SC-ST Sub plan

Highlight the salient features of SC/ST sub-plan. Review its implementation on the ground and suggest measures to correct the inadequacies. Make a case for bringing about a legislation for SC/ST sub-plan to ensure funds are not diverted for other purposes. (200 Words)

In spite of the Constitutional safeguards and developmental planning launched, the SCs and STs are lagging behind the general population in various socio-economic indicators. So, the Government took a shift from trickle down approach to direct targeting approach of development by mandating a planning process for the social, economic and  educational development through SC/ST sub-plan.
Salient Features-
    1. Envisage fund allocation and channelizing the flow of outlays and benefits both in physical and financial terms
    2. Ensuring socio-economic development through infrastructure development, educational activities, etc.
    3. Protection of STs against exploitation through legal and administrative support
Implementation issues-
    1. Inadequate allocation of funds as per the SC and ST population in the States,
    2. Non-utilization of even the allocated funds,
    3. Diversion of SCSP and TSP funds to other sectors at the end of the annual plan,
    4. Implementation and administrative bottlenecks
    5. Improper delivery mechanism at the field level.
Measures to correct the inadequacies-
    1. Earmarking the funds according to population and developmental needs along with outcome-based budgeting
    2. Ensuring timely release of funds and proper implementation with strict monitoring and review mechanism
    3. Funds should be made non-divertible and non-lapsable
Thus, not just mere fund allocation but a comprehensive legislation for SC/ST sub-plan should be brought up to plug the above lacunae along with empowering National Commission for SCs and STs as the nodal agency to look into its working and ensuring its implementation in letter and spirit.



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