Pradhan Mantri Anusuchit Jaati Abhuyday Yojana

Pradhan Mantri Anusuchit Jaati Abhuyday Yojana
Pradhan Mantri Anusuchit Jaati Abhuyday Yojana

Pradhan Mantri Anusuchit Jaati Abhuyday Yojana (PM-AJAY) is a comprehensive scheme that was launched in 2021-22. It combines 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). The scheme aims to reduce poverty within Scheduled Caste (SC) communities by creating additional employment opportunities through skill development, income-generating projects, and other initiatives. It also seeks to improve socio-economic development indicators by ensuring adequate infrastructure and essential services in SC-majority villages.

PM-AJAY has three main components:

  1. Development of SC Dominated Villages (“Adarsh Gram”): The objective of this component is to ensure the integrated development of SC-majority villages. It includes providing essential infrastructure for socio-economic development, improving socio-economic indicators, addressing issues related to food and livelihood security, enhancing education levels, and eliminating factors contributing to maternal and infant mortality.
  2. Grants-in-Aid for District/State-level Projects: This component focuses on socio-economic betterment and includes a range of projects, such as:
    • Comprehensive Livelihood Projects: These projects aim to create an entire ecosystem for sustainable income and social advancement for SCs. They may include skill development, infrastructure development, and financial assistance for asset creation.
    • Skill Development: Skill development courses and related facilities are supported.
    • Grants for creation/acquisition of assets for beneficiaries/households: Funding is provided for the acquisition or creation of assets needed for livelihood generation.
    • Infrastructure Development: This encompasses various infrastructure development projects in SC-majority villages.
  3. Construction of Hostels: This part of the scheme focuses on building hostels in higher educational institutions and schools funded by the central or state governments. These institutions should be highly ranked, and the hostels aim to provide accommodation to SC students.

Key provisions and special considerations include:

  • Up to 15% of grants are exclusively allocated to viable income-generating economic development schemes/programs for SC women.
  • Up to 30% of the total grants can be used for infrastructure development.
  • At least 10% of the total funds are reserved for skill development.
  • Promotion of SC women cooperatives engaged in the production and marketing of consumer goods and services.

As of the current financial year (2022-23), PM-AJAY has achieved several milestones. This includes the declaration of 1,260 villages as “Adarsh Gram” under the Adarsh Gram component, sanctioning nine new hostels under the hostel component, and approving perspective plans for seven states under the grant-in-aid component. The scheme aims to uplift SC communities by addressing poverty, enhancing livelihoods, and improving infrastructure and services in SC-majority areas.

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