Nirbhaya Fund

Post-2012, Nirbhaya Gang rape case, a dedicated fund was set up in 2013 with the focus on implementing the initiatives aimed at improving the security and safety of women in India. The fund was called “Nirbhaya Fund”, Nirbhaya meaning fearless, the pseudonym given to the gang-rape victim to conceal her identity.

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The government’s contribution towards the non-lapsable corpus fund was Rs. 1000 crores.

  • Nodal agency:  Department of Economic Affairs under the Ministry of Finance is responsible for the administration of the fund. While the Women and Child Development Ministry is the nodal agency for expenditure from the Nirbhaya Fund. It is involved in appraising, reviewing, and monitoring the progress of those schemes sanctioned under the Nirbhaya Fund. Earlier, it was the one releasing the funds but now it examines the programs submitted to it by the states under the Nirbhaya scheme, approves them and recommends to the Department of Economic affairs for allocating funds.
  • Under the Nirbhaya Fund, the Centre gives money to the states, which in turn spend it on programs meant for ensuring women’s safety.
  • The Nirbhaya Fund Framework provides for a non-lapsable corpus fund for the safety and security of women to be administered by the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) of the Ministry of Finance (MoF) of the Government of India.
  • Further, it provides for an Empowered Committee (EC) of officers chaired by the Secretary, Ministry of Women & Child Development (MWCD) to appraise and recommend proposals to be funded under this framework.

Nirbhaya Fund – 3 Schemes

Considering the need to have a schematic intervention and a complete mechanism for providing support to the women in distress, three schemes are being implemented by the Ministry of Women and Child Development under the Nirbhaya Fund.

Keeping in mind the need to have schematic interventions and proper mechanism for handholding of women in distress, 3 schemes have been implemented by the Ministry of Women and Child Development

  1. ‘One Stop Centre’
  2. ‘Universalisation of Women Helpline’
  3. ‘Mahila Police Volunteer’

Schemes being implemented by the Ministry of Home Affairs are as follows:

  1. Emergency Response Support System
  2. Central Victim Compensation Fund

A Parliamentary Standing Committee in 2016 had questioned the Ministry of Women and Child Development over the sluggish implementation of schemes under the Nirbhaya fund. A report by the Centre for Development and Human Rights (CDHR) stated that lengthy inter-ministerial coordination for project approval had created problems in the implementation of Nirbhaya fund schemes.

As per data released by the Home Ministry, various projects under different ministries have not even used half the funds allocated to them. Nirbhaya Fund is one such fund and the under-utilization or no utilization of Nirbhaya fund has now come under the radar of the Supreme Court. The apex court has asked the states to reveal the amount they’ve received under the Nirbhaya Fund and to apprise the court of how the money has been disbursed to victims of sexual assault.

Central Victim Compensation Fund (CVCF) 

  • Central Victim Compensation Fund (CVCF) has been funded under the Framework of Nirbhaya Fund to support States/ UTs for their Victim Compensation Scheme.
  • The CVCF is a one-time grant of top-up funds to the States/UTs subsequent to the directions of Hon’ble Supreme Court.

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Funding pattern 

The below standard funding pattern will be followed:

  • 60:40 for all States o 90:10 for States with difficult terrains
  • 100% for UTs
  • Few initiatives are 100% funded

The funds for the projects shall be released following the procedure prescribed in GFR 2005.

Present Status of the Fund 

  • Data tabled the Minister in Parliament in November shows that six states and UTs – Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Sikkim, Tripura and Daman & Diu – have not spent a single rupee from the Nirbhaya Fund allocated by the Union home ministry
  • The Women and Child Development Ministry release money from the Nirbhaya Fund under four heads including the Mahila Police Volunteer Scheme. A total of 12 states were allocated fund under this scheme.
  • But of the 12 states, only four states utilized the Nirbhaya Fund money for the said purpose. The rest did not spend a penny.

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Multiple Choice Question (MCQ)

Consider the Following Statements

  1. The Ministry of Women and Child Development is the nodal ministry involved in appraising, reviewing, and monitoring the progress of those schemes sanctioned under the Nirbhaya Fund.
  2. ‘Universalisation of Women Helpline’ is a scheme implemented by the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
  3. Central Victim Compensation Fund is a scheme implemented by the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
  4. Nirbhaya Fund was set up in 2010 with the focus on implementing the initiatives aimed at improving the security and safety of children in India.

Which of the following statements are true?

A) 1 and 2 alone are true

B) All the 4 statements are true.

C) All the 4 statements are false.

D) Only 3 and 4 are true.

Answer: A

Candidates can find the general pattern of the UPSC Civil Service Exam by visiting the IAS Syllabus page.

Aspirants can find complete information about upcoming Government Exams through the linked article. UPSC exam-related preparation materials will be found through the links given below.

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