National Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Hub

National Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Hub

National Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Hub

Entrepreneurship fuels the economic growth of a nation, more so when it’s an endeavour of all communities. India is a country of a diverse populace, among which the historically disadvantaged SC/ST Community holds a place of great significance as their contribution is pivotal to ensure inclusive growth. On that note, the nation has witnessed a rise in SC/ST owned enterprises over the years, more of which is needed for the empowerment of the community. The National Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Hub has been formed as a part of the Startup India initiative so as to increase market access, ensure the greater involvement of SC/ST entrepreneurs in public procurement and to promote the creation of new enterprises. Moreover, the Hub seeks to render professional support to SC and ST entrepreneurs to help them fulfill their obligations under the Central Government Procurement Policy, employ applicable business practices and make optimum use of the Start-Up India initiative. The project would be implemented by the Ministry of MSME through National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC) with a budget of Rs. 490 crores. It involves the participation of CPSEs/Central Ministries, States, Industry Associations, etc.

Key Objective

The National SC/ST Hub has been created with the object of rendering professional support to the SC/ST entrepreneurs so that they could fulfill their obligations under the Central Government Procurement Policy for Micro and Small Enterprises Order 2012, as well as adopt applicable business practices and make the best use of the Start-Up India initiatives. Apart from this, the Hub is aimed at:

  • Encouraging SC/ST units to achieve their share of at least 4% of the total procurement policy made by Central/State Governments, CPSEs and other government agencies.
  • Strategizing intervention through industry associations to sensitize, encourage and facilitate the units owned by the SC/ST cadre to participate in Public Procurement Process.
  • Collecting, collating and disseminating information of SC/ST enterprises and entrepreneurs.
  • Facilitating SC/ST entrepreneurs to partake in vendor development programs and mentoring support.
  • Facilitating the participation of entrepreneurs in Public Procurement through the e-platform of DGS&D and monitoring their progress.

Mode of Operations

The Hub would carry out its endeavours out of the National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC) headquartered in New Delhi, with the support of a special cell created for this purpose. Entrepreneurs young and old of the SC/ST community would be registered on the MSME Databank of the Ministry of MSME, forming a reliable database to enhance accessibility for procurement agencies. A separate website has been launched to appraise the stakeholders on the activities of the Hub.

The Hub employs a multipronged strategy to achieve the underlying objectives of the National SC/ST Hub. This is meant to address the existing gaps across multiple drivers of the entrepreneurial ecosystem so as to provide growth to the SC/ST entrepreneurs. Among other aspects, the Hub would play a helping hand in strengthening market access/linkages, mentoring, capacity building, leveraging financial support schemes, sharing industry best practices, etc.

The following communities aid in the functioning of the Hub:

High Powered Monitoring Committee

This committee would be chaired by the Minister of MSME and supported by members who are representatives of various stakeholders including States, various ministries, industry associations and SC/ST entrepreneurs. It is primarily vested with the responsibility of monitoring the overall activity of the Hub at the highest level.

Advisory Committee

The committee would work in partnership with the High-Powered Monitoring Committee so as to gather the perspectives of the SC/ST entrepreneurs into the Hub, thereby paving the way for an effective, mutually beneficial relationship between the target group and the Government. Moreover, the body promotes affirmative action in the private sector for encouraging diversity.

Empowered Project Approval Committee

Chaired by the Secretary of the Ministry of MSME, the Committee would make room for flexibilities in view of accommodating the evolving requirements of SC/ST entrepreneurs.

Functions of the Hub

Apart from what has been covered, the Hub would perform the following functions:

  • Capacity building among existing and prospective SC/ST entrepreneurs through skill training and EDPs.
  • Vendor development involving CPSEs, NSIC, MSME-Dis and industry associations including DICCI.
  • Promoting the involvement of SC/ST entrepreneurs in exhibitions and organizing special exhibitions for this purpose.
  • Monitoring and lending support to SC/ST entrepreneurs including ex-bankers, industrialists, industry associations and other bodies for mentoring on the lines of similar schemes in NITI Aayog. Such mentoring would encompass marketing support, quality improvement, and the likes of it.
  • Working with the different State Governments and other organizations in the interests of the SC/ST entrepreneurs.
  • Enabling credit linkages for SC/ST entrepreneurs.

Proposals of the Hub

The Hub has proposed the facilitation of the following activities:

MSME Databank

In order to strengthen the role and increase the efficiency of SC/ST MSMEs, a centralized MSME databank or repository of data is created through registration of SC/ST enterprises and by integrating data from other reliable sources. Centralized availability of information of SC/ST entrepreneurs would result in improved accessibility.

Vendor Development Programmes

CPSEs/Central Ministries would be prompted to organize Vendor Development Programmes (VDPs) with SC/ST enterprises to become a part of their supply chain. At these meets, these bodies would interact with potential SC/ST suppliers and gather information about them. After this, these enterprises would be evaluated and adopted into this initiative.

Mentoring MSMEs

Mentoring Programmes are organized to empower SC/ST enterprises in their early stages of business by imparting guidance through accomplished entrepreneurs, experienced executives, and professionals through personal counselling.

Finance Facilitation Centre

Credit facilitation support systems are designed to meet the credit requirements of MSMEs and assist the current and future crop of SC/ST entrepreneurs in their business growth and expansion.

Consortium of SC/ST Suppliers

Many small SC/ST suppliers are experiencing difficulties in supplying to CPSEs/Central Ministries given the low scale of operations. For integrating these suppliers into the supply chains of CPSEs/Central Ministries and augmenting their involvement, institutions such as NSIC, NEDFI, State level and SC/ST marketing organizations and others would be engaged in creating consortiums of SC/ST suppliers.

Proposals of the Hub

The Hub has proposed the facilitation of the following activities:

MSME Databank

In order to strengthen the role and increase the efficiency of SC/ST MSMEs, a centralized MSME databank or repository of data is created through registration of SC/ST enterprises and by integrating data from other reliable sources. Centralized availability of information of SC/ST entrepreneurs would result in improved accessibility.

Vendor Development Programmes

CPSEs/Central Ministries would be prompted to organize Vendor Development Programmes (VDPs) with SC/ST enterprises to become a part of their supply chain. At these meets, these bodies would interact with potential SC/ST suppliers and gather information about them. After this, these enterprises would be evaluated and adopted into this initiative.

Mentoring MSMEs

Mentoring Programmes are organized to empower SC/ST enterprises in their early stages of business by imparting guidance through accomplished entrepreneurs, experienced executives, and professionals through personal counselling.

Finance Facilitation Centre

Credit facilitation support systems are designed to meet the credit requirements of MSMEs and assist the current and future crop of SC/ST entrepreneurs in their business growth and expansion.

Consortium of SC/ST Suppliers

Many small SC/ST suppliers are experiencing difficulties in supplying to CPSEs/Central Ministries given the low scale of operations. For integrating these suppliers into the supply chains of CPSEs/Central Ministries and augmenting their involvement, institutions such as NSIC, NEDFI, State level and SC/ST marketing organizations and others would be engaged in creating consortiums of SC/ST suppliers.

Management Information Systems (MIS)

The initiative would oversee the creation of a Management Information System (MIS) for assessing the performance of CPSEs/Central Ministries concerning their annual public procurement targets. The system would be an effective tool for monitoring and evaluating inputs for the provision of support to SC/ST entrepreneurs.

Awards and Facilitation

Awards and recognitions are introduced to the program to create a competitive environment and motivate the entrepreneurs in producing better performances.

Marketing Assistance

A scheme of Special Marketing assistance for SC/ST enterprises would be initiated to spur their participation in various domestic and international events, trade fairs, buyer-seller meets, consortia formation, seminars and other pertinent marketing activities.

Affirmative Action Plan

Private Sector Companies are encouraged to increase the diversity among their suppliers through the inclusion of SC/ST entrepreneurs as vendors through an affirmative action plan.

Capacity Building

The Hub would cater to SC/ST enterprises in terms of technological upgradation, enhancement of capacity and better availability of credit. While the scheme sees to these vital requirements, additional assistance would be rendered through the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana.

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Post by Sreeram Viswanath

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