Social Benefits Management System

Brief History

In the year 1985-86, the erstwhile Ministry of Welfare was bifurcated into the Department of Women and Child Development and the Department of Welfare. Simultaneously, the Scheduled Castes Development Division, Tribal Development Division and the Minorities and Backward Classes Welfare Division were moved from the Ministry of Home Affairs and also the Wakf Division from the Ministry of Law to form the then Ministry of Welfare.

Subsequently, the name of the Ministry was changed to the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment in May, 1998. Further, in October, 1999, the Tribal Development Division had moved out to form a separate Ministry of Tribal Affairs. In January, 2007, the Minorities Division along with Wakf Unit have been moved out of the Ministry and formed as a separate Ministry and the Child Development Division has gone to the Ministry of Women & Child Development.

Though the subject of "Disability" figures in the State List in the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution, The Government of India has always been proactive in the disability sector. It is not only running seven National Institutes (NIs) dealing with various types on disabilities and seven Composite Regional Centers (CRCs), which provide rehabilitation services to PwDs and run courses for rehabilitation professional but also funds a large number of NGOs for similar services and also a National Handicapped Finance & Development Corporation (NHFDC) which provides loans at concession rates of interest to PwDs for self-employment. Besides, the Union Government is a party to (i) Proclamation on the Full Participation and Equality of People with Disabilities in the Asian and the Pacific Region - adopted at Beijing in December, 1992, and (ii) The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), which came into effect in May, 2008.

Now the two departments have been created under the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment vide notification dated 12.5.2012, namely:-

  • Department of Social Justice and Empowerment (Samajik Nyaya and Adhikarita Vibhag)
  • Department of Disability Affairs (Nishaktata Karya Vibhag)
Disabilities, Senior Citizens, and Victims of Drug Abuse etc.

Basic objective of the policies, programmes, law and institution of the Indian welfare system is to bring the target groups into the mainstream of development by making them self-reliant.

The Ministry is headed by Shri Thaawar Chand Gehlot, Cabinet Minister and ably assisted by three Ministers-of-State namely Shri Vijay Sampla , Shri Krishan Pal Gurjar and Shri Ramdas Athawale .

There are two departments viz. Department of Social Justice and Empowerment and Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. Smt. Nilam Sawhney (IAS, AP:1984) is the Secretary of Department of Social Justice & Empowerment. Ms. Shakuntala D. Gamlin (IAS, AGMUT:1984) is the Secretary of Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities.

Subjects Allocated

The Department of Social Justice and Empowerment shall be the nodal Department for the overall policy, planning and coordination of programmes for the development of the groups mentioned at (i) to (iv) above, and the welfare of the group at (v) above. However, overall management and monitoring etc. of the sectoral programmes in respect of these groups shall be the responsibility of the concerned Central Ministries, State Governments and Union Territory Administrations. Each Central Ministry or Department shall discharge nodal responsibility concerning its sector.
The following subject which fall within List III - Concurrent List of the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution:
Nomadic and Migratory Tribes.

To act as the nodal Department for matters pertaining to the following groups, namely:-

  • Scheduled Castes;
  • Socially and Educationally Backward Classes;
  • De-notified Tribes;
  • Economically Backward Classes; and
  • Senior Citizens;

Special schemes aimed at social, educational and economic empowerment of the groups mentioned at (i) to (iv) under entry 2 above, e.g. scholarships, hostels, residential schools, skill training, concession loans and subsidy for self-employment, etc.

  • Monitoring of Schedule caste sub plan.

  • Rehabilitation of Manual Scavengers in alternative occupations.

  • Programmes of care and support to senior citizens.

  • Prohibition.

  • Rehabilitation of victims of alcoholism and substance abuse, and their families.

  • Beggary.

  • International Conventions and Agreements on matters dealt within the Department.

  • Awareness generation, research, evaluation and training in regard to subjects allocated to the Department.

  • Charitable and Religious Endowments and promotion and development of Voluntary Effort pertaining to subjects allocated to the Department.

  • The Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955 (22 of 1955).

  • The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 (33 of 1989), (in so far as it relates to the Scheduled Castes, excluding administration of criminal justice in regard to offences under the Act).

  • National Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993 (27 of 1993).

  • The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 (56 of 2007).

  • National Commission for Scheduled Castes.

  • National Commission for Safai Karmacharis.

  • National Commission for Backward Classes.

  • National Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corporation.

  • National Safai Karamcharis Finance and Development Corporation.

  • National Backward Classes Finance and Development Corporation.

  • National Institute of Social Defence.

  • Dr. Ambedkar Foundation.

  • Babu Jagjivan Ram National Foundation

  • National Commission for Denotified and Semi-Namadic Tribes