UPSC Exam Preparation: Topic of the Day – Dr Ambedkar scheme for social Integration through inter caste marriage
- The ‘Dr Ambedkar scheme for social Integration through inter caste marriage’ was started in 2013,
- The target is to provide monetary incentive to 500 such inter-caste couples at least every year. As per rules, the couples with the total annual income lesser than or equal to Rs 5 lakh would be eligible to get a one-time incentive of Rs 2.5 lakh from the Central government.
- Currently, the income ceiling of Rs 5 lakh total annual income per annum has been removed and the benefit has been opened opened to all the couples where either of the couple is a Dalit. The intention is encourage inter-caste marriages.
- The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in its order, directed the states to scrap “the condition that the total income of the newly-wedded couple will not exceed Rs 5 lakh per annum” to ensure that the income limit for incentive under this scheme is ruled out.
- It has also been made mandatory by the ministry to submit their Aadhaar numbers and details of their Aadhaar-linked joint bank account to avail the benefit under the scheme.
- Caste rigidity in marriage continues to be deeply entrenched. Hence the scheme was launched with the purpose of countering the Hindu Practice of marrying on the grounds of castes and sub-castes.
- The idea was derived from the teachings of DR. B. R. Ambedkar, who said caste and endogamy are same thing.
- It is to be noted that the approval rate for benefits under the scheme is low as all the pre-conditions are often not met by the couples. Example, Only those inter caste marriages registered under the Hindu Marriages Act are eligible while those marriages registered under the Special Marriages Act are disregarded.
- Awareness about the scheme is also low. The proposals require a recommendation from the District Collector, MLA or an MP
- The target for each state is fixed in proportion to its share of Scheduled Caste population, though states are allow to exceed their targets.
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