Venture Capital Fund for Scheduled Castes

Venture Capital Fund for Scheduled Castes

The Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment had launched on 16.01.2015 the Venture Capital Fund for Scheduled Castes. The objective and scope of the fund are at Annexure.

The Objective and scope of the “Venture Capital Fund for Scheduled Castes”


·         It is a Social Sector Initiative to be implemented nationally in order to promote entrepreneurship among the scheduled caste population in India.
·         Promote entrepreneurship amongst the Scheduled Castes who are oriented toward innovation and growth technologies.
·         To provide concessional finance to the scheduled caste entrepreneurs who will create wealth and value for society and at the same time will promote profitable businesses. The assets so created will also create forward/backward linkage. It will further create chain effect in the locality.
·         To increase financial inclusion for SC entrepreneurs and to motivate them for further growth of SC communities.
·         To develop SC entrepreneurs economically.
·         To enhance direct and indirect employment generation for SC population in India.

Eligibility Criteria:
·         The projects being set up in manufacturing and services sector ensuring asset creation out of the funds;
·         While selecting SC entrepreneurs, women SC entrepreneurs would be preferred;
·         Companies having at least 60% stake holding by SC entrepreneurs for the past 12 months with management control;
·         SC promoters shall not dilute their stake below 60% in the company during the tenure of the investment. A prior written approval need to be taken for dilution during any strategic investments, buyouts etc.
·         The companies applying for assistance of more than Rs. 5 Cr. Shall be appraised by the banks/ Fls.
·         For Companies with sanctioned assistance of above Rs. 5 Cr. the money released by the trust/ fund manger would be in proportion to the loan tranche by the bank.

The fund has been operationalised w.e.f. 16.01.2015 and the IFCI Ltd. is the Nodal Agency to operate it.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Shri Vijay Sampla in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha here today.


Scavenging Free India by 2019

The Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013 (MS Act, 2013), has been enacted by the Parliament to eliminate the twin evils of insanitary latrines and manual scavenging. This Act has come into force in all the States and Union Territories except the State of Jammu & Kashmir with effect from 06.12.2013.  Manual Scavenging is a prohibited activity from this date.

 Houselisting and Housing Census, 2011  data released by the Registrar General of India, inter-alia, provided the number of households   by type of latrine facility, including latrines from which night soil is manually removed. On the basis of this data, the concerned State Governments/Union Territory Administrations were requested to undertake the survey of manual scavengers in 3546 Statutory Towns.  A statement showing funds released to States and Union Territories for this purpose is:

In addition, data on manual scavengers in rural areas is being captured under the ongoing Socio-Economic Caste census (Rural) undertaken by the Ministry of Rural Development. Also, MS Act, 2013 casts a responsibility on the Chief Executive Officers of the Municipalities and Panchayats to cause a survey to be undertaken to identify manual scavengers, if they have reason to believe that some persons are engaged or employed in manual scavenging in their jurisdiction.

As per the latest information available on the basis of quarterly progress reports received from States/Union Territories, 12753 manual scavengers have been identified in 13 States, details   of which are given in Annexure-II.

On the basis of proposals received from the State Governments/Union Territory Administrations, 2112 identified manual scavengers have been provided onetime cash assistance of Rs.40000/- each as per details given in Annexure-III. In addition, 97 identified manual scavengers in West Bengal have also been provided Skill Development Training/loans at concessional rates with capital/interest subsidy for undertaking alternative employment. Implementation of the provisions of MS Act, 2013 in the progress.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Shri Vijay Sampla in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha here today.


Awareness Regarding ILLS of Alcohol

The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has informed that the factsheet on "Intimate partner and sexual violence against women" (November 2014) released by World Health Organization lists harmful use of alcohol as a risk factor for being a perpetrator of violence against women, and suggests that reducing the harmful use of alcohol has shown some promise in preventing such violence.

As a follow up of the United Nations High Level Summit on non-communicable diseases (NCD) in September 2011, the Global NCD voluntary targets and indicators were identified and endorsed by the World Health Assembly in May 2013. The Global NCD Action Plan 2013-2020 lists out a set of 9 voluntary global NCD targets for 2025, including a 10% reduction in the harmful use of alcohol globally.

The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has also informed that India was the first country to develop and adopt the national monitoring framework in line with the global framework to monitor the prevention and control of NCDs, with well-defined country-specific targets and indicators, including a 5% relative reduction in alcohol use by 2020 and a 10 % relative reduction by 2025.

In addition, this Ministry has taken the following steps to create awareness in society about the ill-effects of alcoholism and drug abuse:-

(i) International Day against Drug Abuse & Illicit Trafficking is observed on 26th June of the year. As part of this programme, rallies, paintings campaign, workshops, seminars etc are organized at the National as well as State level. On this occasion, National Awards for outstanding services in the field of Prevention of Alcoholism and Substance (Drugs) Abuse are conferred to the Individuals and Institutions to encourage them and recognize their efforts.

(ii) The National Institute for Social Defence, under the Ministry in collaboration with Regional Resource and Training Centres and other collaborating partners organizes sensitization programme in Schools and Colleges and skill development programme for its target group.

(iii) Information regarding ill-effects of alcoholism and drug abuse is also disseminated in regional languages through the All India Radio programme “Sanwarti Jayen Jeevan Ki Rahen” and also through advertisements in news papers.

This Ministry has released grant-in-aid to 24 NGOs amounting to Rs 2.03 crore located in the State of Tamilnadu under the Scheme of Assistance for Prevention of Alcoholism and Substance (Drug) Abuse during the financial year 2014-15 for running of de-addiction & rehabilitation centres.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Shri Vijay Sampla in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha here today.


De-Addiction Centres in Jharkhand and Gujarat

The Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment is implementing a “Central Sector Scheme of Assistance for Prevention of Alcoholism and Substance (Drug) Abuse and for Social Defence Services”. The Scheme has provision of financial assistance to Non-Governmental organizations, Panchayati Raj Institutions, Urban Local Bodies etc. for, inter-alia,  running and maintenance of Integrated Rehabilitation Centres for Addicts (IRCAs) and to provide composite/integrated services for the rehabilitation of the addicts. During 2012-13 to 2014-15, the Ministry has assisted 26 new de-addiction centres is:

The drug de-addiction centres are set up by State Governments/ NGOs.

The amount sanctioned to the 26 new de-addiction centres assisted by the Ministry during the last 3 years is given:


This information was given by the Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Shri Vijay Sampla in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha here today.


Interlinking of Rivers

At the time of preparation of Detailed Project Report of the individual river link projects, detailed Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) studies as per Terms of Reference approved by Environmental Appraisal Committee (EAC) of Ministry of Environment and Forests & Climate Change are carried out. EIA study includes impact on land, environment, water resources and its quality, terrestrial ecology (flora, fauna, vegetation cover, wildlife), aquatic ecology (riverine ecology, fisheries), pollution due to noise during construction phase, air quality, command area development, local services (like water supply, education, health care, community forests, as well as business opportunities). All issues arising out of the EIA studies are duly addressed in Environmental Management Plan, which forms a part of DPR.

Resettlement and Rehabilitation (R&R) Plan in respect of project affected persons is an integral part of the implementation of any ILR Project and is included in the DPR. A comprehensive R&R Plan as per the R & R Policy guidelines of the Government of India – (2007)and R&R policy of the State Governments has been prepared in respect of both Ken-Betwa Link Project Phase-I & Phase-II and Damanganga-Pinjal Link Project for which, the DPRs have been prepared.

In order to address various issues concerning the Inter- Linking of River Programme and to arrive at a consensus on the link proposals between the States, a Special Committee on interlinking of Rivers, has already been constituted by the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation in September, 2014. Three meetings of the Special Committee for Interlinking of Rivers (ILR) have been held so far, wherein State Irrigation/Water Resources Ministers along with the Secretaries of various States attended the meeting. The Committee after considering the views of all the stakeholders is proceeding ahead to expedite the objectives of interlinking rivers as per terms of reference of the Committee.

States were consulted for inviting their suggestions on strengthening and/or restructuring Central Water Commission in August, 2011. The views/observations of 11 major States were received. The suggestions made incorporate ensuring core competence in engineering, design and consultancy with CWC, participation of State engineers in the work of CWC through deputation and active involvement of CWC in capacity building of States. The States also observed that national level perspectives need to be generated and process of clearance of the projects streamlined. On the whole, consultation and advisory role was sought through a strengthened and restructured Central Water Commission.

This information was given by Union Minister of State for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Prof. Sanwar Lal Jat in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.


Ganga Ghats
National Mission for Clean Ganga has sanctioned a project “Development of Area around Assi Ghat, Varanasi” under National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) at an estimated cost of Rs. 27.28 crores. The project is to be implemented by Government of Uttar Pradesh. However the works on the project have currently been stopped under directions of Hon’ble High Court.

Under Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) assisted Ganga Action Plan-II (GAP-II) project at Varanasi, Ghat Improvement at an estimated cost of Rs. 496.90 crore is being undertaken at 26 bathing ghats and 9 dhobighats at Varanasi. Work of improvement of 11 bathing ghats has been completed; repair & renovation work for 7 bathing ghats is in progress while work for remaining 8 ghats is yet to be awarded. Of the 9 dhobighats, 6 ghats are to be developed a new while 3 existing ghats are to be improved. The work on construction of 2 new dhobighats and improvement of 3 existing ghats has been awarded and work is in progress. While work for 4 new dhobighats is yet to be awarded.

Uttar Pradesh State Programme Management Group (UPSPMG) has submitted a concept note on “Ghat & Kund development in the city of Varanasi (Development of area around panch pandav kund, Pushkar Kund and Trilochan-Gola-Nandeshwar Ghats, Varanasi heritage tour and IEC & capacity development activities)”. The concept note has been approved by NMCG and State has been requested to submit the DPR for the same.

During 2014 – 15, a budgetary provision of Rs. 100 crore was kept for Ghat works for beautification of River fronts including ghats of Varanasi. The State Governments have been requested for expediting proposals for river front development by suitably selecting the locations on the banks of Ganga and taking action for preparation of DPRs.

This information was given by Union Minister of State for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Prof. Sanwar Lal Jat in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.


River Link in Maharashtra

Pre-Feasibility Report (PFR) of Upper Vaitarna – Godavari Valley intra-State link of Government of Maharashtra has been completed by National Water Development Agency (NWDA). Further, on request of Government of Maharashtra dated 20th April, 2015, the study for the extension of the said link namely Upper Vaitarna Kadava-Dev River link has been taken up by NWDA.

The time limit for the completion for the said link can be identified only after pre-feasibility of the proposal is established and thereafter Detailed Project Report (DPR) is techno-economically approved.

This information was given by Union Minister of State for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Prof. Sanwar Lal Jat in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.


First meeting of Chief Ministers Sub-Group on Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan at NITI Aayog on 30thApril, 2015

The first meeting of the Sub-Group of Chief Ministers on Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan was held today at NITI Aayog, New Delhi. The Sub-Group was constituted as per decision taken at the first meeting of the Governing Council of the NITI Aayog chaired by the Prime Minister on 8th February, 2015. The Sub-Group consists of Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Bihar, Delhi, Haryana, Maharashtra, Mizoram, Sikkim, West Bengal, and Uttarakhand as Members.

The Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Shri N. Chandrababu Naidu, as the Convener of the Sub-Group, conducted today’s meeting. The Chief Minister of Karnataka, Shri Siddaramaiah and Chief Minister of Haryana, Shri Manohar Lal Khattar were present. The participants from other Sub-Group member-States include the Minister of Municipal Administration and Urban Development, Andhra Pradesh, Shri P. Narayana; the Minister of Forest and Wildlife, Justice, Law and Sports, Uttarakhand, Shri Dinesh Agarwal; the Minister of Environment and Forest, Delhi, Shri Asim Ahmad Khan; and the State Minister of Urban Development, Maharashtra, Shri Ranjeet Patil. Senior officials from other Sub Group-member States West Bengal, Bihar, Sikkim and Mizoram were also present. Members of NITI Aayog Shri V. K. Saraswat and Shri Bibek Debroy; the CEO, NITI Aayog, Smt. Sindhushree Khullar, as Coordinator of the Sub-Group, and senior officials of NITI Aayog, also attended.

The Sub-Group discussed the issue of the best technologies and best practices available in the country and abroad for Swachch Bharat Abhiyaan. A Working Group has been set up under the CEO, NITI Aayog with one member from each of the Sub-Group Member-States. The meeting decided to seek inputs from other states which are not the members of the Sub Group regarding best practices and technologies followed by them. The members discussed the issues of solid and liquid waste management and changing behavioral pattern. It was also pointed out that Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan programs should be run in campaign mode which must be sustainable. The Convener of the Chief Minister’s Sub-Group, Shri N. Chandrababu Naidu, said that the Sub-Group will have to work out the financial requirements for the program. The next meeting of the Sub-Group of the Chief Ministers will be held around mid-May in Chandigarh. Representatives of concerned Central Ministries will also be invited. The Sub-Group will submit its report by the end of June, 2015.

The Chief Minister’s sub group on Swacch Bharat Abhiyaan was constituted on 9th March, 2015.The terms of reference of the Sub-Group include examining financial requirements for comprehensive implementation of the Abhiyaan and suggest measures for meeting the budgetary needs. It is also mandated to recommend robust institutional mechanisms for effective implementation. The Sub-Group will recommend measures for technological support for different components of the Abhiyaan including solid and liquid waste management in rural and urban areas. The Sub-Group has been asked to examine models for private sector participation in the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan and to suggest ways for substantial improvement in participation of the private sector and civil society organizations for effective implementation. Launched on Gandhi Jayanti, the 2nd October, 2014 by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan has fixed the target of making India free from open defecation by 2019, the 150th birth anniversary year of Mahatma Gandhi.
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