National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP)

The Union Government launched the National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) to provide social security and welfare to the citizens of India. It encompasses various NSAP schemes that offer social assistance to the unemployed, elderly, widows, and persons with disabilities. The programme was launched on 15th August 1995 under the administration of the Ministry of Rural Development.

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What is NSAP?

The National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) is a social development programme to improve the economic conditions of underserved citizens. It aims to remove chronic poverty and help the destitute through social assistance.

Purpose of NSAP Schemes:

To develop a deprivation-free society where every citizen is living a life of dignity.

Mission of NSAP Schemes:

To provide social and financial security to the vulnerable sections of society that are living below the poverty line.

Features of NSAP

Features Details
Administered by Ministry of Rural Development
Implemented by State Government Agencies
Identification of Beneficiaries by Respective Municipality or Gram Panchayat 
NSAP is Funded by 
  • “Core of the Core” Centre Sponsored Scheme
  • 100% Central Assistance is given to extend the benefits
Areas Covered Poor households in Rural and Urban areas
Disbursement of Benefits To beneficiary's bank accounts, Post Office Savings Banks, or Postal Money Order
Monitoring of Implementation
  • A Nodal Officer is appointed at the State level to conduct Annual verification
  • Social Audit is conducted once a year
  • Divisional Head holds monthly meetings of all the Nodal Officers of every State/UT
  • Quarterly Performance Review meeting also takes place
Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP)  Enforces Article 41 of the Indian Constitution
Objectives
  • Secure adequate livelihood opportunities for poor households
  • Raise the standard of living
  • Improve public health standards
  • Provide free of cost and compulsory education to children
Schemes under NSAP
  • National Old Age Pension Scheme (NOAPS)
  • National Widow Pension Scheme (NWPS)
  • National Disability Pension Scheme (NDPS)
  • Annapurna Scheme
  • National Family Benefit Scheme (NMBS)

Components of the NSAP Programme

At its inception in 1995, National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) aimed to provide financial and social assistance to old age citizens (in the form of pension plans), BPL households, and pregnant women. 

NSAP is comprised of 3 components, which are as follows:

Name of Components Eligibility Benefits
National Old Age Pension Scheme (NOAPS) Destitute of > 65 years of age  Rs. 75/month per beneficiary
National Family Benefit Scheme (NFBS) Age of primary breadwinner: 18-64 years A sum is given to the bereaved family if the primary breadwinner dies;
  • Rs. 5,000 grant for natural death
  • Rs. 10,000 grant for accidental death
National Maternity Benefit Scheme (NMBS)* Pregnant women from BPL household Rs. 300 per birth (for a maximum of 2 live births)

*In 2001, the Government of India transferred the National Maternity Benefit Scheme (NMBS) from the Ministry of Rural Development to the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.

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Schemes Under NSAP

As of 2023, the National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) consists of 5 schemes. They are as follows:

Name of Schemes Eligibility Criteria Benefits Provided*
Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOAPS)
  • >60 years of age
  • From BPL households
  • Beneficiary of age 60-79 years: Rs. 200/month
  • Beneficiary of age >80 years: Rs. 500/month
Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme (IGNWPS)
  • Widow from BPL household, and 
  • Between 40-59 years of age
Beneficiary of age between 40-59 years: Rs. 200/month
Indira Gandhi National Disability Pension Scheme (IGNDPS)
  • Persons from BPL households, having severe or multiple disabilities, and
  • Between 18-59 years of age
Beneficiary of  age between 18-59 years: Rs. 200/month
National Family Benefit Scheme (NFBS)
  • On natural/ accidental death of the breadwinner from BPL household, and
  • Age of the breadwinner: 18-64 years
Assistance of Rs. 10000 in a lump sum to the bereaved family
Annapurna Scheme
  • Senior citizens from BPL households, and
  • Should not be covered under IGNOAPS
Free food grains: 10 kg/month (wheat/rice) per beneficiary

Note: The State/UT Government may contribute equal to or higher than the social assistance provided by the Centre to the beneficiary.

How NSAP Schemes Are Implemented?

Let us understand the implementation of social welfare programs in India under the National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP):

  • The Ministry of Rural Development of the Government of India administers the NSAP schemes.

  • Social assistance is provided at the state level following the general and specific conditions of each component of NSAP.

  • Various State/UT Government agencies and public welfare departments implement social assistance programs in rural-urban areas.

  • Gram Sabha prepares the list of BPL households as per the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) to identify the beneficiaries in rural areas.

  • Municipalities identify the beneficiaries from BPL households as per the guidelines under the Poverty Alleviation Programme of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.

Summing It Up

The Government of India introduced the NSAP schemes aiming to enhance social protection for every citizen in India. Ensuring basic livelihood opportunities for the poor and vulnerable sections of society can ensure sustainable development and growth of the nation. National Social Assistance Programme is a step forward towards that goal.

FAQ's

  • Who can benefit from the National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP)?

    National Social Assistance Programme provides social assistance to the elderly, persons with disabilities, widows, and unemployed persons who to Below Poverty Line (BPL) households.
  • How many schemes are there under NSAP?

    At present, NSAP constitutes 5 major components, which are as follows:
    • Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOAPS)
    • Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme (IGNWPS)
    • Indira Gandhi National Disability Pension Scheme (IGNDPS)
    • National Family Benefit Scheme (NFBS)
    • Annapurna Scheme
  • Why was the National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) introduced?

    The Government of India introduced the National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) on 15 August 1995 to fulfil the principles mentioned in the Directive Principles of State Policy in Article 41 of the Indian Constitution. 
    The National Social Assistance Scheme intends to provide sufficient livelihood opportunities, improve public health, and raise the living standards of the poor sections of society.
  • Is NSAP a central sector scheme?

    NSAP scheme is a Centrally Sponsored ‘core of core’ program in which a major part of the budget is funded by the central government and the rest by the state government.

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^^The information relating to mutual funds presented in this article is for educational purpose only and is not meant for sale. Investment is subject to market risks and the risk is borne by the investor. Please consult your financial advisor before planning your investments.

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