NATIONAL SOCIAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMME (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 - Social Justice)

News-CRUX-10     11th August 2023        
Samadhaan

Context: Around Rs 79 crore has been transferred to ineligible beneficiaries under the Ministry of Rural Development’s National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) between 2017 and 2021, an audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has revealed.

  • The CAG report found several irregularities in beneficiary payments, the most glaring being that all states, except for Haryana and Kerala, did not maintain a database of eligible beneficiaries. 
  • This led to several eligible beneficiaries being left out of the scheme while payments worth several crores were made to ineligible persons.

National Social Assistance Programme

    • About: It was launched on 15th August 1995. It is under the Ministry of Rural Development.
      • It represents a significant step toward the fulfilment of the Directive Principles in Articles 41 and 42 of the Constitution recognizing the concurrent responsibility of the Central and State Governments in the matter.
      • In particular, Article 41 of the Constitution of India directs the State to provide public assistance to its citizens in case of unemployment, old age, sickness and disablement and in other cases of undeserved want within the limit of its economic capacity and development.
  • Presently NSAP comprises five schemes, namely:
    • Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOAPS): For individuals aged 60 years and above living Below the Poverty Line. They shall get Rs. 200 per month for beneficiaries aged 60-79 and Rs. 500 per month for those 80 years and above.
    • Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme (IGNWPS): Widows aged 40 years and above living Below the Poverty Line. They shall get Rs. 300 per month and Rs. 500 for those 80 years and above.
    • Indira Gandhi National Disability Pension Scheme (IGNDPS): Individuals aged 18 years and above with more than 80% disability and living below the poverty line. They shall get Rs. 300 per month and Rs. 500 for those 80 years and above.

  • National Family Benefit Scheme (NFBS): In the event of the death of a breadwinner, the family will receive a lump sum assistance of Rs. 20000. The breadwinner should have been between 18-60 years of age. The assistance would be provided in every case of the death of a breadwinner in a household.
  • Annapurna Scheme: This scheme aims to provide food security to meet the requirement of those senior citizens who, though eligible, have remained uncovered under the IGNOAPS. Under the Annapurna Scheme, 10 kg of free rice is provided every month to each beneficiary.
output themes