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Achievements In The Year 2017-18

The Social Justice and Empowerment (SJ&E) Division in NITI Aayog is actively functioning to provide inputs in formulation and strengthening of policies and programmes to promote and safeguard the interest of the socially, educationally and economically weaker sections of the society such as Scheduled Castes (SCs), Safaikarmacharies, Scheduled Tribes (STs), Other Backward Classes (OBCs), Economically Backward Classes (EBCs), Nomadic, Semi Nomadic & De-Notified Tribes (NT,SNT & DNTs), Minorities and other Social Defence Groups such as Persons with Disabilities, Senior Citizens, Victims of Substance Abuse/ Drug Addicts, Beggars/ Destitutes and Transgender Persons. The Division also renders advice for formulation and implementation of the Scheduled Caste Sub-Plan (SCSP) Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP), Special Central Assistance to SCSP & TSP and Grants under Article 275(l) and deals with policy issues relating to the sub-plans.

 

The Social Justice Division is Nodal Division in NITI Aayog for Department of Social Justice & Empowerment [Department of Social Justice & Empowerment & Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities], Ministry of Tribal Affairs and Ministry of Minority Affairs and also State Departments dealing with the welfare and development of the socially and economically backward communities and other vulnerable sections of society.

 

Some major specific activities undertaken by the division during the period under report are as follows:

i. Revamping of Tribal Research Institutes (TRIs);

The Secretary, Ministry of Tribal Affairs had made a presentation before the Prime Minister on 20th January, 2015. One of the decisions was that TRIs have large role in policy making pertaining to the Scheduled Tribes. Policy inputs from TRIs to be collected and TRIs to be developed into Top Class Research Centres. The follow up action on this is to be taken by the NITI Aayog. A Sub-Group was constituted under the Chairmanship of Dr. S.M. Jharwal, Chancellor, Indira Gandhi National Tribal University. The report submitted by the sub-group as directed by the Senior Management Committee (SMC) has been circulated to States /UTs and Ministry of Tribal Affairs for their views.

 

ii. Institutional mechanism for Monitoring & Review Scheduled Castes Sub-Plan (SCSP) and Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP);

Guidelines for effective implementation of SCSP & TSP by the Central Ministries/Departments and States /UTs were issued earlier by the erstwhile Planning Commission. Guidelines have been reiterated by NITI Aayog in April 2015, in response to a letter from the Secretary, Ministry of Finance, and Department of Economic Affairs (DEA). The task of monitoring and review of SCSP and TSP has since been entrusted to the nodal Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and the Ministry of Tribal Affairs respectively vide amended ABR dated 27th January 2017, NITI Aayog, developed a Monitoring Framework and circulated to Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and Ministry of Tribal Affairs to monitor SCSP & TSP respectively. 

 

iii. A Concept paper on Leftwing Extremism Areas and livelihood opportunities for tribal;

A meeting of Committee of Secretaries was held under the Chairmanship of the Cabinet Secretary on 17.09.2015, to discuss the development issues of Scheduled Tribes one of the recommendation waspertaining to NITI Aayog which obligate NITI Aayog that “NITI Aayog along with M/o Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) will examine the possibility of developing the aroma industry, honey, dairying etc., as sustainable means of livelihood for the tribal population especially in LWE areas”. A concept paper on the same has been finalized and circulated for consultations with stakeholders.

 

iv. Consultations with NITI SAMAVESH forum

The SJE Division held two consultations to seek suggestions / opinions of States and independent agencies on Scheduled Castes Sub-Plan and Tribal Sub-Plan and also working the field of research and development for the welfare and development of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes at Bhopal with Tribal Research Institutes and at Thiruvananthapuram with Centre for Development Studies.

 

V .The SJE Division Participated

  • National Workshop / Consultation on MSP for MFP held in Delhi, consultation with stakeholders to decide the prise for MFPs
  • Meetings of the Empowered Committee to consider proposals under Multi Sector Development Programme (PMJVKY)
  • Meeting with Chairman & Members of the National Safaikarmacharies Commission with Principal Adviser, NITI Aayog.
  • Participated in the meeting of the Research Advisory Committee to consider the proposals of Social Defence issues.
  • Attended the meeting of National Council for Senior Citizens organised by the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment.
  • Participated in the National Conference on donor syndrome organised by the National Trust.
  • Participated in the Inclusive India campaign organised by the National Trust for PwDs.

 

EFC/SFCs

  • EFC Proposal for enhancement of Authorised share capital of National Safaikarmacharies Finance & Development Corporation was examined and supported.
  • EFC Proposal for SCA to SCSP was examined and supported with certain modifications to benefit the SCs.
  • EFC proposal for Particularly Vulnerable  Tribal Groups was examined and supported the scheme to continue beyond 12th Five Year Plan and till 2019-20.
  • EFC proposal for scheme of implementation of Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act-2016 (SIRPDA) was examined and supported with certain modifications to create awareness and adequate implementation mechanism in the field.
  • EFC proposals for scholarship schemes (Pre-Metric, Post-Metric, Merit -cum- Means Scholarships) for Minority Students were examined and supported with certain suggestions to improve  the service delivery and ensure DBT Provisions.
  • EFC proposal for construction of Hostels for OBC Boys and Girls was examined and supported with certain modifications to ensure adequate safety provisions and timeframe to complete the projects.
  • EFC proposal for Umbrella Program for Scheduled Tribe Students was examined and supported with suggestions to improve the service delivery and avoid duplication of benefits etc.
  • EFC proposal for continuation and revision of Post-Metric Scholarship scheme for OBC students was examined and suggested to implement DBT provisions and ensure avoid duplication of benefits by OBCs of Minority Communities.
  • EFC proposal for scheme of Seekho aur Kamao for Minorities was examined and supported with certain suggestions to improve the service delivery and DBT Provisions.
  • EFC proposal for modification and continuation in the scheme of National Fellowship for SCs Students was examined and supported with certain suggestions to improve the service delivery and DBT Provisions.
  • SFC for TRIs was examined and supported the proposal to strengthen them as Top Class Research Institutes.
  • SFC Proposal for continuation and revision of MSP for MFP was examined and supported.
  • SFC Proposal for continuation and revision of Institutional Support for development and Marketing of Tribal Products / Produces beyond 12th Five Year Plan till 2019-20 was examined and supported with certain modifications to benefit the tribals.
  • SFC Proposal for continuation of scheme of National Fellowship and Scholarship for Higher education was examined and supported with certain suggestions to enhance the number of slots, DBT Provision, Aadhar linking of beneficiaries etc.
  • SFC proposal for Rashtriya Vayoshreshta Yojan was examined and supported the scheme for continuation till 2019-20.
  • SFC Proposal on Northeast Rural Livelihood Program was examined and supported the proposal.
  • SFC proposal for continuation and revision of the scheme of Deen Dayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme and suggested certain measures to improve the service delivery to PwDs.
  • SFC proposal of the Scheme for Assistance to Persons with Disabilities to Purchase and Fitting of Assistive Devises was examined and supported to enhance the service delivery system and create more awareness and camps in rural and remote backward areas.
  • SFC proposal for revision and continuation of National Fellowship scheme for OBCs students was examined and supported with suggestions to enhance the number of slots and ensure DBT provisions.
  • SFC proposal for establishment of District Disability Rehabilitation Centers (DDRS) was examined and supported the proposal with suggestions to discontinue the overlapping activities and certain modifications to ensure DBT provisions.
  • SFC proposal for revision and continuation of Pre-Metric Scholarship Scheme for Scheduled Caste Students was examined and suggested certain suggestions to implement through National Scholarship Portal and ensure DBT provisions.
  • SFC proposal for continuation and revision of Pre-Metric Scholarship scheme for OBC students was examined and suggested to implement DBT provisions and ensure avoid duplication of benefits by OBCs of Minority Communities.
  • The SFC proposal for revision and continuation of equity support to Minorities Finance Development Corporation was examined and supported with suggestions to ensure service delivery with DBT Provisions and extend its base to RRBs and Micro Finance Institutions.
  • SFC proposal for revision and continuation of Free-Coaching and Allied Scheme for Minorities was examined and supported with certain suggestions to improve the service delivery and DBT Provisions.
  • SFC proposal for revision and continuation of Maulana Azad National Fellowship scheme for Minority Students was examined and supported with certain suggestions to improve the service delivery and DBT Provisions.
  • SFC proposal for prevention of Alcoholism and substance (drug) Abuse and Social Defence services was examined and supported with certain suggestions to improve the service delivery and DBT Provisions.
  • SFC proposal for Grant-in-Aid to Voluntary Organisations working for the welfare of Scheduled Castes was examined and supported with certain suggestions to phase-out old NGOs and adopt best practices and cover the most backward and remote rural areas to deliver the services.
  • SFC proposal for continuation and revision in the Scheme of Babu Jagjeevan Ram Chatarvas Yojan was examined and supported with certain suggestions to improve the service delivery and fix the time limit to completion of the projects etc.
  • SFC proposal for continuation and revision of the scheme of Integrated Programme for Older Persons was examined and supported the proposals to ensure certain provisions support the State Agencies and phase-out Old NGOs and assist new NGOs with Best practices which deliver the services genuine and needy.
  • SFC proposal for revision and continuation of Top-Class Education Scheme SCs was examined and comments were sent for modification in certain components, ensure DBT Provisions and harmonise the rates and others assistance with similar schemes for STs, Minorities etc.

 

Cabinet Notes

  • The Cabinet Note for revision and continuation of Pre-Matric Scholarship Scheme for SCs students was examined and supported.
  • The Cabinet Note for Establishment of National Institute for Mentally Handicapped at Bhopal was examined and supported with suggestions to ensure convergence with other National Institutes like NIMHANS etc.
  • The Cabinet Note for revision and continuation of MSDP (PMJVKY) Scheme was examined and supported with certain suggestions to improve the service delivery and convergence.

 

State Issues

  • A meeting was held under the Chairmanship of Vice Chairman NITI Aayog to address the pending issues of State of Odisha with officials of Govt. of Odisha and Central Ministries / Departments and certain issues were resolved to clear the pending arrears stuck due to operational difficulties.
  • PAC Meetings of the MOTA were attended to provide assistance to States/UTs under SCA to TSP, Grants under Article 275(1) and other schemes of MOTA.

 

Parliament Matters

  • Inputs were provided for the Standing Committee on Finance on implementation of SCSP & TSP
  • Inputs were provided to Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Ministry of Minority Affairs and also Ministry of Finance in-respect of questions relating to welfare of weaker sections.
  • Rajya Sabha Starred Question No. 34, for 06.02.2017 on Human Development Index for SCs and STs by Shri P.L. Punia, was answered.

 

VIP & PMO References

Various references from VIPs, PMO and President were taken with appropriate authorities and replies / action taken was communicated to the applicants.

 

RTI Matters

About 90 RTI applications and two RTI appeals received under RTI Act-2005 in the Division were disposed of.

 

Other activities under taken

During the year the Division represented NITI Aayog in the Price Fixation Committee of TRIFED for revision of the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for Minor Forest Produces (MFPs). Other Committees which the Division represented NITI Aayog during the year were, (i) Standing Committee for Tribal Welfare and National Council for Tribal Welfare; (ii) Central Monitoring Committee for Monitoring the implementation of Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and other Rehabilitation Act-2013; (iii) Technical Advisory Committee for Nai-Manzil scheme of Ministry of Minority Affairs; (iv) Selection committee for selection of Coaching Institutions for Grant of Central Assistance under the scheme of Pre-Coaching for SC and OBC students; and (iv)  Project Approval Committee for sanction of Projects under Grant-in-Aid under Article 275(1) and under the Scheme Special central Assistance (SCA) to Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP). The Division also represented NITI Aayog in the Research Advisory Committees (RAC) of Department of Social Justice & Empowerment, and Ministry of Tribal Affairs in addition to the Project Approval Committee of Multi Sectoral Development Programme / PMs 15 Point Programme of Ministry of Minority Affairs.