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GA Topper Series: PIB Gist: Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment

The following article is a compilation of the important facts shared by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment on the PIB website.

Facts about SHRESTHA Scheme


  • The students, belonging to Scheduled Castes, studying in class 8th and 10th in the current academic year (2021-22) are eligible for availing the benefits of the scheme.
  • Students from the SC community who come from a marginalized income group with an annual income of up to2.5 lakh are eligible.
  • The selection will be done through a transparent mechanism which is known as National Entrance Test for SHRESHTA (NETS).
    • It will be conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA)for admission in class 9th and 11th

 There are no residential schools for SC students funded by this Ministry. However, the Ministry implements the Scheme for Residential Education for Students in High Schools in Targeted Areas (SHRESHTA) under which meritorious SC students are provided admission in the best available residential schools. Number of students admitted in the SC Hostels funded under the SHRESHTA Scheme.

State wise allocation is not done under the Scheme of SHRESHTA since it is a central sector scheme.


It is not a project but is a portal which has been devised by NIC cell of this Department based on a framework provided by NITI Aayog, for capturing online data based on the allocation of funds that has been allocated under Scheduled Caste Sub Plan (SCSP) from various Ministries/Departments on the financial, physical and outcome based monitoring indicators.

Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens (Amendment) Bill, 2019

Maintaining law and order is a State subject. In order to curb crime against senior citizens, the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens (Amendment) Bill, 2019 has provision for one Nodal Officer for senior citizens in every Police Station and a Special Police Unit for Senior Citizens in each district. The amendment is in maintenance and welfare of parents and senior Citizens act, 2007.

Garima Greh

Ministry has initiated 13 pilot shelter homes namely Garima Greh: Shelter Home for Transgender Persons and provided financial assistance to Community Based Organizations (CBOs) for setting up of these shelter homes.

However, one organization (Manipur state) had returned the funds sanctioned expressing inability in setting up Garima Greh due to Covid pandemic and other reasons.

These 12 pilot shelter homes are functional in 9 States i.e Maharashtra, Gujarat, Delhi, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu & Odisha.

SMILE scheme

Ministry has launched a scheme “SMILE – Support for Marginalized Individuals for Livelihood and Enterprise” on 12.02.2022, under which, Garima Grehs will be set up @ at least one per State subject to eligibility criteria.

Ministry through the National Institute of Social Defence (NISD) regularly organize awareness programmes for sensitizing Police functionaries, Prison functionaries, ICDS functionaries, Media Professionals including Medical professionals


Construction of hostels for OBC Boys and Girls; a component of Umbrella scheme namely “PM Young Achievers Scholarship Award Scheme For Vibrant India For OBCs And Others” (PM-YASASVI).

What punishment for Manual Scavenging?

Any person or agency who engages any person for manual scavenging in violation of the provisions of the MS Act, 2013 is punishable under Section 8 of the above Act, with imprisonment upto 2 years or fine upto Rs. One Lakh or both.

What is Sugamya Cane Device?

Sugamya Cane Device is an Assistive Aids consisting of Sugamya Cane Sensor and a Normal Foldable White Cane, assists to a Visually Impaired Person intelligently in mobility and direction-finding.

Sugamya Cane assists in walking and detects obstacles that come within detection zone of sensor. Sensor is mounted on foldable White Cane which can be easily folded as and when required by user with help of hanging elastic provided at right side of hand grip for strapping the folded cane.

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