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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"Building Atmanirbhar Bharat Through Comprehensive Job Creation"
February 24, 2024

One of the most effective pathways of aspirational and practical self-actualization for citizens of a nation is employment generation at scale and expanse. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has been cognizant of this need and has moved the needle comprehensively so that job creation today is happening across the spectrum: in the formal and informal sectors, through direct and indirect opportunities, in conventional and unconventional fields, and via self-employment and the opening up of multiple avenues for gigs, start-ups and novel entrepreneurship.


Government Initiatives
If on the one hand, Bharat is seeing the exponential growth in the number of start-ups and a conducive environment has made it one that has the largest number of unicorns, on the other hand a record number of Mudra loans sanctioned have fuelled unprecedented women-led growth, and the Agniveer scheme that aims to recruit youth into the Armed services has seen adoption in record numbers. According to a Harvard University research, India is among the top quartile of fastest-growing countries till 2029 and is undergoing a historic transition towards becoming a more formalized and technologically advanced, digitally evolved nation.


In the three years between 2017-18 and 2020-21, total employment increased by 8.4 crore which is a manifestation of several key factors such as demonetisation, rationalisation of taxes, the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), digital inclusivity and digitisation of financial transactions, inclusion of skill development and vocational training in the National Education Policy, increasing the number of Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs), a fillip to the hitherto marginalized segments such as rural and tribal populace, and effective incentivization for a highly labour dominant unorganized sector. An example is how PM Street Vendor’s Atmanirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi), has benefitted more than 56 lakh rehri or street vendors from June 2020 to November 2023.


Formalisation
Immense positive impact can be seen in the nation’s formal employment sector. India is the 5th largest economy in the world with 1.12 crore net additional employment created between 2015 to 2018. This is a result of the confluence of progressive, pro-industry policy decisions, leveraging of advancements in technology, reforms to ease business investment, and a focus on skilling. An example of how this translates on the ground is that with the PM MUDRA Yojana More than 15 crore people have been employed in the MSME sector out of which 3.4 crore are women.


In the IT Industry alone, around 20 lakh people have been employed between 2013-14 and 2021-22. Indirectly, about 6.24 crore jobs were created between 2014 and 2019 in India’s digital economy. When it comes to a boost in employment generation across sectors, let’s take the example of tourism – a revamped and increasingly attractive tourism and hospitality industry led to 1.9 crore indirect jobs being created in the tourism sector between 2017 and 2020. The overhaul in the hospitality sector has led to the creation of many such jobs directly, and indirectly; India is among the most visited countries in the world and has been experiencing a growing influx of tourists. This has led to business incentivization and a boost to local artisans, transport providers, and hotels and restaurants within the larger hospitality service industry. In Air transport alone, for every Rs. 100/- invested in the sector, 610 indirect jobs are generated.


Infromal Sectors
The winds of change can also be seen in the disruptive as well as informal sectors. Providing security and stability to the unconventional health and wellness, since 2014, about 5.65 lakh practitioners have been provided employment under Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, and Homoeopathy (AYUSH). The introduction of several new reforms, an increase in FDI, which have further helped in improving the ‘ease of doing business’ along with low data costs, improvised processes and ready adoption have created a thriving new ecosystem for employment – the gig and platform economy. Gig-economy jobs grew year-on-year by 13% and over 29.20 crore people have registered so far on the E-Shram portal. From 2016 to May 2022, ‘Hunar Haat’ has created employment avenues for over 10.5 lakh artisans and talented Vishwakarmas.


The continuing chain of beneficiaries in the government’s Gati shakti model include processes that act as catalysts for indirect job creation in sectors such as transport, logistics, mobility, food, consumer goods and manufacturing products. Up to 2021-22, 53,696 km of roadways were created which generated 21.8 crore man-days of employment. As mentioned before, round 6 crore people employed in unorganized sector between 2017-18 and 2019-20 have benefited from the SVANidhi Yojana – making PM Modi’s vision of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas aur Sabka Prayas a quintessential facet of employment for all.


People-first policies such as the flagship program for equitable housing, the PM Awas has created 2.39 crore indirect jobs up to 2022. Another great example of the ripple effect of employment generation can be seen in the form of Production Linked Incentive (PLI) schemes which enable the expansion of existing industries into larger ones, while promoting the creation of new ones. As an example, 5 lakh incremental jobs have been created in the mobile manufacturing sector due to PLI. As per the Economic Survey 2023, PLI schemes are slated to create 60 lakh jobs. In addition, India’s fintech adoption rate of 87% as against the world average of 64% has enabled the creation of an ecosystem that is touching the lives and livelihoods of all – including the self-employed and small business owners.


To this end, Rozgar Melas that aim to provide 10 lakh jobs in less than two years, and that meld employment opportunities and unique talent have been a boon for the economy. Rozgar Mela is a key step towards the fulfilment of the commitment to accord the highest priority to employment generation in the country. On 12th February, 2024, PM Modi distributed more than 1 lakh appointment letters to newly inducted recruits and also lay the foundation stone of Phase I of the Integrated Complex “Karmayogi Bhavan” to promote collaboration and synergy amongst various pillars of Mission Karmayogi. “Rozgar Melas are playing a crucial role in enhancing the contribution of our Yuva Shakti in nation building”, said PM Modi. Rozgar Mela will be held at 47 locations across the country this year with recruitments taking place across central government departments and state governments/UTs supporting this initiative. These melas ascribe gainful opportunities to the youth, the Amrit Generation, and create pathways for their direct participation in national development. Similarly, under the Prime Ministers Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP), over 43.77 lakh people have got employment and the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) has led to the placement of over 24.51 lakh candidates.


As policy making becomes efficient, so do its representative tools; more than 19.9 lakh people have been placed in jobs through employment exchanges between 2017-2022. The government has incessantly been taking many measures to tackle unemployment issues and stem the unemployment rate. The Amrit generation is benefitting from a multi-pronged approach; if on the one hand, Scheme of Fund for Regeneration of Traditional Industries (SFURTI), has benefitted around 2.94 lakh from 2014-15 to December 2022, on the other hand, over 1.80 lakh new job-creators and entrepreneurs are now operating under the Stand-Up India scheme.


New India – Naya Bharat – is one that thrives on a developed mindset with the aim of making the country Atmanirbhar, and a Vishwa Mitra – one the world leans on. As an example of this commitment, in the current financial year, Khadi has achieved a historic milestone by generating over 9.54 lakh new jobs. Be it our push towards renewable energy, creating a decarbonized energy sector which ranks India is 4th globally or the reduction of unemployment rate in rural areas, (decreased from 5.3% in 2017-18 to 2.4% in 2022-23) the commitment of PM Modi’s government to decisively mitigate unemployment stays foremost.


A spurt in the employment index is predicated on employment mobility to higher productivity jobs, rising job rates in secondary and tertiary sectors, promotion of women as economic catalysts and the increased formalisation of the unorganized, informal sector. PM Modi’s government has consistently come good on all the parameters which is the reason why milestone, upon milestone, Bharat’s journey towards becoming Atmanirbhar and the world’s third largest economy, is only a matter of time.