Need for Development of Scheduled Castes
  • Article 46 of our Constitution describes that "the State shall promote with special care, the education and economic interests of the weaker sections of the people, and in particular of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and shall protect them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation". The Scheduled Castes contribute a lot to the economic development and growth of the national economy. Experience of first four decades of Planning has revealed that the process of economic development and modernization has not benefited the weaker sections of the society to the extent it was envisaged though growth with social justice has been accepted as the main objective for the Planned Economic Development. The desired fruits of progress and flow of benefits have not reached the majority of the Scheduled Castes. They have suffered from the dual disabilities of severe economic exploitation and social discrimination. They are mainly dependent upon the agricultural pursuits and other low income generating occupations like shoe making, sweeping, basket making, black smithy, weaving, dairy, poultry and piggery etc.

  • In spite of the constitutional directives and a number of legislative and executive measures taken by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Govt. of India and the State Governments, the conditions of the Scheduled Castes did not improve much during the period prior to the Sixth Five Year Plan (1980-85) mainly due to lack of economic support. The fruits of development did not percolate uniformly down for those for whom they were intended. The SC population, therefore, was deprived of the benefits and could not get its due share out of development made under the various plan programmes launched by Govt. of India both under the Macro and Micro Plans. In the Sixth Five Year Plan, a new approach aiming at Rapid Socio-Economic Development of Scheduled Castes, in consonance with the Directive Principles, was evolved to ensure flow of benefits from the general sectors to these people. The State Govt. is committed to integrate SCs with other social groups, so that there is no discrimination between the two. This is feasible through increased industrialisation by linking the activity/occupation of SC population by providing them technical skills for vocational jobs.

  • The new strategy is a combination of the following two important instruments :

Scheduled Castes Sub Plan (SCSP)
  • Scheduled Castes Sub Plan is a flow of funds from the overall Plan Outlay of the State at least in proportion to the percentage of SC population of the State. These funds are utilized for the socio economic and educational development of SC people in the State.

Special Central Assistance (SCA) to the Scheduled Castes Sub Plan
  • Special Central Assistance (SCA) to the Scheduled Castes Sub Plan is a 100% grant provided by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Govt. of India to the State for the economic development of Scheduled Castes living below the poverty line in the State.

  • The new strategy was evolved with the broad objective to bring about comprehensive socio-economic and educational development of Scheduled Caste people who are the most marginalized, oppressed and deprived section of our society and constitute nearly one-third of the total population of the State. The State Government is making efforts for introduction of new schemes and restructuring the existing schemes on the basis of the actual needs of the Scheduled Castes and earmarking funds under the State Annual Plan for their socio-economic and educational development. The State Government is also making efforts to further strengthen the Directorate of SCSP for formulation, review, evaluation and monitoring of implementation of the programmes for the development of SCs under the Scheduled Castes Sub Plan in a more effective manner.