Schedule Castes

Mains Marks Booster     3rd August 2023        
Samadhaan

Issues faced by Schedule Castes

  • Caste-based discrimination: Dalits continue to face caste-based discrimination and social exclusion.
  • Economic marginalization: Scheduled Castes have historically been economically marginalized, with limited access to resources, education, and employment opportunities. Poverty, unequal land distribution, and lack of access to credit and markets contribute to their economic disadvantages.
  • Education disparities: Educational disparities persist among Scheduled Castes, with lower enrolment rates, high dropout rates, and limited access to quality education.
  • Violence and atrocities: Dalits face violence and atrocities, including physical and sexual abuse, harassment, and discrimination.
  • Limited political representation: Despite constitutional provisions for reservation of seats in legislatures, Scheduled Castes often face challenges in accessing political representation.
  • Landlessness and land rights: Many Dalit families are landless or have limited access to land. Landlessness contributes to their economic vulnerability and perpetuates social inequalities.
  • Limited access to healthcare: Dalits often have limited access to quality healthcare services, resulting in health disparities and higher morbidity and mortality rates.
  • Manual scavenging: Manual scavenging, a dehumanizing practice involving the cleaning of human waste, predominantly affects Dalit women. Despite legal prohibitions, manual scavenging persists in some parts of the country, exposing Dalits to health hazards and perpetuating their marginalization.
  • Social stigma and identity-based violence: Dalits face social stigma and derogatory stereotypes, which further marginalize and dehumanize them.
  • Limited access to justice: Dalits often encounters challenges in accessing justice, including delays, biased law enforcement, and inadequate legal support., and obtaining justice for caste-based crimes and atrocities.

Steps taken by Government for Empowerment of SCs  

Initiative

Objective

Educational

Upgradation of Merit of SC Students

Provide facilities for education in residential/non-residential schools for SC students

Dr Ambedkar Foundation

Promote Dr Ambedkar's ideology and administer schemes emerging from Centenary Celebration

Post Matric Scholarship for Scheduled Caste Students (PMS-SC)

Empower SC students through education as the largest intervention by the central government

Pre-Matric Scholarships to SC students

Support parents of SC children in educating their wards to minimize dropouts

Dr Ambedkar National Centre at Janpath

Establish a world-class library and e-learning centre

Scholarships for higher education and coaching

Multiple schemes for SC students, including fellowships and overseas study

Social

The Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955

Enacted to prevent untouchability and promote civil rights

SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989

Provide financial assistance to states/UTs for implementing these acts

Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013

Promote eradication of dry latrines, manual scavenging, and rehabilitation of manual scavengers

Economic

National Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corporation (NSFDC)

Finance income-generating activities of SCs below the poverty line limits

National Safai Karmachari Finance and Development Council (NSKFDC)

Provide credit facilities to Safai Karmacharis, manual scavengers, and their dependents

Babu Jagjivan Ram Chatrawas Yojana

Construction of hostels for SC students under the PM Anusuchit Jati Abhyuday Yojana

Self-employment scheme for Rehab of Manual Scavengers

Support self-employment opportunities for rehabilitating manual scavengers

Credit Enhancement Guarantee Scheme for SC

Provide credit guarantee facility to young and start-up entrepreneurs belonging to the SC community

PM-DAKSH

Provide long and short-term skills training to target youth

PM AJAY

Merger of centrally sponsored schemes: Special Central Assistance to Scheduled Castes Sub Plan (SCA to SCSP) and Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana (PMAGY)

Conclusion: Addressing the issues requires a multi-dimensional approach, including effective law enforcement, intelligence gathering, community engagement, socio-economic development, political stability, diplomatic efforts, and international cooperation in combating transnational threats.

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