the flow of benefits and outlays from the general sectors in the plan of the States and Central Ministries for the development of Scheduled Castes. The Broad Objectives of SCSP include substantial reduction in poverty and unemployment of SCs; creation of productive assets in favor of SCs; Human resource development of the SCs by providing adequate educational and health services and for making provision of physical security against all types of exploitation and oppression.


            Guidelines on formulation, implementation and monitoring of SCSP have been issued by the Planning Commission from time to time. Consolidated guidelines in this regard were last issued to 62 Central Ministries/Departments in December, 2006, for the implementation from the Annual Plan, 2007-08. However, the implementation of the above guidelines by Central Ministries/ Departments had not been satisfactory.


To rectify the above situation, the Ministry of SJ&E had conveyed certain concrete suggestions to the Planning Commission. Pursuant to this, the Planning Commission, constituted a Task Force under the chairmanship of Dr. Narendra Jadhav, Member with Secretaries of Ministries of SJ&E and Tribal Affairs and Principal Secretaries of four States to re-examine and revise the extant Guidelines for implementation of Scheduled Caste Sub-Plan and Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP) by Central Ministries and State Governments.


The Task Force, submitted its First Report, covering Central Ministries/ Departments in November this year. The recommendations of the Task Force have been accepted by the Planning Commission and accordingly it has issued a circular on 15th of this month to the Central Ministries/Departments for preparation of their SCSP and TSP Plans for 2011-12, according to a rationalized system.

Progress Under Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana (PMAGY)

The Finance Minister had announced introduction of a new Centrally sponsored Pilot Scheme of “Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana (PMAGY)” in 1000 SC-majority villages of the country in his budget speech 2009-10, and Rs.100 crore had been provided for the purpose. The scheme was approved on 13.3.2010 and its guidelines were circulated to the concerned five States (and Central Ministries) on 16.3.2010.  Under the first phase of the pilot Scheme, integrated development of 1000 SC-majority villages located in five States U.P., Bihar, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu (225 villages each) and Assam (100 villages) is to be achieved - primarily through convergent implementation of all relevant Central and State schemes. To the extent needs of the identified villages cannot be met through convergence,  they are to be met through ‘gap-filling’ funds for which Central assistance is to  be provided @ Rs.10.0 lakh per village with State Governments expected to contribute a matching share.  


  While selecting States for the first 1000 villages, one State each was chosen from the five regions. In the case of four regions viz. North, South, West and North East, the State with the highest number of SC-majority villages was chosen.


So far, based on complete proposals received from Bihar, Rajasthan, Assam and Tamil Nadu, full admissible amount of Central assistance under the scheme has been released to these States. A total sum of Rs. 78.30 crore has already been released to develop 225 SC majority villages in the States of Bihar, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu and 100 such villages in Assam under the pilot scheme.


Implementation of the Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955 and the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.


            In furtherance of Article 17 of the Constitution by which untouchability was abolished and its practice in any form forbidden, the Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955, was enacted in order to enforce the Constitutional provisions. The provisions of the Act extend to the whole of India.

With a view to ensure their effective implementation, central assistance is provided to States/UTs under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme for several purposes like setting up and strengthening of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Protection Cell and Special Police Stations, setting up and functioning of exclusive Special Courts, relief and rehabilitation of atrocity victims, cash incentive for Inter-caste marriages and awareness generation.

             During 2010-2011, Central assistance of Rs. 57.5 crore has been so far released (up to 15.12.10) against an allocation of Rs.59.0 crore.     


            In accordance with Section 14 of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, the State Government, for the purpose of providing for speedy trial, with the concurrence of the Chief Justice of the High Court, by notification in the official Gazette, specifies for each district, a Court of Session to be Special Court to try the offences under the Act.   Concerned States have designated District Session Courts as Special Courts. However, for ensuring speedy trial of atrocity cases, nine States have reported that they have set up 177 exclusive Special Courts as under:-


S. No.


Total Number of Districts

Number of Exclusive Special Court in District


Andhra Pradesh




















Madhya Pradesh








Tamil Nadu




Uttar Pradesh





















Three State Governments (Bihar -09, Madhya Pradesh 48 and Chhattisgarh-12) have set up Special Police Stations for registration of offences committed against SCs and STs.  




Legislation for protection and welfare of Sanitation and Leather Workers


Sanitation and leather workers have to work in adverse conditions. These workers do not get a safe and healthy working environment.  Nature of their work is such that they need to take adequate safety measures to protect themselves from the unhygienic and hazardous working conditions.  News of death of sewer workers while clearing blocked sewer lines and manholes is common. Sanitation workers lifting garbage get various diseases. While some sanitation workers die of asphyxiation in manholes, many die of respiratory and neurological diseases. Those who suffer from illness due to conditions in the workplace are given any statutory monetary or other help by their employers. In most cities, civic authorities have handed over the cleaning of sewers to contractors. Contractors do not provide them even the minimum protective gear. Health care, proper remuneration, compensation and good & safe working conditions of sanitation workers are being neglected by their employers, in the absence of any binding legal framework.


Keeping in view the above, the Ministry of SJ&E took up the matter of enacting a comprehensive legislation with the Ministry of Labour and Employment, to regulate the working conditions of sanitation and leather workers, and also to provide welfare measures for them as a distinct group, as already in place for several other category of workers like Building and Other Construction Workers, Beedi and Cigar Workers, Cine Workers, Plantation Workers etc.  As a result, the Ministry of Labour and Employment has constituted a Working Group for Sanitation and Leather Workers to look into the issue of framing a legislation for certain matters relating to Sanitation Workers and Leather Workers. So far three meetings of the Working Group have been held during the year.


Amendments to the Central Lists of Backward Classes


Based on the advice received from the NCBC, the addition/modification in the Central Lists of OBCs in respect of States as detailed below has been notified as per the Resolution dated 18-08-2010.


Name of the State

No. of New Entries

Number of Modified Entries










Himachal Pradesh









Daman & Diu






* correction in spelling




It is noteworthy that Central lists of OBCs for the States of Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand, have been notified for the first time, as above.


Revision of Post Matric Scholarship Scheme for OBC students


This scheme has been in operation since 1998-99.  Under it  scholarship is paid to students whose parent’s/guardian’s income from all sources does not exceed Rs. 44,500/- per annum. An estimated about 15 lakh students are benefited under the Scheme.


During 2010-11, an enhanced budget allocation of Rs.350 crore, as compared to BE of Rs 135 crore in the previous year 2009-10 has been made to meet the additional financial implications arising from its revision. Revision of the Scheme is expected to be effected shortly.


Commission for Economically Backward Classes


            A commission for Economically Backward Classes had been constituted by the Central Government with the following terms of reference:-


(a)   to elicit the view of State Governments/UTs and other Commissions on the subject;

(b)   to suggest criteria for identification for economically backward classes;

(c)   to recommend welfare measures and quantum of reservation in education and Government employment to the extent as appropriate;

(d)   to suggest the necessary constitutional, legal and administrative modalities as required for implementation of the recommendations.


The Commission submitted its Report in July, 2010,which is under examination.




Launching of Accessible Website of the Ministry


A redesigned accessible website of the Ministry ( in the beginning of this year. This Ministry thus became the first among the Central Ministries to have re-designed its website making it accessible to persons with disabilities. The Ministry, has, also instituted a new category of National Awards for the Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, under which three awards- one each for Government, Public and Private Sector websites – will be given each year for websites with the best “accessibility” features.  In  2010, one Government and one Semi-Government website have already been given the award


Committee to Draft New Legislation for Persons with Disabilities


The Persons with Disabilities (PwD) Act, 1995, has now been in force for 15 years. Keeping in view the experience of its working over this period, and the need to harmonize its provisions with those of the United Nations Convention on the Rights for Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), 2008, extensive consultation with various stakeholders had been carried out.

The Ministry had constituted a Committee to study the suggestions and comments received on the amendments and to draft a new legislation for persons with disabilities, under the Chairmanship of Dr. Sudha Kaul, Vice Chairperson, Indian Institute of Cerebral Palsy, Kolkata. The Committee comprises experts and representatives of various stakeholders including State Governments, Union Ministries, Civil Society Organizations working in the disability sector, Government organizations in the field of disabilities etc.


The Committee has so far held six meetings. The term of the Committee has been extended up to 31st March, 2011.


Procedure simplified for Issue of Disability Certificates


            Disability Certificate is an essential document for the Persons with Disabilities to avail benefits under various schemes and concessions from the Government. Disability Certificates are issued by three-member Medical Boards constituted at the District level, involving a cumbersome and time consuming procedure making access to the certificates difficult. Only, about 35% of persons with disabilities had been issued disability certificates as in October, 2010.


            The Central Government amended the (Central) Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Rules last year. The amended Rules enable simplified and decentralized procedure for issuance of Disability Certificate.  The amended Rules replace "Medical Board" by "Medical Authorities", to be notified by the appropriate government. The disability certificate is to be issued as far as possible, within seven days from the date of receipt of application but in any case not later than one month.


            Guidelines were issued to State Governments in February, 2010 to effect suitable changes in their Rules and notify the Medical Authority.  In the guidelines, multi-tier medical authorities have been suggested so that in respect of obvious disabilities, the disability certificate can be issued at the level of Primary Health Centres (PHCs), Community Health Centres (CHCs), and Hospitals at the Sub-Divisional level, in case of non-obvious single disabilities, certificates can be issued by a single specialist and only in case of multiple disabilities, a multi member board would be required to issue the certificate. In addition, provisions have been made for taking services of non-government specialists and testing facilities in case these are not available in government hospitals.


            Ministry of Health and Family Welfare have since issued notification for medical authorities for Central Government Hospitals/Institutes for issuing disability certificates for various kind of disabilities. So far the States of Bihar, Goa and Gujarat have issued notification appointing medical authorities and simplifying procedure. Ministry of SJ & E is pursuing the matter with the remaining State Governments.


Establishment of New District Disability Rehabilitation Centres (DDRCs) and Composite Regional Centres




            To create infrastructure and capacity building at district level for providing rehabilitation services to persons with disabilities, awareness generation, training rehabilitation professionals, etc. the Ministry provides assistance for setting up District Disability Rehabilitation Centres (DDRCs) in un-served and under-served districts of the country. At present, 199 DDRCs have been sanctioned, of which, 179 DDRCs are reportedly functional. The Finance Minister, in his Budget Speech 2010-11, had announced setting up of DDRCs in 50 additional districts, and two Composite Regional Centres (CRCs), during 2009-10.  In pursuance of this, 100 unserved districts were identified for setting up new DDRCs, and the concerned State Governments have been requested in June, 2010, to send proposals for setting up new DDRCs.  As on 25.12.2010, sanctions have been issued for 14 new DDRCs in four States of Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Tripura.


Composite Regional Centres


To provide comprehensive rehabilitation services for all persons with disabilities and impart training under one roof, six Composite Regional Centres (CRCs) for the Persons with Disabilities were established at Bhopal, Lucknow, Guwahati, Srinagar, Sundernagar (H.P.) and Patna as these regions lacked institutional infrastructure.


The Ministry decided to establish two more CRCs in the States of Kerala and Gujarat respectively. The Governments of Kerala and Gujarat have agreed to provide land and accommodation to set up the centers respectively at Kozhikode and Ahmadabad. The new CRCs are likely to be sanctioned by the end of the current financial year.


National Centre for Universal Design and Barrier-free Environment (NCUDBE)

The Eleventh Five Year Plan document envisages establishment of a National Centre for Universal Design and Barrier-free Environment (NCUDBE).  The Ministry has set up a Task Force, under the Chairmanship of the DG, CSIR, in September this year to work out details of the proposed NCUDBE. 


Social Defence


Status of implementation of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007


The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 was enacted by Parliament in December 2007. The Act comes into force in a State upon notification by individual State Government. The Act is not applicable to the State of Jammu & Kashmir.  Himachal Pradesh has its own Act.  Of the remaining 26 States, the Act has been notified by 22 States and all UTs. UP, Bihar, Meghalaya and Sikkim are yet to notify the Act. For effective implementation of the Act, States which notify the Act are required to frame rules, appoint Maintenance Officer, constitute maintenance tribunal and constitute Appellate Tribunal


Ten States (viz. Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Tripura and West Bengal) have taken all the above steps.  The matter is being pursued with the rest.


Review of the National Policy on Older Persons (NPOP)


The NPOP was announced in January 1999 which envisages State support to ensure financial and food security, health care, shelter and other needs of older persons, equitable share in development, protection against abuse and exploitation, and availability of services to improve the quality of their lives.


Ten years have passed since the announcement of the Policy. Keeping in view the changing demography in the country, the Ministry has constituted a Committee in January 2010 to assess the present status of various issues concerning senior citizens, in general, and implementation of National Policy on Older Persons (NPOP), 1999 and draft a new National Policy on Older Persons in particular.


The Review Committee has so far held six meetings and five regional meetings at Chandigarh, Chennai, Mumbai, Guwahati and Bhubaneswar. The Review Committee is expected to submit its recommendation by March, 2011.


Drafting of a National Policy on Prevention of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse and Rehabilitation of its Victims


            A National Consultative Committee on De-addiction and Rehabilitation (NCCDR) was set up in July 2008 to advise Central and State Governments on issues connected with drug demand reduction, especially education/awareness building, de-addiction and rehabilitation.

            A Sub-Committee was constituted last year to draft a National Policy on Prevention of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse and Rehabilitation of its Victims, and putting  up for the consideration of the NCCDR.   The Second meeting of the NCCDR was held this year wherein the draft National Policy prepared by the Sub-Committee was discussed. Further action is being taken on the suggestions received in the meeting.


National Survey on Drug Abuse


The National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO) was requested by the Ministry to undertake a National Survey on the extent, pattern and trends of drug abuse in the country.  A pilot survey in the States of Punjab and Manipur and the Metro of Mumbai has been conducted by NSSO.  The report of this pilot survey is expected soon. A full-fledged survey at the national level will be conducted based on the experience of the pilot.




The  Ministry  held  a  National  Consultation  Meeting  with  20 State Governments, the Govt. of NCT of Delhi, civil society representatives, and experts on 1st July, 2010, at New Delhi, under the Chairpersonship of Minister, SJ&E, on the problem of beggary and the multi-pronged strategy required to address it. Further action is being taken in the light of suggestions received in the meeting.


National-Level Finance & Development Corporations


Concessional Loans by National Finance and Development Corporations


Concessional  loans  amounting  to  Rs.229.30 crore  were  provided to about 1 lakh beneficiaries belonging to the Ministry’s target groups during the first six months of the current financial year, as compared to Rs.199.07 crore to 97,575 beneficiaries during the corresponding period of the previous financial year, through the four national-level Finance and Development Corporations of this Ministry (viz. the National Scheduled Castes Finance & Development Corporation (NSFDC), National Safai Karamcharis Finance & Development Corporation (NSKFDC), National Backward Classes Finance & Development Corporation (NBCFDC), and National Handicapped Finance & Development Corporation (NHFDC)].  Corporation-wise details upto the end of the second quarter of 2010-11 are as follows:




Amount of Loan disbursed

(in crore Rs)

No. of







































































SCOPE Meritorious Award to NBCFDC


National Backward Classes Finance & Development Corporation was awarded the "SCOPE Meritorious Award" for the best managed Public Sector Enterprise for the year 2008-09.  The award was presented by the President of India on 10th April, 2010, during the 1st Public Sector Day function.







The Ministry has been organizing, since 2007, an annual Exhibition-cum-Sale, called “Shilpotsav”, of the products of the beneficiaries of its Apex Finance and Development Corporations and other organizations, at Dilli Haat, New Delhi. The   fourth annual “Shilpotsav”, which was held from 16th to 28th October this year, witnessed over 200 beneficiaries from all over the country the sales worth Rs.1.2 crore, as against of Rs 80 lakh last year.


National Trust


            The National Trust, an autonomous body under this Ministry, has launched a Group Life Insurance Scheme for Parents/Guardians of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation & Multiple Disabilities, named “Asmita” on 29th July, 2010.  The scheme aims to ensure financial security and life-long institutional safeguards for persons with the above-mentioned disabilities, after the death of their parents/guardians.


Badhte Kadam – Mobile Disability Awareness Expedition

National Trust has organized a disability awareness expedition Badhte Kadam from 16th to 30th Nov’10. On 16th Nov’10. Awareness meeting and mass contact programmes were organized with the help of Local National Trust Registered NGOs.

Certificate of Registration of Design to a motorized wheelchair developed by ALIMCO


The Controller General of Patents, Design and Trade Marks has granted Certificate of Registration of Design on 11.5.2010 in respect of a motorized wheelchair, developed by the Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation of India (ALIMCO), a Public Sector Undertaking of the Ministry, in collaboration with the Harcourt Butler Technological Institute, Kanpur.