I have, as I have been doing for the last many years, examined the Budget for 2016-17 in relation to the Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs), and also Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEdBCs). This is the one aspect in Budget which the electronic and print media neglect, about which no questions are raised and no answers are required to be given by the Government. Political parties also do not touch upon this. This severe neglect is inspite of the fact that the SCs, STs and SEdBCs constitute about 3/4ths of India’s population and the near-totality of India’s physical labour force.
This Budget, like the budgets of past years, has come as a sore disappointment for the SCs and STs and for me who has been working for their development, advancement and empowerment over the last nearly six-and-half decades and for others working for them. Nearly two years have passed after Shri Narendra Modi ji became the PM with an absolute majority for the BJP. Its coming to power was facilitated by the fact that a larger proportion than ever of SCs, STs and the weaker castes of SEdBCs voted for him on account of their expectations and aspirations which had been roused by the far-reaching statements of Shri Narendra Modi ji during the election campaign such as his statement on 09-02-2014 during the Centenary of the historic Kayal Samaram that he takes it as his destiny to fulfill the rights of the Dalits, Adivasis and Picchade (SC, ST and BC) which have not been fulfilled in the many decades of our Independence. These expectations and aspirations are yet to be reflected in the Budget, which is the third of the present Government, except to some extent regarding promotion of entrepreneuship, following the neglect of the legitimate expectations and aspirations of these disadvantaged classes in the Budgets of the past many decades.
I analyze below the Budget in relation to SCs and STs from different angles:-
- Quantitative Angle — Financial Outlay under Special Component Plan for SCs (SCP) (miscalled as Scheduled Caste sub-Plan (SCSP) from the latter part of Dr. Manmohan Singh’s tenure) and under the Tribal sub-Plan (Statement Nos. 21 and 21A of Expenditure Budget Volume 1) — Continuing Shortfall.
The quantitative aspect is important but it will become significant for the development and advancement of SCs and STs only if the qualitative criterion is fulfilled.
It is the accepted national policy that the population-equivalent proportion of the Plan outlay should go to schemes of direct and exclusive benefits to SCs and STs (16.6% and 8.6% respectively), which schemes should be carefully designed on the basis of the needs and priorities of SCs and STs. This alone will help to bridge the continuing wide gap between SCs and STs compared to the Socially Advanced Castes (SACs), i.e., the Non-SC, NON-ST, Non-SEdBCs castes (NSTBCs) in the various parameters of development, welfare and life, which is the goal mandated by the Constitution. This mandate of the Constitution has not been taken seriously till now as I shall show in this Paper.
The following statement gives the figures for four recent Budget Estimates (BEs), including the present one.
SCP and TsP Outlays in Budgets of 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-127
(in Crore Rs)
[Last Budget of the UPA Government]
(In Crore Rs)
|Increase in BE 2014-15 compared to BE 2013-14 )||BE 2015-16
(In Crore Rs)
|Decrease in BE 2015-16 compared to BE 2014-15||BE 2016-17
(In Crore Rs)
|Increase in BE 2016-17 compared to BE 2015-16|
|Total Plan Outlay||555322||575000||3.54 %||465277||-19.09 %||550010||+18.21 %
of total Plan
(7.06% of total Plan outlay)
(4.43% of total Plan outlay)
(4.36% of total Plan outlay)
As a percentage of the total Plan outlay of 2016-17, the outlays for SCP (7.06%) and TsP (4.36%) have improved over the last BE 2015-16, but it is still less than the BEs of 2014-15 and 2013-14. The outlay for SCP at 7.06% is not even half of the 16.6%, which is the due share of SCs. The quantitative increase of TsP is less than the percentage of quantitative increase in the total Plan outlay in the BE 2016-17, and is only half of the 8.6%, which is STs’ due share.
(1) Promotion of Entrepreneurship among SCs and STs
This has been given great importance in the strategy of development of SCs and STs by the present Government and the PM Shri Modi ji personally, who addressed a Conference of Dalit entrepreneurs on 29 December 2015. This is welcome and one of the programmatic /schematic measures required for the SCs and STs which have been listed in my Road-Map, and which I have sent to Shri Narendra Modi ji and other leaders of the Government and to the leaders of the previous Government and to a number of Opposition leaders. The Table below, as given in the present Budget, shows what has happened in the last two years to the strategy undertaken for this purpose.
|Venture Capital Fund for SCs||200.00||102.00||0.01||40.00|
|Credit Guarantee Fund for SCs||200.00||98.24||0.01||10.00|
Source: Statement 21 in Expenditure Budget Vol 1, 2016-2017 (page 120) relating to Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment.
The nominal figure in the RE 2015-16, viz., 0.01 crore each for the above two schemes shows that no effort has been made to utilize these crucial provisions for SC entrepreneurship development. Now in the present Budget the outlays for these two schemes have been reduced to Rs. 40 crores and Rs.10 crores, respectively. The Government should do some serious soul-searching why these provisions have not been utilized. It would be proper that the Government explains to the Dalits whether any arrangement and efforts were made after the Budget 2015-16 to utilize these outlays, and if so what. If remedial administrative and other measures are not taken no, the debacle of 2015-16 may repeat in 2016-17 also.
I had, immediately after the presentation of the Budget of 2014-15, suggested to the Government, that as the IFCI, through which the Venture Capital Fund for SCs is operationalised, has no background of SCs and, therefore, “in working out the details of the scheme and its operation, knowledgeable and experienced persons of the SCs and knowledgeable and experienced persons working for SCs should be actively associated and they should have adequate voice in the formulation, operationalisation and monitoring of the scheme. The scheme will have to provide not only credit, but there will have to be a system of guidance, training and initial hand-holding until sustainable take-off. The IFCI should tie up with banks so that the start-up capital credit will be supported by a system for the smooth, timely and adequate flow of working capital through a tripartite agreement recommended by the Report (dated 1.8.2011) of the Sub-Group-I on Perspective Planning for Empowerment of Scheduled Castes in XII Plan set up by the Planning Commission and the MSJ&E under my Chairmanship. Further, this should be tied with the 4% reservation provided for SC and ST entrepreneurs in Central Government purchases under Ministry of Micro, Medium and Small Industries. Another useful linkage will be with corporates, utilizing the statutorily prescribed 2% expenditure under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). An efficient single window system, manned by empowered knowledgeable and sympathetic persons, which these entrepreneurs can approach for promptly solving problems should be set up.” I had forewarned that unless all these are done, this potential provision may remain on paper.
Now that my above prophesy of the last year has come true, the Government needs to heed to my suggestions at least now.
Apart from these two provisions, a new scheme called “Stand up India Scheme” to “promote entrepreneurship among SC/ST and women” has been approved by the Cabinet with a provision of Rs 500 crores, vide para 56 of the Finance Minister (FM)’s Speech. The scheme envisages at least two such projects per bank branch, “one for each category of entrepreneur”, benefitting at least 2.5 Lakh entrepreneurs. The shares of “SC/ST” and women are not clear. Apparently, “SC/ST” will get half or Rs.250 crores and women will get Rs. 250 crores. The separate share of SC and ST has not been specified. Going by the population ratio, the SC share will be Rs. 162.50 crores and the ST share Rs. 87.50 crores.
The Government has to take special care right from the beginning to see that this scheme also does not remain on paper as in the case of last two years’ schemes.
Even if the Government girds itself up and ensure utilization of the outlays and makes a success of the Dalit-entrepreneuship promotion schemes, it cannot be substitute for all the legislative and programmatic/schematic measures in my Road-Map which are necessary to holistically ensure the progress and advancement of SCs to the goal of Social Equality.
(2) Outlays for SCs and STs under Demand No. 82 of Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment and Demand No. 89 of Ministry of Tribal Affairs in Expenditure Budget Vol 2.
The SCP and TsP as given in Statement No. 21 and 21A in the Expenditure Budget Volume-1 consists of two parts:-
- Outlays provided for schemes for SCs and STs under the Demand No. 82 of the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment and under the Demand No. 89 of Ministry of Tribal Affairs respectively.
Most of these schemes predate the origin of SCP and TsP including two crucial schemes of Baba Saheb Ambedkar-vintage, one of which, viz., Post-Matric Scholarship Scheme was sought to be sabotaged in the Planning Commission in 1982, which move I was able to thwart as Joint Secretary, Government of India dealing with SCs; and there was an ill-advised move within the then Ministry of Welfare itself to dilute the other, viz., the Overseas Scholarship Scheme for SCs and STs in 1990, which was checked by the then Minister Shri B. S. Ramoowalia and his then PS and no MP Shri J. D. Seelam in consultation with me. I shall be giving full details of these in my forthcoming book on SCP for SCs.
- Components earmarked for SCs and for STs of the outlays for schemes of different Ministries.
(i) Schemes and Programmes under Demand No. 82 of the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment
Most of these schemes have suffered cuts and severe cuts. The following Tables give the figures for some of these schemes and programmes, particularly the more important ones:-
Outlays for Special Central Assistance (SCA) to State SCPs
|2013-14 BE||2014-15 BE||2014-15
|2015-16 BE||2015-16 RE||2016-17 BE|
|Special Central Assistance to State SCPs (SCA)||1030.00
(pp. 377-378 of Expenditure Volume 2)
This is not exactly a scheme but a Plan mechanism intended to incentivise and encourage State Governments to increase their SCP outlays, conceived by me in 1978 as Joint Secretary. This was secured in dramatic circumstances by the joint effort of Dr. Yogendra Makwana, Minister of State for Home and myself in 1980 March-end from Smt. Indira Gandhi. I shall give full details of this sage in my forthcoming book on SCP for SCs.
The RE figures shows that the outlays were not utilized in the last two years and the provision in the present Budget has been reduced. This weakens the SCP and TsP. In the first full year, i.e, 1980-81, Rs. 100 Crores were provided, when the total Central Plan outlay was Rs.7,340 Crores. This works out to be 1.4% of the total Plan size for 1980-81. In that year the SCA to the State TsPs was Rs. 67.69 Crores, which works out to be 0.92% of the total Plan size for 1980-81. As the years and Plan periods have passed, the SCP has not been growing according to the needs of the SCs, and not even in proportion to the growth of the Central Plan size. The outlay provided this year is only 0.14% of the total Plan outlay of the Central Budget. The utilization in the last two years is much less than the previous years, which means the pulling power of this Plan mechanism is not being optimally utilized and to that extent the State SCPs are weakened. The fate of the SCA to the TsPs of the States has been slightly better, but it too suffers from stunted growth. The Government needs to give full attention to the implementation of SCA to the State SCPs and TsPs. The Government also needs to raise the outlay for the SCAs at least in proportion to the total Plan size, taking the outlay of 1980-81 as the base year, and improve upon it. The neglect of the SAC to the State SCPs can also been seen from the SCA to the TsPs in this year which is Rs. 1250 crores or 0.23% of the total Plan size. This is also inadequate, but the SCA to the State SCPs ahs suffered even grater neglect than other provisions.
Outlays for Safai Karmachari-related Schemes
|2013-14 BE||2014-15 BE||2014-15
|2015-16 BE||2015-16 RE||2016-17 BE|
|Self-Employment Scheme of Liberation and Rehabilitation of Scavengers||557.00||439.04||47.00||470.19||10.01||10.00|
|Pre-Matric Scholarship for children of those engaged in “unclean” occupations||9.50||10.00||10.00||10.00||2.50||2.00|
These two schemes are specifically implemented for one category of SCs (and a small proportion of STs and SEdBCs of Muslims who would have been in the list of SCs but for Clause (3) of the Presidential Orders specifying SCs). Safai Karmacharis/“Scavengers” are drawn from castes which account for about 10% of the total SC population. Successive Governments have accepted the Liberation and Rehabilitation of Safai Karmacharis as a priority programme. An Act as passed in 1993, namely, the Employment of Manual Scavengers & Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act, which was substituted by another and stronger Act, namely, Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013. The latter is the only legislation for SCs enacted by the UPA Government in its 10 years among the many legislations required for SCs and STs which were pointed out to the previous PM and his Government through my Road-Map. Its sincere and effective implementation requires adequate finance and many administrative and organizational measures. But even the provision made for the first scheme in the above Table in BE 2015-16 has been very poorly utilized and the present Budget provision is a small fraction of what was provided in the past years.
The second of the above two schemes was devised for channelizing to other occupations, which are socially considered dignified, the children of those engaged in “unclean” occupations, mainly scavenging. This has also been poorly utilized in the last year. This year’s Budget has settled at less than the level of the poor utilisation in RE 2015-16. This is the Budgetary fate (the fate on ground is even worse) of a section of SCs to whom a lot of lip-service is paid by different Governments, Parties, and sporadically even by electronic media anchors like Ms Barkha Dutt (for the media, especially the electronic media, the subject of SCs is not merely “untouchable” but usually also un-mentionable).
Outlays for National Overseas Scholarship Scheme
|2015-16 BE||2015-16 RE||2016-17 BE|
|National Overseas Scholarship for SCs||8.78||6.12
This is another scheme of Ambedkar-vintage which Dr. Ambedkar as Member of the Viceroy’s Executive Council secured from the Viceroy in the teeth of opposition of some other members of the Council. The outlay in the present Budget is less than the RE achieved in 2015-16. Considering the rising demand for this scholarship, as seen from the RE 2015-16, the outlay for this year needs to be significantly enhanced.
Outlays for Hostels and some other Educational Schemes
|2013-14 BE||2014-15 BE||2014-15
|2015-16 BE||2015-16 RE||2016-17 BE|
|Top Class Education for SCs||20.00||20.58||20.58||21.42||31.42||20.58|
|Pre-Matric Scholarship Scheme||882.00||834.00||499.00||663.00
In the above Table, the figures for BE 2015-16 is as given in the Budget document of 2015-16. In this year’s Budget document (Expenditure volume 9, Demand No. 82 for Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, page 379-380) the figures for BE 2015-16 is given as Rs. 6.00 crore for Girls hostels and Rs. 5.00 crore for Boys hostels. Such contradictions and wide discrepancies are unnerving and raises the question whether the Budget figures for SCs are put in Budget documents with careful and serious thought or not.
Hostels for SC girls and SC boys have been serving an important role in the education of SC and ST children. The provisions for these schemes were not utilized in 2015-16 and they have been further reduced this year. This will affect the progress of SC education and goes against Dr Ambedkar’s, Shri Narayana Guru’s and Shri Mahatma Phule’s emphasis on education for deprived classes. Education ranks first in Dr. Ambedkar’s three-fold mantra (Educate, Agitate and Organise).
The expenditure for Top Class Education for SCs, as seen from 2015-16 BE, which is about 50% more than the BE, shows that there is need for increasing the outlay. Instead, it has been kept the same level as in the last year. This will affect the progress of education of SCs.
The poor utilization of the Budget provision for Pre-Matric Scholarship Scheme in 2015-16 and the reduction of the outlay for 2016-17 will constrict the progress of school education of SCs.
Reduced Outlay for Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Grama Yojana for Infrastructure Development in Villages with a large percentage of SC population
|2013-14 BE||2014-15 BE||2014-15
|2015-16 BE||2015-16 RE||2016-17 BE|
|Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana||100.00||100.00||30.00||200.00||200.00||90.00|
The full utilization of the outlay for this scheme, as seen from RE 2015-16, warrants higher outlay for this scheme. Instead, it has been reduced to the lowest level of the last three years. There is a tendency for utilizing the funds for this scheme for infrastructures in the non-SC part of the villages. The villages for this scheme have been selected on the basis of the high proportion of SC population. That is why this has been listed under the MSJE’s Demand, as in the previous years. It has to be ensured that the infrastructure development created though this scheme is in and for the Dalit habitations of the village. It is appropriate for the Government to publicise whether the entire amount of the previous years has been utilized according to this principle or any part of this outlay has been utilized for works in the rest of the village, and whether corrective measures are being taken against such diversions from the SCP.
Schemes for which Outlays in the present Budget have been increased or maintained at more or less the same level as in the past year
|2013-14 BE||2014-15 BE||2014-15
|2015-16 BE||2015-16 RE||2016-17 BE|
|Post-Matric Scholarship Scheme||1470.00||1500.00||1960.42||1599.00||2216.05||2791.00|
|National Fellowship for SCs||27.50||191.00||148.85||200.55||200.55||200.00|
|Free Coaching for SCs and OBCs (Grants to Non-Government Institutions for Running Pre-examination Training Centres for SCs and BCs)||8.14||12.14||12.14||24.50|
|Assistance to Voluntary Organisations for SCs||27.50||49.00||19.02||50.00||50.00||50.00|
|Other Programmes for Welfare of SCs (which in the BE 2015-16 covered (i) “Upgradation of Merit of SC students” and (ii) “State SC Development Corporations” which are shown separately in the present year’s Budget)||23.00|| 23.16
|Strengthening of machinery for Enforcement of Protection for Civil Rights Act, 1955 and Prevention of Atrocities Act, 1989||88.00||90.00||150.00||90.75||120.75||150.00|
Out of these the increase in the outlay for Post-Matric Scholarship scheme is an automatic function of its nature as an open-ended scheme, introduced with foresight by Dr Ambedkar in 1943.
The full utilization of the outlay for Free Coaching for SCs and OBCs in the last year and its doubling in the present year is welcome, but the quality of coaching and outcome needs close watching. The coaching needs not only to be free but also of the standard, not below that of successful private coaching institutions.
The State SC Development Corporations [The full name of this scheme is Central Assistance to States for Investment in their SC Development Corporations] are an important instrument to promote entrepreneurship among SCs. The scheme for Central Assistance was introduced in 1978-79 through my efforts. I am writing about the saga of the introduction of this scheme in my forthcoming book on SCP for SCs. In view of the present PM’s emphasis on Dalit entrepreneurship, this scheme needs larger outlays and its reform to accommodate Dalit enterprises of larger size, as recommended by the Sub-Group on Empowerment of SCs in the XII Plan in its Report (2011), needs to be implemented.
The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989 has been replaced by the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act 2015, which is the only legislative measure of direct relevance to SCs and STs enacted by the present Government in its nearly two years of existence. This has not been reflected in the name mentioned in the Budget. This is another instance which is unnerving and raises the question of the level of seriousness with which Budget documents to the extent they relate the SCs are prepared.
There is an increase in the outlay for this scheme, which is welcome. The new Act 2015 entails considerable expenditure for measures like setting up Exclusive Special Courts. It will be appropriate if the Government publicise for the enlightenment of the Dalit public, how the present increase has been calculated, what is the provision needed for effectively implementing the new Act item-wise, and whether the present increased outlay matches the need and if there is any gap, how it will be met.
Outlays for Dr Ambedkar National Centre and International Memorial
|2015-16 BE||2015-16 RE||2016-17 BE|
|Dr Ambedkar National Centre||44.59||48.00||0.01||100.00|
|Ambedkar International Memorial||3.10||10.00||10.00||16.99|
The increase in the outlay for Dr Ambedkar National Centre and Dr. Ambedkar International Memorial are welcome but the non-utilisation of outlay for the National Centre as happened in the last year should be prevented.
(ii) Overall Outlay for SC Development in the Demand for MSJE
Overall, for all schemes for SCs under the MSJE is Rs. 5128.99 Crores. This is almost at the same level as the BE 2015-16 (Rs. 5128.50 Crores).
The expected share of SCs in the “Stand up India Scheme” announced by the FM in his speech, viz., Rs. 162.50 crores has not been reflected in the SCP at Statement 21. Presumably, it has to be added under the MSME’s SCP. This is an indication of how one hand of the Government does not know what the other hand does when it comes to the SCs and other deprived classes. At the same time, an outlay of Rs. 0.30 crores for “Andhra Pradesh and Telangana Tribal Universities” has been shown under SCP. This amount, which is in fact for STs and therefore should not be given under SCP, has to be deducted from the SCP and added to the TsP. This is another instance which raises doubt about the level of care and thinking that has gone into the Budget in relation to the SCs and STs. With these addition and subtraction, the quantitative total of SCP will rise to Rs. 38995.80 crores. But even after this correction, the SCP as a proportion of the total Budget outlay will only be 7.09%. The total TsP outlay will increase from Rs. 24005.00 crores shown under TsP in Statement 21A to Rs. 24005.30 crores . But this makes no difference to the percentage of TsP as a proportion of the total Plan outlay in the Budget.
(iii) Budget Outlays for Important Schemes and Programmes for STs in Demand No. 89 Relating to Ministry of Tribal Affairs
- Special Central Assistance to Tribal sub-Plans of States
The SCA to TsPs of States has been maintained at the same level as in BE 2015-16 and has in this regard fortunately been spared the fate of the SCA to SCP of the States.
|BE 2013-14||BE 2014-15||RE 2014-15||BE 2015-16||RE
|Special Central Assistance to Tribal sub-Plan of States||1200.00
- Scheme under Proviso to Article 275(1) of the Constitution
The outlay for this scheme has also been augmented.
|BE 2013-14||BE 2014-15||2014-15
|Scheme under Proviso to Article 275(1) of the Constitution
This is an important scheme specified in the Constitution itself, for promoting the welfare of the STs and raising the level of administration of the Scheduled Areas within a State to that of the administration of the rest of the areas of that State. The RE 2015-016 shows that there is demand and capacity to fully utilize the outlay and more. Therefore, the BE 2016-17 should have been more than that in BE 2015-16. Instead, it has been reduced to a level lower than the last three years’ BE.
- Schemes and Programmes for which the outlays have been reduced
|2014-15 RE/Actual||BE 2015-16||RE
|Development of Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PTGs)
[included in Other Programmes for Welfare of STs in the last year’s Budget]
|World Bank Project – Improving Development Programmes in the Tribal Areas||2.00||1.00||0.39|
|Minimum Support Price for Forest Produce||100.00||307.00||143.00||158.00|
|Tribal Festivals, Research Information and Mass Education||4.34||45.00||10.20||17.39|
|Van Bandhu Kalyan Yojana – State Plan||100.00||200.00||200.00||1.00|
The PTGs, identified on the basis of maximum vulnerability among STs, who as a whole are, along with the SCs, the most vulnerable segment of our population, need increasing outlays. The capacity for utilization of the outlay provided is evident from the RE 2015-16. Yet the outlay in BE 2016-17 has been reduced. Their budgetary fate can be compared with the budgetary fate of Safai Karmacharis.
The World Bank Project could be very useful for development of STs. The small provision in BE 2015-16 ought to have been taken as a token pilot provision to be built on in subsequent years. Instead, the outlay for it has not been fully utilized in the first year and sharply reduced this year.
Forest produce are a major source of livelihood for many tribes. The poor utilization of the outlay provided in the last year, as seen from RE 2015-16, and its reduction by half in this year will have serious implications for the fragile family economy of the STs.
The scheme for “Tribal Festivals, Research Information and Mass Education” is implemented for the preservation and promotion of the tribal culture. It is also implemented for more information about STs to facilitate improvement in developmental planning and build up awareness among them. Yet, the outlay for this scheme has been only partly utilized and has been sharply cut.
The Van Bandhu Kalyan Yojana has been introduced by the present Government. The outlay for it has been utilized. Yet, the outlay has been reduced in this year’s Budget as though the Government is having second thoughts on its own scheme and wants to exit from it.
- Schemes and Programmes for which the outlays have been either enhanced or maintained at the same level as for the last year
|2014-15 RE/Actual||BE 2015-16||RE
|Aid to Voluntary Organisations working for the welfare of STs||82.32||75.65||120.00|
|Umbrella Scheme for Education of ST Children||1058.55||929.32||1210.64||1454.22|
|National Fellowship and Scholarship for Higher Education of ST Children||50.00||48.81||50.00|
|Scholarship to ST students for Studies Abroad||0.99||1.00||0.72||1.00|
|Support to National and States ST Finance and Development Corporation||70||70||63.00||70.0|
|Institutional support for Development and Marketing of Tribal Products||41.91||35.0||40.00||49.00|
Of these, I have comment on the scheme of Scholarship to ST students for Studies Abroad. This was originally part of the Overseas Scholarship Scheme for SCs and STs, in the ratio of 2 : 1 in accordance with their population proportion. When the Ministry of Tribal Affairs as created by the Vajpayee Government, this scheme was also bifurcated. A look at the provision for SCs will show the meagerness and gross inadequacy of the outlay for ST students year to year.
- Qualitative Angle — Continuing Absence of Meaningful and Relevant Planning for SCs and STs
The present Budget seamlessly continues the old practice of mechanically showing, under different Ministries, certain amounts as SCP and TsP which have no bearing or little bearing on the goal of eliminating the gap between the SCs and STs, on one side, and the Socially Advanced Classes (Non-SC, Non-ST, Non-BC Classes), on the other, in every parameter of development through schemes which are designed to achieve this goal and the benefit of which goes directly and exclusively to SCs and STs respectively in order to achieve this goal. Thus, it has now become, as it has always been, an exercise in arithmetical-statistical jugglery instead of serious and relevant developmental planning for SCs and STs. Under this old practice, continuing this year, a percentage of the outlay for the whole schemes of different Ministries/Departments is shown as earmarked for the SCs (SCP) and STs (TsP).
Even within the framework-less and vision-less exercise, there is no indication of how the SCP and TsP outlays so displayed will actually reach the SCs and STs. There is also no mention of any mechanism to monitor and report whether and to what extent these SCP and TsP outlays actually reach the SCs and STs. The Finance Ministry and the NITI Ayog (which is yet to attend to SC and ST development, though the Government Resolution setting it up contained “inclusion” of SCs, STs and BCs as one of the “seven pillars on which effective governance in India will rest”, which I pointed out to the Deputy Chairman of NITI Ayog by my letter dated 10.02.2015, for which I am yet to get a reply — copy enclosed), need to set up a mechanism to monitor and secure information regarding actual benefits that have reached the SCs and STs. Otherwise, even the outlays provided without a holistic framework will remain only on paper. Some social workers who, under my guidance, have tried to trace the money and developmental trail of SCP outlays provided in the Central Budget and State Budgets, have found that they could at best only get information on district-wise allocations by the State Departments. At the district departmental-level, there is no knowledge about the provisions under the SCP and TsP, and usually no effort is made to identity the beneficiary individuals/families, their villages, etc. intended to be covered by the Departmental SCP and TsP schemes, which is necessary to reach the benefits and monitor the results. It also facilitates checking of diversions of SCP funds which, according to the then FM Thiru Chidambaram’s statement in Parliament on 13 August 2010, while replying to criticism of large-scale diversion of SCP funds to Commonwealth Games infrastructure, is widely prevalent in the Centre and every State. No remedial measures were taken by him while making this candid admission as though this is business as usual, nor any lesson seems to have been drawn by the present Government.
A few illustrations of how the SCP is shown against certain schemes under some Ministries/Departments will be enlightening.
|S.No.||Scheme||Total outlay in Demands
|SCP in Statement 21
|Ministry of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare|
|1||Development of Inland Fisheries and Aquaculture||229.36||24.18||10.5|
|2||National Scheme of Welfare of Fishermen||2.90|
|3||Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (NCIP) (CS)||5500.00||921.00||16.75|
|4||Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (CS component)||410||68.42||16.7|
|5||Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (CSS)||1210
|S.No.||Scheme||Total outlay in Demands
|SCP in Statement 21
|Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation|
|6||National Rural Drinking Water Programme||5000.00||1100.00||22.00|
|7||Swatch Bharat Abhiyan (Gramin)||9000.00||1980.00||22.00|
|Deptt. of Health & Family Welfare|
|8||National Health Mission (NHM)||19000.00||4142.00||21.8|
|Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation|
|9||Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban)||5075.00||978.00||19.27|
|10||National Urban Livelihood Mission (NULM)||325.00||68.95||21.22|
|Department of School Education & Literacy|
|11||National Education Mission (Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan)||22500.00||4500.00||20|
|12||National Education Mission (Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA)||3700.00||740.00||20|
|Deptt. of Higher Education|
|13||University Grants Commission (UGC)||2050.00||600.25||29.28|
|14||Indian Institutes of Technology||2975.00||393.75||13.24|
|15||National Institute of Technologies||1444.90||217.00||15.02|
|16||All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE)||480.00||72.00||15.00|
|17||National Mission on Teachers’ Training||165.00||18.00||10.91|
|18||Rashtriya Uchch Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA)||1300.00||195.00||15.00|
|19||Setting up of Indian Institute of Management||160.00||24.0||15|
|Ministry of Labour & Employment|
|20||Rehabilitation of Bonded Labour||3.00||0.49||16.3|
|Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME)|
|21||PM’s Employment Generation Programme||1139.00||147.10||12.91|
|Ministry of Power|
|22||Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gram-Jyoti Yojana/RGGVY||3000.00||357.30||11.91|
|Deptt.of Rural Development|
|24||Rural Housing – Indira Awas
Yojana [PM Awas Yojana (Rura)]
|Department of Land Resources|
|25||Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana||1550.00||242.00||15.61|
|Ministry of Women and Child Development|
|26||Integrated Child Development Services Scheme||15860.00||3290.00||20.74|
|Ministry of Skill Development|
|27||Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana||1700.00|
The National Scheme of Welfare of Fishermen and the scheme for Development of Inland Fisheries and Aquaculture are part of a larger programme titled “Blue Revolution – Integrated Development & Management of Fisheries” under the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries of the Ministry of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare, the total outlay for which is Rs. 450 crores as given in the Demand table for that Department in the Budget. While the marine fisherfolk in the Peninsula belong to the SEdBCs, the marine and riverine fisherfolk of East India and North-East India – including northern Odisha, West Bengal and Assam – belong to the SCs. Even in the peninsula, a substantial part of the inland fisherfolk belongs to the SCs. The SCP for development of Inland Fisheries is only 10.5%. It could have been significantly more. The SCP part will largely go to the East and North-East fisherfolk all of whom belong to the SCs. Focused implementation and monitoring can be more conveniently done. The National Scheme of Welfare of Fishermen is not given in this Department’s Demand. This again can be made directly useful to fishermen of East and North-East India.
The National Rural Drinking Water Programme of the Ministry of Water and Sanitation is very important for SCs. That the “Untouchability”-based discrimination against SCs in taking drinking water from the common village sources requires SC women and girls to wait and spend more time, until after others have drawn water, and, where the water source is not in the village, trek longer distances than others for fetching water, is well-documented. Apart from the sufferings and humiliations involved, this is also a factor which eats into the time available for education for SC girls and reduces enrolment and increases drop-outs. The fulfillment of the second part of the PM’s noble slogan “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” requires that SC girls are liberated from this extra-time-consuming drudgery caused by the widespread “Untouchability”.
22 % of the outlay for this has been earmarked for SCs and shown under SCP. This programme will be meaningful only if the SC habitations are provided drinking water, the drinking water sources like bore-wells are located in SC habitations (but open to others also). While this has been done in some cases, often the tendency is to locate new drinking water sources in the habitations of the upper caste communities without taking note of the handicap of the SC women and girl children. Providing for the SCP, a much larger proportion of the total scheme outlay for SCP is justified by the situation on the ground.
Swachch Bharat Abhiyan, also under the Ministry of Water and Sanitation, is a flagship scheme of the present Government, initiated by the PM himself. Of the total outlay for this scheme, 22% has been earmarked for SCs and shown under the SCP. How this amount would be channelized directly to SCs is yet to be spelt out. While taking up every village, will the SC Mohallas be separately taken up for Swachchta? If so, that has to be spelt out as part of the guidelines. In the case of habitations of Safai Karmachari communities, will any special programme, focused on the health and nutrition of the Safai Karmacharis and their children, be undertaken. If so, that has to be spelt out and included in the guidelines. Otherwise, the funds for this programme will be utilized without benefiting the SCs adequately, and it will have to be speciously argued that the Abhiyan covered all people among whom there were SCs also– the same argument advanced by the Delhi CM and the Chairman of the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee, to justify the large-scale diversion of SCP funds to the Commonwealth Games infrastructure on the specious ground that the SCs also use the flyovers, etc., constructed.
The earmarking of 22% as SCP for both the above schemes of the Ministry of Water and Sanitation looks like a mechanical action without deeper thinking along the lines illustrated above.
Education is extremely important for SCs. Under the two Departments of the Ministry of Human Resources Development, large outlays and percentages have been shown under SCP from the outlays for Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan, Rashtriya Uchch Shiksha Abhiyan, UGC, IITs, NITs, AICTE, Indian Institutes of Management, etc. Apparently, as in the past years, a large proportion of the outlays for IITs etc have been shown as SCP mechanically. Only the expenditure directly incurred for SC students and systems for mentoring and guiding of SC students and systems for prevention of any form of discrimination against them and the like can be included in the SCP, and not any part of the general infrastructure on the specious plea that SCs also use such infrastructure. It cannot be argued that Shiksha Abhiyans cover SCs also and therefore a proportion can be shown as SCP. Special efforts have to be made in the Abhiyans to enroll and retain SCs at all levels (for which efficient systems to prevent discrimination and disadvantages to SC students will have to be set up), to raise their level of presence at each stage of education to the same level as that of the Socially Advanced Castes (SACs), i.e., non-SC, non-ST, non-SEdBC castes (NSCTBCs), and only the amounts for such purposes directly relating to SCs can justifiably be called as SCP. The large amounts earmarked as SCP should be used for such purposes only.
In the case of IITs, IIMs and other institutes, it appears that a proportion of the cost of buildings and other infrastructure, as indicated in Statement 21, has been apportioned to the SCP. This is not in accordance with the principles, goals and objectives of the SCP and TsP. How the 29.28% of the UGC outlay has been shown under the SCP is not clear.
The Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gram-Jyoti Yojana under the Ministry of Power is important for SCs for electrification of their houses and streets on par with those of the SACs/NSCTBCs and for energizing their wells, bore-wells, community bore-wells and their micro and small productive enterprises. Usually, when a village is declared as electrified, the SC habitations are left out and remain in darkness. Therefore, in every village taken up under this Yojana, the SC habitations should be specifically taken up and electricity provided for the houses. Electricity should also be provided for group minor irrigation sources like bore-wells installed on SC lands on top priority and similarly electricity should be provided to Dalit entrepreneurs on top priority to the extent of the amounts shown under SCP. Then only the earmarking as SCP will be meaningful. Has such thinking gone into this earmarking and has systems been worked out and laid down on the above basis? It does not appear so.
The MSME schemes are important for the SCs. More so after the PM has given great importance to Dalit entrepreneurship. Channelisation of the SCP outlays directly and exclusively to SC entrepreneurs has to be ensured and a system of implementation and monitoring created associating the organization of DICCI.
The Rahabilitation of Bonded Labourers under the Ministry of Labour & Employment is extremely important for the most exploited of the SC and ST agricultural and other labourers. About 2/3rds of the Bonded Labourers belong to the SCs. The percentage of SCP outlay earmarked is justified by this. In practice, their rehabilitation has not been holistically and effectively designed and implemented. This aspect needs to engage the attention at the higher levels of the Government. This should be accompanied by the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act 1976, tightening the Act by introducing provisions like confiscation of agricultural land, brick kilns, flour mills and other properties where bonded labourers are put to work and transfer of such properties from the offenders to the released victims, as I have recommended to successive Governments in my Road-Map of legislations and programmatic / schematic measures required for the SCs and STs.
The SCs are the most deprived in the matter of Housing. The Indira Awas Yojana was started during the Hon’ble PM Shri V.P. Singh’s period exclusively for SCs and STs. This has subsequently been watered down and now, under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, a meager 2.10% has been earmarked for them, while about 50% would have been justified by the realities on the ground.
Irrigation for the limited lands of the SCs is a crucial need, which I have been pleading for and promoting from the late 1970s onwards. On my initiative, Group Minor Irrigation for all lands of SCs and STs was included in the CMP of the UPA in 2004, but without any follow-up action and without earmarking a single paisa for this scheme, despite my repeated pleadings with the PM and other leaders of the UPA Government, despite my telephonic talk, after the first Budget of the UPA-1, with Shri Jairam Ramesh, a supporter of the scheme (who promised to get back to me), and a Memorandum of 19.7.2004 signed by me and a large number of small and marginal farmers of SCs to the UPA Chairperson. Only a meager 15.61% has been earmarked as SCP in this year’s Budget. Here is an opportunity for the present Government to vastly increase the SCP under this scheme and channelize it to SC lands, linked with the priority provision of electrification under the Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gram-Jyoti Yojana, and thus make a portion of the small and marginal SC farmers capable of cultivating multiple crops and become viable and cease to be agricultural labourers.
Skill development is needed more by the SCs and STs than by any other part of our people because capability has to be created in them for undertaking alternative occupations of dignity and to move away from their present humiliating occupations like “scavenging”, and other safai, flaying and tanning of hides and skins, agricultural labour, urban casual labour, etc. The present Government is undertaking a massive programme for skill development and has created a Ministry for it. Yet, under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana, nothing has been shown as SCP. At least 50% should go to identified SC youth, both male and female, who or whose families are at present in humiliating and undignified occupations mentioned above. Obviously, no thought has gone into the plight of the SCs, who need skill development the most.
These are only a few illustrations. The position regarding TsP is also broadly similar to the SCP. I am not here analyzing it for want of time and space. I shall deal with it in a separate Paper.
- Remedial Measures
It is a poor doctor who provides the diagnosis of the disease but stops short of prescribing treatment for the disease. It has been my practice all along while pointing out deficiencies, to constructively point out how deficiencies can be rectified. Remedy for the quantitative and, more importantly, qualitative deficiencies of the Budget in respect of SCs and STs, which is the continuation of the deficiencies which have been happening all along, except at particular periods when a dedicated Secretary or Joint Secretary or District Collector / Dy Commissioner, or Minster was or is in position, is possible if there is sincerity towards SCs and STs and if there is recognition of the national importance of enabling SCs and STs to become equal to the SACs / NSCTBCs in all parameters both as a measure of upholding their human and Constitutional right and as a measure of integrating Society and strengthening the Nation and the national economy, and willingness to translate into action the Resolution of the Parliament after discussions on the Constitution Day and subsequent days, as part of the 125th Birth Anniversary of Dr. Ambedkar, passed unanimously in both the Houses. In this period, we have also seen homages paid rightly to Dr. Ambedkar. This entails a responsibility to shape the Plan and design the strategy for SCP and TsP, along the line envisaged by Dr. Ambedkar, viz., enabling the SCs and STs achieve Social Equality in each and every parameter of development, welfare and life through the path of comprehensive Social Justice.
(1) Quantitative Improvement
The SCP and TsP outlays need to be enhanced to the population-equivalent level of 16.6% and 8.6% respectively, viz., Rs. 91301.66 crores and Rs. 47300.86 crores. The increases should be in Ministries/Departments most relevant to SCs and STs such as Ministry of HRD; Ministry of Agriculture (including particularly Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana); Department of Land Resources; Department of Rural Development; Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (including Kaushal Vikas Yojana),; Ministry of Power (including Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gramin-Jyoti Yojana); and MSME (including Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme). Increase can also be made by providing for schemes such as high-quality residential schools for SC girls and boys and for ST girls and boys up to Class XII in every district, and subsequently in every Block of the country, a long-standing advice of mine, which has also been recommended by the Group of Ministers on Dalit Affairs (2005-2008), chaired by the then FM and the present President Shri Pranab Mukherjee, and by the Task Force on Educational Development of SCs, set up by the National Monitoring Committee of the Ministry of Human Resources Development, in the Task Force Report dated 21. 09. 2012.
(2) Qualitative Improvement
(a) Pending the introduction of the measures for qualitative improvement suggested at (b) below (which I hope the Government will do without delay) and until the total solution mentioned at (3) below is accepted and implemented, within the present non-holistic, visionless framework, the Government needs to lay down clear-cut guidelines for each Ministry and for each State Government and its Departments, incorporating the following steps:-
(i) A plan of action to reach the budgeted SCP and TsP outlays of the Centre and of the States down up to the village and town level, and to reach the benefits to identified SC and ST individuals / families / groups / organizations / institutions in identified villages and Mohallas and wide publicity for this.
(ii) Similarly lay down systems for monitoring, associating with the Governmental systems, social workers, experts and general society members who are genuinely interested in the advancement of SCs and STs and who have won the confidence of SCs and STs;
The responsibility for this should not be cast only on the Ministries of Social Justice and Empowerment (MSJE) and Tribal Affairs (MoTA). A powerful Ministry like the Ministry of Finance needs to be associated in this effort and also bring in NITI Ayog. The Ministry of Finance will have to provide the leadership continuously. Having provided the SCP and TsP in the Budget, the Ministry of Finance should also take upon itself the subsequent responsibility of leading the Government’s efforts to ensure the reaching of the benefits to SCs and ST and monitoring it.
(iii) Reform the method of displaying the SCP and TsP. The present format is of Thiru P.Chidambaram-vintage, and has continued without improvement. This format should be improved by providing notes, under each scheme out of which outlays are earmarked for SCP and TsP, giving details of the nature of the benefits intended for SC and ST individuals / families / organizations / Institutions, etc., and the road laid for reaching the benefits to SCs and STs and particulars of the extent to which actual benefits were reached to them out of each scheme in the previous year’s SCP and TsP. The two Statements in the Expenditure Budget volume will be inadequate for this. There will have to be a separate volume for SCP and TsP – the SCs and STs need this and deserve this from the Ministry of Finance.
(iv) A further step in qualitative improvement will be to pool together the amounts earmarked for the SCP and TsP of each Ministry, preferably enhanced as suggested at B (1) above, and plan the allocation of the pooled amounts to schemes of greater relevance and benefits to SCs and STs. Here too the Ministry of Finance can associate the NITI Ayog and the Ministries of MSJE and MoTA.
(b) A still better step would be that the entire outlay of SCP and TsP, enhanced to Rs. 91301.66 Crores and Rs. 47300.86 Crores respectively, be made into two corpuses untied with any Ministry, making both free for relevant, serious and systematic planning for the development of SCs and STs with the goal of bringing about Equality for them with Socially Advanced Classes (Non-SC, Non-ST and Non-BC castes) in all parameters, namely, economic, occupational, educational at all levels, housing-and-residential-facilities-related, health-and-nutritional, etc.
Under both the improved patterns as at (a) and (b) above, there should be separate displays of the outlays and physical benefits to Specially Vulnerable Groups of the SCs, such as Safai Karmacharis (“scavengers”), Nomadic, Semi-Nomadic and Vimukta Jati communities among SCs, Devadasis, children, women, Bonded Labourers, physically handicapped etc., in the case of SCP and among STs, the Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PTGs), Nomadic, Semi-Nomadic and Vimukta Jati communities among STs, children, women, Bonded Labourers, physically handicapped, etc., in the case of TsP.
(3) Need to Move the National Special Component Plan for Scheduled Castes and Tribal sub-Plan Bill in the Parliament and Getting it Passed in Both the Houses as early as possible in this Budget Session
The qualitative improvements suggested above are half way houses. The best way to fulfill the Constitutional mandate of Social Equality through comprehensive Social Justice measures, is to move the National Special Component Plan for Scheduled Castes and Tribal sub-Plan Bill in the Parliament and getting it passed in both the Houses of the Parliament as early as possible, preferably in this Budget Session. This can help to ensure that all States as well as the Centre fulfill and efficiently implement the SCP and TsP without scope for quantitative shortfall or qualitative deficit in order to ensure fairness to SCs and STs in development. A draft Bill prepared by me was approved by the Sub-Group on Perspective Planning on Empowerment of Scheduled Castes in the XII Five Year Plan, whose Report was furnished to the Government and Planning Commission in August 2011. I have written about this from then onwards in my letters to the past and present Prime Ministers, the past and present Finance Ministers and other past and present concerned Ministers and leaders. A National Coalition on SCP and TsP Legislation, of which I am the Advisor, has also actively moved in this matter. The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment of the previous Government has prepared the Government’s Bill after the widest consultations within Government and with Dalit and Adivasi civil society representatives. Unfortunately, the Bill was not enacted because that Ministry was forbidden from bringing the subject to the Cabinet by the then PM (who in my view owes a clarification to the SCs and STs why the MSJE was forbidden from binging this Bill to the Cabinet). I have suggested this approach to the present Finance Minister vide my e-letters dated 02-06-2014 and 04-12-2014 and to the Prime Minister vide my e-letters to him dated 12. 07. 2013, 19. 7. 2013, 11. 01. 2014, 10. 02. 2014 and 02. 07. 2014. I also mentioned this approach to the Finance Minister and handed over hard copies of my e-letters to him when a delegation of the Centre for Dalit Studies, Hyderabad including me met him on 02 January 2015.
The present Government has also failed in this regard till now. Here is an opportunity for the present Government to do in a matter vial for SC and ST development what the previous Government failed to do in all its 10 years and rectify the approach for the development and advancement of SCs and STs towards Equality, compared to the SACs/NSCTBCs in all respects. For this, the Bill which is available in the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment should be brought to and cleared by the Cabinet and brought to the Parliament and got passed in both the Houses as early as possible, preferably in this Budget session itself. While moving the Bill, the original name of Special Component Plan for Scheduled Castes (SCP) should be restored instead of the downgraded name of Scheduled Castes sub-Plan (SCSP) which was introduced in the latter part of Dr. Manmohan Singh’s tenure.
In the first year of the present Government’s Budget the proportion of SCP and TsP was quantitatively above the level in the BE 2013-14. This gave the hope of a rising trend in subsequent Budgets. But in the BE 2015-16, the proportion of SCP and TsP fell to the lowest level in the many years. In the present Budget, there is improvement compared to the last year’s Budget, but the improvement is only marginal and quantitative. There is no qualitative improvement.
The leaders of the present and past Governments, the leaders of all political parties know my deep knowledge and country-wide experience, stretching over 6 ½ decades, and sincere commitment to the legitimate needs, entitlements and rights of the SCs, STs, and also SEdBCs. About the SEdBCs in this Budget, I shall write separately.
I am prepared to provide any assistance that the Government wants to give effect to the quantitative and qualitative improvement in the Budget and SC and ST development without seeking anything in return.
The problems faced by the SCs and STs are well-known. The solutions are known. The Road-Map I have worked out is with the PM, Ministers and other concerned leaders. There is no excuse or alibi for not implementing them holistically. Previous Governments, particularly during Smt. Indira Gandhi’s time and Shri V.P. Singh’s time and, to some extent, the UF Government’s time, have done something, but not holistically and have not tried to tackle the problem at its roots. The present Government too in its nearly two years has followed the path of the previous Governments. I would appeal to the PM and FM, and other concerned Ministers, to accomplish what has not been done for the SCs, STs and SEdBCs, especially the More, the Most and Extremely Backward castes of the SEdBCs in all these decades after Independence. This is necessary not only as a matter of Justice for them, but also in the interest of social integration and strengthening of national unity and optimal development.
P. S. KRISHNAN, IAS
Former Secretary to Government of India, Ministry of Welfare;
Presently, Advisor (with Cabinet Minister’s status) to Government of Telangana, Member, National Monitoring Committee for Education of SCs, STs and Persons with Disabilities, Government of India;
Chairman, Sub-Group on “Perspective Planning for Development of SCs” of the
Planning Commission’s Working Group on SCs in the XII Plan;
Member, Planning Comm’s Working Group on Empowerment of Scheduled Castes
in XII Plan;
Member, Planning Comm’s Steering Committee on Empowerment of SCs, BCs,
Nomadic & Semi-Nomadic Tribes and VJs in XII Plan;
Member, Working Group for Sanitation and Leather Workers, Ministry of Labour;
Advisor, Ministry of Human Resources Development, Govt. of India;
Chairman, Planning Commission’s Working Groups on Development and
Empowerment of Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes in different Plan Periods;
Member, Steering Committee for Empowerment of SC, BC and Minorities etc. in
Different Five-Year Plans;
Chairman, Dr. Ambedkar Foundation Research Cell;
Member, Central Committee for Liberation & Rehabilitation of Safai Karmacharis;
Chief Patron, National Action Forum for Social Justice;
Chairperson, People’s Commission against Atrocities on Dalits;
Chief Advisor, National Coalition for Strengthening the POA Act and its Implementation
Advisor, National Coalition on SCP and TsP Legislation
Chairman, Institute for Social Advancement