Saturday, 16 November 2013

NSFDC - Playing Important Role in Economic Development of Target Group

The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment is implementing a number of schemes for development of Scheduled Castes and National Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corporation (NSFDC) is playing an important role in economic development of the target group.  The Corporation is active at National level and provides financial assistance ranging from  Indian Rupee symbol.svg 30,000/- to  Indian Rupee symbol.svg 30 lacs to entrepreneurs belonging to scheduled castes for setting up their own business ventures.  NSFDC also provides 100% grant for skill development training programmes and also provide education loans to students for pursuing higher studies.  The Corporation has assisted more than 8.50 lakh beneficiaries by providing loan of more than  Indian Rupee symbol.svg 2500 crore in last twenty four years.
In the rapidly changing scenario in the World, empowerment of masses does not end with providing financial assistance for starting any business activity, but also involves inclusion of weaker sections in all spheres of development. Good education is one of the foremost requirements for getting employment or starting a self-employment venture.  The youth of today needs financial assistance to follow their dreams of getting quality education and livelihood earning skills. The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment assists the target-group by giving post-matric scholarships and national overseas scholarship for pursuing higher studies. As the present day education has become an expensive affair particularly if one is to study away from his/her home by staying in hostels, there is a need to fill the gaps in scholarship amount and the actual   expenditure. NSFDC is playing a major role in meeting this requirement. Its Educational Loan Scheme has been drafted in such a manner so as to cover all items of expenditures and provide wide coverage of courses. Getting education from foreign universities by the students is also possible through NSFDC's Educational Loan Scheme.
Further, it is very essential for young persons to be well trained in their chosen area of occupation. Self-employment or wage employment requires exhaustive skill development training. The Government has established number of institutions in the country for imparting these trainings. In this endeavour, NSFDC has entered into partnership with many of such training institutions and are imparting short-term skill training programmes for the educated unemployed youth belonging to scheduled castes. All the expenses of such courses are being met by NSFDC. NSFDC also provides stipend of Rs.1,500/- per month to these trainees for meeting miscellaneous expenses.
In the present business environment - schemes of providing finances for self-employment venture - care should be taken that forward and backward linkages to the business activity undertaken with financial assistance from NSFDC are available so that beneficiary can increase their business in future by these linkages. The investment in the business should be sufficient to generate enough income, so as to make beneficiaries financially independent.  The fund requirement should be met completely, so that beneficiaries need not look for supplementing their requirement from other sources. State Channelizing Agencies should also provide guidance to beneficiaries for running their business successfully and adopt an attitude of holding the hand of the beneficiary for a longer time. Efforts should also be made to bridge the gap between the rural, urban and semi-urban youth belonging to scheduled castes, in all fields.
The need of the hour is for better methods and approaches to ensure the effectiveness of various programmes and schemes for the economic development of masses belonging to scheduled castes.

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