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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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.
|Ministry of Rural Development
|State Government Agencies
|Identification of Beneficiaries by
|Respective Municipality or Gram Panchayat
|NSAP is Funded by
|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
|Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP)
|Enforces Article 41 of the Indian Constitution
|Schemes under NSAP
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
|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;
|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.
As of 2023, the National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) consists of 5 schemes. They are as follows:
|Name of Schemes
|Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOAPS)
|Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme (IGNWPS)
|Beneficiary of age between 40-59 years: Rs. 200/month
|Indira Gandhi National Disability Pension Scheme (IGNDPS)
|Beneficiary of age between 18-59 years: Rs. 200/month
|National Family Benefit Scheme (NFBS)
|Assistance of Rs. 10000 in a lump sum to the bereaved family
|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.
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.
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.
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