Empowering the Marginalised Through the Legislative Route

Published By : Admin | March 19, 2019 | 13:58 IST

The social empowerment of its marginalised sections is the highest priority for any society. However, this is possible with a conscientious government willing to go that extra mileinensuring that the weak are truly empowered. Taking recourse to the legislative route apart from administrative measures represents that extra mile taken by the government.In fact, taking to legislative route also implies that the government has forged relative consensus among the top lawmakers of the country.In last 4-5 years, there has been a series of legislative measures as well as administrative measures by the government to make surethat the weakest and the most underprivileged sections of Indian society get their full due.

SCs, STs and OBCs

The Modi government strengthened the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and ensured greater protection for SC/STs. Furthermore, apart from the fact that more offences have been recognised and made punishable than before, exclusive special courts for the speedy trial of offences of atrocities have been set up. In fact, a new chapter has been added relating to “Rights of Victims and Witnesses.”

In a related measure, the constitutional status granted to the National Commission for Backward Classes also speaks of the government’s concerns for the OBCs. This was a long pending demand that was finally expedited by the Modi government.

Then the financial commitment of the government to the welfare of SCs and STs is attested by the fact that as compared to the budgetary allocation of Rs 66,159 croresduring 2013-14, the amount has been substantially raised to Rs 1.26 lakh crore for the 2019-20 period.

In terms of scholarships extended to underprivileged students, over 5.7 crore underprivileged students had received scholarship support during 2014-2018. The income eligibility for pre-matric scholarship for SC students has been raised from Rs 2 lakh to 2.5 lakh and from Rs. 44,500 to Rs 2.5 lakh for OBC students.

Apart from scholarships to students, young underprivileged have also been extended financial support to start their own business ventures. Out of over 16 crore Mudra loans, more than half of the beneficiaries belong to SC, ST and OBC communities. Under Stand-up India, an impressive 68,930 loans have been sanctioned to SC, ST or Women entrepreneurs with a total amount of Rs 15,112 crores.

Moreover, under Venture Capital Fund for SCs, Rs. 322.8 crores have beenapproved for 90 companies run by SCentrepreneurs signifying the government’s steadfast commitment to promote independent business and entrepreneurship among the underprivileged communities. After all, only educational and financial empowerment can really lead to social empowerment.

The Divyang              

Displaying utmost compassion for our Divyang brothers and sisters, the government has sought to strengthen the legislative framework through the passage of The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill 2016.By recognising 21 disabilities, a huge improvement on the earlier 7, the government has treated disability as a dynamic concept keeping pace with the times. The addition of speech and language disability which went rather unnoticed earlier, brings more disabled people under the ambit of the programmes of the government.

Importantly, right to free education for Divyang children (6-18 years) is another major development. Then, apart from granting of reservation of 4% seats in higher education institutions, provision has been made for penalties for offences committed against Divyangs.

The Minorities

Haven’t we all heard enough aboutthe practice of triple talaq being misused against Muslim women in the most arbitrary manner?The hapless and the helpless wife had no recourse to justice for years now.However, in a display of extraordinarily secular spirit of governance, the government has sought to pass a bill to ban the practice of talaq-e-biddat. Although not passed in Rajya Sabha, the government has reaffirmed its resolve through the ordinance route against the instant triple talaq.

The Poor

In a historic decision ensuring equity and justice for all, the Constitution (103rd Amendment) Act 2019, was brought into effect by the Modi government without affecting the existing reservations to OBCs, SCs and STs. It gives 10% reservation in jobs and educational institutions for economically weaker section (EWS) in general category who have annual family income below Rs 8 lakh. To ensure effective implementation, 25% additional seats were provided in educational institutions to meet the 10% reservation.

Therefore, the government through the above measures has proved itself to be an empathetic and compassionate one. By employing legislative measures coupled with other ways, the messaging is clear: that the government will do everything in its power to truly empower the weakest sections of our society. Empowerment of the weak empowers the society as a whole.

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PM Modi’s Vision Fuels Delhi’s Development
April 12, 2024

“Delhi has the good fortune to get an opportunity of keeping the flag of nations' prestige flying high.”
- PM Narendra Modi as Delhi prepared to host the G20 Summit

The last ten years of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government have set in motion the creation of a New India—from rural to urban, from water to electricity, from houses to health, from education to employment, from castes to classes—a comprehensive plan bringing growth and prosperity to each doorstep.

The National Capital Territory of Delhi has emerged as a pivotal part of this dynamic developmental momentum spearheaded by PM Modi throughout this transformative decade.

The city has been at the heart of the infrastructural shift that has given a dedicated facelift to the entire nation. Today infrastructural marvels like Atal Setu, Chenab Bridge, Statue of Unity, and Zojila Tunnel dot India’s ever-evolving landscape.

With its focus on revamping transportation networks, upgrading urban amenities, and expanding digital infrastructure, the Modi government has launched an array of transformative initiatives. From railways, highways to airports, these initiatives have been key in galvanising inclusive and sustainable development across the length and breadth of the country.

The impressive expansion of the metro rail network has revolutionised urban commuting in India. From a mere 5 cities in 2014, the metro rail network now serves 21 cities across the nation—expanding from 248 km in 2014 to 945 km by 2024, with 919 km of lines under construction in 26 additional cities.

The Union Cabinet has recently approved two new corridors of Delhi Metro Phase-IV—Lajpat Nagar to Saket G-Block and Inderlok to Indraprastha. Both the lines have a combined length of over 20 kms with a project cost of over Rs. 8,000 crore (funding being sourced from the Union Govt, Govt of Delhi, and international agencies). The Inderlok- Indraprastha line will play a significant role in enhancing connectivity to the Bahadurgarh region of Haryana. Additionally, India’s first Namo Bharat train, operating on the Delhi-Meerut Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) corridor further underlines the Modi government’s commitment to enhancing regional connectivity and upgrading its transportation infrastructure.

Further, the Bharatmala Pariyojana envisages improved logistics efficiency and connectivity via the development of nearly 35,000 km of National Highway corridors. 25 greenfield high-speed corridors have been planned under the plan out of which four intersect with Delhi’s growing infra capacity: Delhi-Mumbai Expressway, Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway, Delhi-Saharanpur-Dehradun Expressway, and the Urban Extension Road-II. The total project length sanctioned for Delhi is 203 km with an allocation of over Rs. 18,000 crore.

Over the past decade, the Modi government has consistently dedicated efforts towards augmenting capacity and decongestion of airports. After the IGI Airport Delhi became the first airport in the country to have four runways and an elevated taxiway, the expanded state-of-the-art Terminal 1 has also been inaugurated recently. In addition, the upcoming Noida International Airport (Jewar) shall further contribute to decongestion of the Delhi airport which is serving millions of passengers annually.

Besides, the inauguration of the New Parliament has further added civilisational yet modern connotations to the city’s landscape. Inauguration of the Yashobhoomi (India International Convention & Expo Centre) has given Delhi India’s largest convention and exhibition centre, offering a mixed purpose tourism experience. Along with Yashobhoomi, the Bharat Mandapam, a world-class convention and exhibition centre, showcases India to the world.

In terms of welfare, the Modi government has launched several schemes benefitting people hitherto on the margins of growth and development. Women’s safety in Delhi has been a key concern. To address the same, the Modi government strengthened the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013 by increasing the quantum of punishment for rape, including capital punishment for rape of a girlchild below the age of 12.

The Union Home Ministry established a separate Women Safety Division back in 2018. One-stop centers, Sakhi Niwas, Safe City Project, Nirbhaya Fund, SHe-Box, Investigation Tracking System for Sexual Offences, and Cri-MAC (Crime Multi-Agency Center) among others are significant additions in the government’s campaign towards women safety.

In addition, Swachh Bharat Mission, PM Ujjwala Yojana, PM Matru Vandana Yojana, and Beti Bachao Beti Padhao have further led to the empowerment of Nari Shakti in India.

As India becomes the 3rd largest startup ecosystem in the world, Delhi is also contributing significantly towards this development. Today over 13,000 DPIIT-recognised startups are functioning in Delhi even as the government is promoting self-employment through PM MUDRA Yojana with over 2.3 lakh loans sanctioned worth over Rs. 3,000 crore for FY2023-24 (as on 26.01.2024).

PM SVANidhi, which provides collateral free loans to street vendors, is supporting over 1.67 lakh beneficiaries in Delhi. Further, under the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana, launched in 2020 to incentivise employers for creation of new employment and restoration of loss of employment during Covid-19 pandemic, over 2.2 lakh employees benefitted in Delhi.

Further, nearly 30,000 houses have been sanctioned and completed in Delhi under PM Awas Yojana (Urban).

Air pollution has been a recurring problem for the people of Delhi. Conscious of this reality, the central government has launched the National Clean Air Programme as a national level strategy to reduce air pollution level across the country.

The Modi government's tenure over the last decade has brought about a remarkable transformation in Delhi across various fronts. From infrastructure development to governance reforms, from education to employment, the government's initiatives have left an indelible mark on the capital city. As Delhi continues on its journey of progress and development, the contributions of the Modi government are set to shape its future trajectory for years to come.