Seniorcare Ageing Growth Engine - SAGE Initiative

The SAGE Initiative – Senior Care Ageing Growth Engine Initiative and SAGE Portal are launched by the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment to help India’s elderly. 

With the spirit of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas’, the Central government is making action plans for every age group and category. 

The initiative has been launched in June 2021, hence forms an important part of the current affairs section of various competitive exams. The topic, ‘SAGE’ initiative is also relevant for IAS exam aspirants. 

The article will provide details on SAGE initiative and SAGE portal that will help candidates prepare for upcoming UPSC Prelims

SAGE Initiative – SAGE Portal

  • Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot, the Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, virtually launched the SAGE (Seniorcare Ageing Growth Engine) initiative and SAGE portal for elderly persons on June 4th 2021.
  • The project is shaped on the recommendations of the empowered expert committee (EEC) report on start-ups for elderly.
  • SAGE programme and SAGE portal have been launched with a view to help such persons who are interested in entrepreneurship in the field of providing services for elderly care.
  • The SAGE portal will be a “one-stop access” of elderly care products and services by credible start-ups. 
  • An allocation of Rs. 25 crores has been made for the SAGE project in the current financial year i.e. 2021-22.
  • The Government aims to expand its scope of supporting elderly persons not only through Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) but also by generating multi-pronged interventions for them through innovative ways. Candidates can go through the Difference Between NGOs and SHGs on the given link. 
  • The initiative SAGE aims to identify, evaluate, verify, aggregate, and deliver products, solutions and services directly to the stakeholders. 
  • The Ministry will act as a facilitator, enabling the elderly to access the products through identified start-ups.
  • The government has taken up the responsibility of guardianship of senior citizens and elderly persons, therefore, the initiative SAGE urges the elderly persons to come forward and take advantage of the services to be provided by the upcoming start-ups and lead an active life full of dignity in society. (Aspirants can read in detail about Social Welfare on the linked page.)
  • The Ministry has designed the SAGE programme on start-ups for the elderly to also solicit the involvement of youth and their innovative ideas for elderly care. This will help to make the programmes for elderly care a national movement rather than just a government programme. 
  • An amount of  Rs 100 crore has been assigned for the promotion of the silver economy because there is an urgent need to create a more robust eldercare ecosystem in India, especially after COVID. 
What is the Silver Economy?

Silver economy is the system of production, distribution and consumption of goods and services aimed at using the purchasing potential of older and ageing people and satisfying their consumption, living and health needs.

  • The economy is analyzed in the field of social gerontology (study of ageing) not as an existing economic system but as an instrument of ageing policy and the political idea of forming a potential, needs-oriented economic system for an ageing population.
  • Its main element is gerontechnology (Technology pertaining to aged people) as a new scientific, research and implementation paradigm.

Aspirants can check the following links for detailed information on government’s initiatives concerning start-ups, skill development and innovation:

Need for SAGE Initiative

  1. India’s elderly population is steadily increasing. The share of elders, as a percentage of the total population in the country, is expected to increase from around 7.5% in 2001 to almost 12.5% by 2026, and surpass 19.5% by 2050.
  2. There is a need to keep in mind that the elderly should remain happy, healthy, and financially and physically active for which a Senior Citizen Welfare Fund was started in 2016. Taking forward the service programs related to senior citizens, this Seniorcare Ageing Growth Engine (SAGE) portal is a right step towards good governance. 

You can read more about Social Empowerment in the linked article. 

SAGE Portal Features

  1. Start-ups can apply for being a part of SAGE through a dedicated portal.
  2. The start-ups will be selected on the basis of innovative products and services.
  3. The start-ups should be able to provide access to products or services across sectors such as health, housing, care centers, apart from technological access linked to finances, food, travel and wealth management, and legal guidance.
  4. A fund of up to Rs.1 crore as one-time equity will be granted to each selected start-up.
  5. The start-ups will be selected by an independent screening committee of experts.

Additionally, aspiring candidates can check the following links to assist their preparation:

International Day of Older PersonsVulnerable Groups in India – Children & Senior Citizens

Other Government Initiative for Senior Citizens

  • The Senior Citizens Act, officially called the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 aims to reduce abuse of the elderly.
  • Integrated Programme for Older People (IPOP) is a Central Sector Scheme that aims to improve the quality of life of Older Persons in the country by providing basic amenities like shelter, food, medical care and entertainment opportunities, etc.
  • The Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana was launched by the Government on 4th May 2017 with an aim to provide social security to senior citizens and for the protection of the elderly against a fall in the interest income due to unfavourable market conditions in the future. 
  • Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana (RVY) -This is a central  government scheme funded from the Senior Citizens’ Welfare Fund that aims to provide aids and assistive living devices to those who suffer from age-related disabilities such as low vision, hearing impairment, loss of teeth and locomotor disabilities and to senior citizens belonging to Below Poverty Line (BPL). (Read in detail about the Poverty Estimation in India on the linked page.)
  • Vayoshreshtha Samman – Conferred as a National award, and given to eminent senior citizens & institutions under various categories for their contributions, on International Day of Older Persons every 1st October.

Get the detailed UPSC Syllabus for the prelims and mains examination and start your Civil Services Exam preparation accordingly. 

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