Centre offers Rs 2.5 lakh to every inter-caste marriage involving Dalit partner; removes income ceiling from 2013 law

The Centre, in a bid to promote inter-caste marriage and the social upliftment of Dalits, has ruled that all inter-caste couples where one partner is a Dalit will stand to earn Rs 2.5 lakh upon getting married. The scheme, which was first started in 2013, was hitherto limited only to couples who had an annual income of Rs 5 lakh or lower. It will now be applicable to all couples.

Called the 'Dr Ambedkar Scheme for Social Integration', the scheme will be linked to a couple's Aadhaar numbers and bank account details, said a report on The Indian Express.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

An official with the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment said this was meant to "appreciate the socially bold step" and to enable the couple to "settle down in the initial phase of their married life", the report said. It also requires the marriage to be registered under the Hindu Marriage Act, the proposal to be submitted within a year of marriage, and that it should be the first marriage for both spouses. "Many states that have similar schemes do not have an income limit, so the Centre too decided it to remove it," said a ministry official. Furthermore, the proposal needs to be recommended or seconded by an MP, MLA or district collector.

However, the report added, there is no definite data available on inter-caste marriages, since the Centre did not release caste data from the Socio-Economic and Caste Census.

But, as a report in The Economic Times said in 2015, out of 500 inter-caste couples across the country who could receive monetary assistance that year, only 19 did. The statistic came as response to a question asked in the Rajya Sabha in December 2015. Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Vijay Sampla, responded to the question by saying there were only 19 beneficiaries of the scheme — five each from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, three each from New Delhi and West Bengal, two from Haryana and one from Rajasthan.

Sampla was quoted in the report as saying, "We have approved all the applications that came to us in the proper channel. Maybe there aren't many applications because people aren't aware." For this, he blamed the media, saying, "You think we are a dry-sa ministry, so you ignore these schemes."

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Updated Date: Dec 06, 2017 13:43:41 IST

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