Traditionally, marriage in Hindu society was a sacrament but after the passage of Hindu Marriage Act 1955 it can be treated as a contract. However, still marriages primarily take place on the traditional grounds of Jatis (caste) and up-jati (sub-caste). That means marriage is inextricably linked to Jati Vyavastha (caste system) with its roots in the religion.
Inter-caste marriages can be one of the significant steps to reduce the caste-prejudices, abolish ‘untouchability’ and spread the values of liberty, equality, fraternity etc in the society.
Main Objective of Scheme
The objective of the scheme is to appreciate the socially bold step, of an Inter-caste marriage, taken by the newly married couple and to extend financial incentive to the couple to enable them to settle down in the initial phase of their married life. It is clarified that it should not be construed as a supplementary scheme to an employment generation or poverty alleviation scheme.
- An Inter-caste marriage, for the purpose of this Scheme means a marriage in which one of the spouses belongs to Scheduled Caste and the other belongs to a Non-Scheduled Caste.
- The marriage should be valid as per the law and duly registered under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. An affidavit of their being legally married and in matrimonial alliance would be submitted by the couple.
- No incentive is available on second or subsequent marriage.
- Proposal would be treated as valid if submitted within one year of marriage.
- It shall be the discretion of the Minister of Social Justice & Empowerment & Chairman of Dr. Ambedkar Foundation to sanction the incentive to the Couple.
- Submission of false/ fabricated information to the competent authority would be punishable as per law in force.
Extent of Incentive
- The incentive for a legal inter-caste marriage shall be Rs.2.50 lakh per marriage. On receipt of a Pre-stamped receipt on Rs 10 Non-Judicial Stamp paper. the eligible couples would receive 1.50 lakh of the incentive amount though RTGS / NEFT to the joint bank account. The balance would be kept as Fixed Deposit for three years.
- The Scheme would provide incentive to 500 such marriages in one year. Physical target for each state is fixed in proportion to the percentage share of SC population, as per Census 2011.
- The Scheme, to begin with was implemented on a pilot basis for a period of 2 years i.e. 2013-14 and 2014-15. The Scheme was then continued as a regular scheme from April 2015. powerment which is already under implementation and its revised version is also envisaged to be as one of the sub-component of the proposed Umbrella Scheme for Development of Scheduled Castes (Centrally Sponsored Scheme).
- An amount of Rs. 25,000/-, for each marriage, would be released to the District Authorities for organising a befitting programme in which the incentive would be handed over to the couple.
- Source : The Ambedkar Foundation, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Government of India.