The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment will focus on schemes for marginalised sections, including the Dalits and OBCs. A new scheme, Venture Capital Fund for OBCs, is all set to be launched by the Ministry. While the initial corpus for the scheme is Rs 200 crore, Rs 140 crore has been provided for it in 2018-19. While a Venture Capital Fund already exists for SCs, the aspiring OBC entrepreneurs will benefit from the new scheme.
There is an increase of 12.10 percent in allocation for Ministry of Social justice and Empowerment in the Union Budget 2018-19 and an increase of 41.03 percent in the Budget allocation for the welfare of OBC. The allocation for the Ministry has now been increased to Rs 7,750 crore.
For pre-matric scholarship for OBCs, the income eligibility has been increased from Rs 44,500 per annum to Rs 2.5 lakh per annum, while for the SCs, the income eligibility has been raised from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 2.5 lakh. Stipend for SC day scholars has been raised from Rs 150 to Rs 225 and for hostelers from Rs 350 to Rs 525.
For free coaching for SC and OBC students, the income eligibility has been raised from Rs 4.5 lakh to Rs 6 lakhs annually. The stipend has been raised from Rs 1500 to Rs 2500 for local students and from Rs 3000 to Rs 5000 for outstation students. For pre-matric scholarship for OBC, the rates of scholarships has been increased substantially.
The earlier rates of scholarships of day-scholars from Class I to V, Class VI to VIII and Class IX to X of Rs 25, Rs 40 and Rs 50 respectively for 10 months has been revised to Rs 100 per month for 10 months from Class I to X. Earlier rates of scholarships of hostellers from Class III to VIII and Class IX to X of Rs 200 and Rs 250 respectively for ten months has been revised to Rs 500 per month for 10 months from Class III to X. Under the National Fellowship for Scheduled Castes, the assistance has been increased from Rs 25,000 to Rs 28,000 per student.
For the first time, a national survey will identify victims of drug abuse. The survey covers 185 districts, 1.5 lakh households and 6 lakh individuals. For the first time, Rs 200 crore has been provided for rehabilitation of victims of drugs abuse. 15 pilot districts across the country would be taken up for intensive activities.
Under the scheme of rehabilitation of drug victims, outpatient facilities will be provided in all the centres. Instead of de-addiction centres, they will be renamed as treatment clinics and will be set up in major prisons, juvenile homes and major government hospitals in the states.