Securing women through schemes – A comprehensive analysis for UPSC Civil Service Examination
Women are already strong but they are sometimes portrayed as weak. In reality, they can face any kind of crisis. Indian Government has taken many steps to create a frictionless environment for women. The Government of India has had various schemes since 1969 to provide shelter for women in need. The important schemes related to women are listed below.
Subject wise insight for UPSC civil service exam (Prelims and mains)
Mains GS2 – Welfare Initiatives for Women
1. Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Scheme
- The objective of the scheme is to prevent gender-based sex-selective elimination and to ensure the survival, protection, education, and participation of the girl child.
- Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) Scheme is launched by the Prime Minister on 22nd January 2015 in Panipat, Haryana to address the issue of decline in Child Sex Ratio and related issues of empowerment of girls and women.
- Beti Bachao Beti Padao Scheme is a Central Sector Schemes (CSS), implemented through State Governments/UTs through District Collectors/District Magistrates.
- This scheme has been expanded to all 640 districts of the country.
- The responsible ministries for this scheme are the Ministry of Women and Child Development, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and the Ministry of Human Resource Development.
- An Indian girl, below the age of 10 with Sukanya Samriddhi Account in any bank, is eligible for this scheme.
2. Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana
- Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana was launched in 2015 as a part of the Beti Bachao Beti Padao Scheme to promote the welfare of the girl child. The new Sukanya Samriddhi Account Scheme was introduced in 2019.
- The Ministry of Women and Child Development is responsible for this scheme.
- The parent of a girl child has to deposit a minimum amount of Rs.250/- to maximum Rs.1,50,000/- per annum in the account of the girl child for 15 years. The account reaches maturity after 21 years from the date of opening it. The girl can operate her account at the age of 18.
- There will be no tax on the amount invested and the interest earned in this scheme.
3. KIRAN Scheme
- To provide various career opportunities to women scientists and technologists, the Department of Science and Technology (DST) has implemented the ‘Knowledge Involvement in Research Advancement through Nurturing (KIRAN)’ Scheme in 2014.
- The program aims to provide opportunities to Indian Women Scientists, Engineers, and Technologists to undertake collaborative research and gain exposure to excellent research facilities at the international level.
- The two components WOS-A (Women Scientist Scheme) and WOS-B are directly implemented by KIRAN Division and the third component WOS-C or KIRAN-IPR is implemented by TIFAC (Technology Information, Forecasting, and Council) with grant-in-aid from the Department of Science and Technology.
- This scheme provides support to women in the age group of 27 to 57 years to pursue their career or higher education in the field of science and technology.
4. Nirbhaya Fund
- A young woman was gang-raped and fatally beaten by a group in Delhi. The woman is called as ‘Nirbhaya’ which means ‘fearless’.
- Following the tragedy of December 2012, the Government has set up the Nirbhaya Fund in 2013, which can be utilized for projects specifically designed to improve the safety and security of women.
- It is administered by the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Women and Child Development is responsible for this scheme.
- Under this scheme, women help desks have been created in every police station to make police stations more women-friendly and approachable.
5. Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana
- Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY), a Maternity Benefit Programme, is implemented from 2017 in all the districts of the country.
- PMMVY is implemented using the platform of Anganwadi Services under the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
- Under PMMVY, a cash incentive of Rs.5000/- is provided directly to the Bank / Post Office account of pregnant women and lactating mothers for the first living child of the family subject to fulfill the specific conditions relating to Maternal and Child Health.
- The beneficiary has to register her pregnancy at the approved health facility within 150 days from the date of LMP (Last Menstrual Period) which needs to be entered in the MCP (Mother and Child Protection) Card.
- Ujjawala is a comprehensive scheme for the prevention of trafficking, rescue, rehabilitation, and reintegration of victims of trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation.
- This scheme was launched in 2007 with five components include prevention, rescue, rehabilitation, reintegration, repatriation.
- This scheme is funded by the Central government.
- The implementing agencies can be the Social Welfare/Women and Child Welfare Department of State Government, Women’s Development Corporations, Women’s Development Centres, Urban Local Bodies, reputed Public/Private Trust, or Voluntary Organizations.
- The organization must have experience in the field of dealing with women and children in need of care and protection. The implementing agency has to bear 10% of the project cost.
- Women and children who are vulnerable to or victims of trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation are eligible for the scheme.
7. Swadhar Greh Scheme
- Swadhar Greh, a scheme that caters to the primary needs of women in difficult circumstances, was launched in 2001.
- Swadhar Greh Scheme provides temporary accommodation, maintenance, and rehabilitative services to women and girls rendered homeless due to a range of difficult circumstances.
- This Central Government (Ministry of Women & Child Development) provides 100% funding as grant-in-aid to the implementing agencies. Under the Scheme, Swadhar Greh will be set up in every district with a capacity of 30 women.
- The beneficiaries of the Swadhar Greh Scheme are the women above the age of 18, without any social and economical support.
8. Support to Training and Employment Program for Women (STEP)
- The Support to Training & Employment Programme for Women (STEP) was launched as a Central Sector Scheme in 1986-87.
- It has been administered by the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
- The STEP Scheme aims to provide skills that give employability to women and to provide competencies and skills that enable women to become self-employed/ entrepreneurs.
- The objectives of this scheme are to mobilize women into viable groups, to improve their skills, to arrange for productive assets, to create backward and forward linkages, to improve/arrange for support services (health, child-care, education), and to impart nutrition education.
- The target group to be covered under the STEP Programme includes the marginalized, asset less rural women, and urban poor.
- The scheme benefits women who are in the age group of 16 years and above across the country.
9. Swayam Siddha Scheme
- Swayam Siddha Scheme was initiated in 2001 along with Samriddhi Yojana and recasting Indira Mahila Yojana.
- It is administered by the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
- The objective of the Swayam Siddha Scheme is to achieve all-round empowerment of women, both social and economic empowerment. It intends to create awareness and confidence among the SHGs (Self Help Groups). SHGs improve the economical status of women.
- The targeted area having low women population and low women literacy rate are eligible for this scheme.
10. Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls (SABLA):
- Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls, commonly called as ‘SABLA’, was launched in 2011, by the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
- It is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme that aims at empowering girls in the age group of 11 – 18 years by improving their health status, life skills, and vocational skills.
- Under this scheme, an adolescent girl can gain nutrition provision, Iron and Folic Acid (IFA) supplementation, health check-up, Nutrition & Health Education (NHE), counseling/guidance on family welfare, child care practices, Life Skill Education, accessing public services and vocational training for girls aged 16 and above under National Skill Development Program (NSDP).
- It replaced the already existed Nutritional Programme for Adolescent Girls (NPAG) and Kishori Shakti Yojana (KSY).
- Anganwadi Centers are the focal point of the implementation of this scheme.
11. Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana
- Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana was launched in 2010.
- It is a conditional maternity benefit scheme which is administered by the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
- This scheme enables a better environment by providing cash incentives of 6000/- for improved health and nutrition to pregnant and lactating mothers of 19 years of age or above for the first two live births.
- The beneficiary has to register her pregnancy at the Anganwadi Center (AWC) within four months of conception and she has to attend at least one counseling session at Anganwadi Center or healthcare center.
12. Mahila E-haat
- Mahila E-Haat was launched in 2016 by the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
- It promotes the direct online marketing platform leveraging technology for supporting women entrepreneurs/SHGs/ NGOs for showcasing the products/services which are made, manufactured, and undertaken by women.
- It is an initiative for meeting the aspirations and needs of women.
- This scheme impacts over 3.50 lakh beneficiaries directly and indirectly and over 26000 SHGs. The portal is continuously being upgraded.
13. SUMAN Scheme
- Surakshit Matritva Aashwasan (SUMAN) scheme was launched in 2019.
- Ministry of Health & Family Welfare is responsible for this scheme.
- This scheme aims to reduce the Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) and Infant Mortality Rate (IMR)
- Under this scheme, pregnant women, mothers up to 6 months after delivery, and all sick newborns can get free healthcare benefits.
In India, women are said to be the goddess. Many rivers and places are named after women. These schemes help to uplift the status of women both economically and mentally.
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