2.5 Lakhs offered for Inter-Caste marriage with Dalits

To promote the social status of Dalits, Centre is encouraging inter-caste marriages. According to the rule, the Dalit brides or bridegrooms of an inter-caste marriage will be rewarded with Rs 2.5 lakh. This new scheme is entitled to all Dalits, as against the earlier system where only couples with an annual income of Rs 5 lakhs and below were applicable. As reported by Indian Express, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment suggests the linking of the ‘Dr Ambedkar Scheme for Social Integration’, to the couple’s Aadhaar numbers and bank account details. This scheme aims to target around 500 marriages a year, though it hasn’t reached even 100 in the past years.

Though the income limit has been scraped off, the scheme demands the marriage to be recorded under the Hindu Marriage Act apart from being the first marriage of both the spouses. The scheme draws inspiration from BR Ambedkar’s views on caste culture and union through exogamy.

As reported by Indian Express, the scheme has failed to perform satisfactorily since its inception. Only five couples were given the sum during 2014-15, and in 2015-16, only 72 couples among 522 applications were accepted. While in 2016 – 17, as low as 45 out of 736 couples were approved. And as of this year, the ministry has received the proposal of 409 couples, but only 74 have been cleared. The target for each state differs depending on their overall share of Scheduled Caste population. Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, and Rajasthan submit the maximum proposals.

Sources- Indian Express, Firstpost

Rajya Sabha gives nod for Rights of Persons with disabilities Bill, 2014

On Wednesday, Rajya Sabha passed the Rights of Persons with disabilities Bill, 2014. The bill was adopted during zero hour after various members of the house spoke on this issue. The bill has been drafted as per the recommendations made by the Sudha Kaul Committee under Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

The bill, which pending since 2014. This bill will replace the existing Person with Disabilities Act, 1995, only after getting a clearance from the Lok Sabha. It will prove beneficial to many people as it covers 19 disabilities instead of 7 covered under the act of 1995. The bill, which is in accordance with the UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities, includes people with at least 40 % disability. According to the bill, disabled individuals will be given reservations in employment, education and other government schemes. According to the 2011 Census, the number of disabled in India stands at 2.68 crore, or 2.21 per cent of the population.

One of the main features of the bill is that it includes a penalty for violating the rules of the act. The latest amendments to the 2014 bill prescribe the removal of jail term entirely and only includes fines for breaking the law.

Sources: Indian Express, Huffington Post

Image Source: India Live Today