Voluntary Organisations Scheme for Schedule Castes
Voluntary Organisations Scheme for Schedule Castes
To support volunteer organisations and training institutions that provide support to Schedule Castes, Government of India (GoI) introduced Scheme of Grant-in-Aid to Voluntary Organisations and NGOs. The scheme for the schedule caste is supported by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MoSJ&E) to provide a platform for the SCs to learn new skills to improve their chances of employment in any sector.
The core objective of the scheme is to enhance the reach and efforts of voluntary organisations, particularly in Schedule Caste dominant areas. The scheme strives to provide socio-economic and educational upliftment for the Schedule Castes (SCs) in India.
The following are the activities covered by the scheme to equip Schedule Castes to upgrade their skills
- Opening Schools and hostels to increase skills
- Providing fees and training by MoSJ&E
- Providing medical facilities by setting up hospitals and mobile dispensaries.
- Creating awareness related to competitive exams, employment opportunities, legal-aid, loans, scholarships and other grants
Financial Coverage Under the Scheme
- Rent for Buildings
- Purchase of Furniture
- Purchase of Machinery or Equipment
- Honorarium of Staff
- Stipends to Trainees and Students
- Tuition Fee
- Contingencies (including TA/DA)
- Other items approved by the Secretary
Extent of Assistance
The amount of assistance offered will be decided by the MoSJ&E. There is no upper limit, and the final amount will be decided on merit by the State Committee.
Pattern for Financial Assistance
The grant is disbursed in two parts. The first 75% of the estimated expenditure is released upon receiving all of the following documents:
- Application-based on the prescribed proforma
- Utilisation certificate of previous grant released if applicable
- Expenditure incurred from previous grant released if applicable
- Budget estimates for the financial year
- Annual performance report with statistics (not applicable for new projects)
The remaining 25% of the grant will be released on receipt of the following documents:
- Utilisation certificate
- An audited statement of accounts
- Inspection report
- Recommendation from grant-in-aid committee or UT administration
Expenditure and Accounts
Failing to meet the expected expenditure for the allotted grant, should be refunded. If the grant period is extended beyond one financial year, the unused amount will be carried forward to the next financial year.
Organisations receiving grants need to maintain a reasonable level of being economical with their expenses. Only approved items can be purchased, and any unwarranted purchases may lead to the termination of the sanction.
The institution should maintain the records of all machinery or equipment which has a life of fewer than five years or costing Rs.10,000 and above. The records should be attached along with the financial statement, sent to MoSJ&E.
Any organisation that receives aid under the scheme need to maintain the following accounts.
- Separate accounts for all grants received under the scheme. The accounts can be audited by an officer appointed by the State Government or Government of India at their discretion
- Proper register for all assets under a prescribed proforma
- Statement of accounts audited every financial year
- Audited statement showing all purchase of machinery
If an organisation receives grant-in-aid from other official schemes for the same purpose offered by MoSJ&E, an assessment will be made by authorities. But if such information is hidden or factually incorrect information is provided, the grant amount may be reduced, or the grant may be cancelled altogether.
To apply for the scheme, an organisation needs to apply (application-cum-monitoring form) under the prescribed format.
- The application needs to be submitted within the first quarter of the financial year to the local Social Welfare Department, as per the guidelines of MoSJ&E
- State Government or the applicable social welfare department verify the details and authenticity of the application. Once all the details are verified, the proposals are placed before the State Grant-in-Aid Committee
- Applications will not be accepted by MoSJ&E directly, and they need to be directed through each respective State or Union Territory department. All applications that are sent directly will be rejected.
- The State/UT administrators from the respective State Grant-in-Aid Committees forward the applications that are approved to the MoSJ&E
- Eligible organisations will then be contacted for examining proposals by state committees
During the proposal phase, the shortlisted organisations will need to submit the following details:
- Justification towards the continuation of all new or ongoing projects as well as how the grant can impact the project
- The period for which the project needs to continue receiving funds
- Residential schools for girls need to offer adequate security for students and female service staff
- Record of rendering voluntary services. Institutions with a good track record will be given preference
- Linkage to Panchayati Raj institutions
- For new projects, minimum benchmark data needs to be submitted
Assistance offered under the scheme is available only for ongoing and new projects undertaken by voluntary organisations. Residential and non-residential schools, hostels and other organisations can fall under the scheme. Organisations that offer skill development and fulfil the norms of the Ministry of Skill Development are also eligible under the scheme.
Here are the eligible organisations under the scheme:
- Institutions registered as per the Societies Registration Act, 1860 (XXI of 1860) or as applicable to state/Union Territory acts
- A registered Public Trust
- Charitable institutions under Section 25 of Companies Act, 1958
- Indian Red Cross Society
- Other public bodies or institutions with legal status
- Training Institutions
- The organisation should be at least three years old
- Percentage of SC beneficiaries in the organisation not less than 60%