Empowering Senior Citizens, Governance and Public Service Delivery (October 2021)

⪻ Articles ⪼

Empowering Senior Citizens

  • The Ministry of Rural Development, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare along with Ministry of Finance are making efforts to make sure that the elderly are able to lead secure, dignified, and productive lives.
  • The number of elderly persons increased from 1.98 crore in 1951 to 7.6 crore in 2001.
  • In 2036, the population of senior citizens India is projected to increase to 22.74 crores.
  • More than 70 % of the population of senior citizens is in rural areas of India.
  • India՚s total population is projected to increase from 121.10 crore to 152.20 crore in 2036.
  • The percentage of senior citizens against total population is expected to increase to 14.9 % .
  • By 2050, India is expected to have the highest number of centenarians with around six lakh people over the age of 100.

ELDERLINE

  • Toll free helpline, a short code 14567 launched for registration and redressal of grievances and monitoring the performance of States and UTs.
  • Agency of this helpline is being implemented by the National Institute of Social Defence (NISD) , an autonomous institute under the Ministry.
  • This helpline as on date works in Delhi, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, and Uttarakhand.
  • Remaining States/UTs are in the process of operationalizing the ELDERLINE.
  • It could be reached from 8 a. m. till 8 p. m. throughout the week.
  • Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
  • Would address the neglect faced by the citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Confidence building measure for the elderly in eight states.
  • Regaining financial independence by exploring work opportunities on innovative govt. run portals.
  • To be extended to 20 more states.
  • According to an estimate, India at present has 14 crore senior citizens.

Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment

  • Organizes health camps, inter-generational walkathons across the country every year on 1st October.
  • Nodal ministry for matters relating to the senior citizens.
  • Ministry develops and implements acts, policies, and programmes for senior citizens in collaboration with State Governments/Union Territory administrators.
  • Active participation of senior citizens, youth, and celebrities.
  • Vayoshresthta Samman is conferred as a national award on eminent senior citizens and institutions.
  • Launched five schemes under the umbrella Scheme-Atal Vayo Abhyuday Yojana (AVYAY) .
    • Poshan Abhiyan for Elderly
    • Livelihood and Skilling Initiatives for senior citizens
    • Promoting silver economy
    • Channelizing CSR funds for Elderly care.
    • Awareness Generation and Capacity Building for welfare of senior citizens

Varistha Pension Bima Yojana (VBPY)

  • A social security scheme for senior citizens.
  • To give income security along with a guaranteed rate of return on the subscription amount.

Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana (PMVVY)

  • Launched in May 2017.
  • To provide social security during old age.
  • A simplified version of the VPBY.
  • Implemented by the Life Insurance Corporation of India.

SACRED

  • Senior Able Citizens for Re-Employment in Dignity.
  • Stemmed from the realization by policy makers that many senior citizens have experience.
  • The portal facilitates identification of such persons through virtual matching of preferences.
  • From the Senior Citizens Welfare Fund, an amount of ₹ 12 crore has been allocated for the year 2021 - 22.

AGRASR Groups

  • Action Groups Aimed at Social Reconstruction.
  • Elderly Self-Help Groups.
  • Provides a platform to share their time constructively with one another.
  • SHGs would function as ‘Action Groups Aimed at Social Reconstruction (AGRASR Groups) ’ to attain financial assistance.

Awareness Generation and Capacity Building

  • For welfare of senior citizens.
  • Includes components such as the national helpline for senior citizens, research, awareness generation, sensitization, emotional empowerment, etc.
  • Spreading awareness and sensitizing the youth along with other sections of the society.
  • An amount of ₹ 65.47 core has been allocated for the year 2021 - 22 from the Senior Citizens Welfare Fund.

Governance and Public Service Delivery

  • Ending 15th August 2023, India is marking 75 years of its independence with the ‘Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav’ campaign.
  • ‘Green Revolution’ and the ‘Operation Flood’ in milk helped the economy leapfrog from being food grain and milk deficient to currently being among the largest producers and exporters of agri and dairy produce globally.
  • Envisioning to make India a ‘Blue Economy’ in the next few years.
  • Diversifying the agri-basket of our rural economy at the same time promoting village and local entrepreneurship.
  • Leverage the collective power of community:
    • Self-Help Groups
    • Farmer Producer Organizations
    • Other community-based cooperative mechanisms

Governance and Service Deliver Initiatives

  • The Direct Benefit Transfer.
  • Opening 400 million bank accounts of the unbanked, mostly rural people.
  • Combining the synergies under the Jan-Dhan-Aadhaar-Mobile (JAM Trinity) thereby ensuring seamless delivery of public services.
  • Setting up of Common Service Centres (CSCs) under the Digital India Mission with over 4,12, 000 CSCs being operational in the rural areas.
  • Through the ‘Smart Village’ initiative over 1 lakh villages have been digitized and connected with Wi-Fi, optical fiber network and a host of other digital services.
  • Money is directly transferred into the accounts of millions of farmers through PM-KISAN and Public Distribution System (PDS) subsidies.

Way Ahead

  • PM-Awas (Gramin) Yojana aimed at providing 2.95 crore houses to the eligible rural population in the country to achieve the objective of “Housing for All” .
  • Convergence with other schemes like Swachh Bharat Mission, PM-Ujjwala Yojana for LPG connections including an unskilled wage component of 90 - 95 days under the MGNREGS.
  • Survey of Villages and Mapping with Improvised Technology in Village Areas of SVAMITVA was launched by the govt. in 2020 for carrying out large-scale mapping and surveys of rural properties using advanced drone and satellite technologies.
  • The launch of e-SHRAM portal of the Ministry of Labour seeks to onboard millions of unorganized workers from across the country on a single portal and help prepare a single National Database of Unorganized Workers (NDUW) .

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