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About PM-AJAY Scheme

Context:

Recently, the Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment informed the Rajya Sabha about the PM-AJAY scheme.

Relevance:

GS II: Government Policies and Interventions

PM-AJAY Scheme: Empowering Scheduled Castes for Holistic Development

Scheme Overview:
  • Pradhan Mantri Anusuchit Jaati Abhyuday Yojana (PM-AJAY) is a 100% Centrally Sponsored Scheme.
Merged Schemes:
  • PM-AJAY is a consolidated scheme merging three Centrally Sponsored Schemes: Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana (PMAGY), Special Central Assistance to Scheduled Castes Sub Plan (SCA to SCSP), and Babu Jagjivan Ram Chhatrawas Yojana (BJRCY).
Objectives:
  • Increase the income of the target population through income-generating schemes, skill development, and infrastructure development.
  • Reduce poverty among the targeted Scheduled Castes (SC) population and bring them above the poverty line.
Eligibility Criteria:
  • Scheduled Castes persons living below the poverty line are eligible for benefits under this scheme.
  • Villages with 50% or more SC population qualify for grants under the scheme for infrastructure development.
Implementation Components (Since 2021-22):
  • Development of SC Dominated Villages into an ‘Adarsh Gram’:
    • Aims at transforming villages with a significant SC population into model villages.
  • Grants-in-Aid for District/State-level Projects:
    • Supports socio-economic betterment projects for SCs at the district and state levels.
  • Construction of Hostels in Higher Educational Institutions:
    • Focuses on building hostels to facilitate higher education for SC students.
Implementation Period:
  • Implemented since 2021-22 with a multi-component approach.
Overall Goal:
  • The scheme strives for the holistic development of Scheduled Castes, fostering economic empowerment, skill enhancement, and improved infrastructure.

February 2024
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