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BCWD

Inter-Caste Marriage Scheme in West Bengal

The objective of Dr. Ambedkar Scheme for Social Integration through Inter-Caste Marriages is to extend financial incentive to the newly married couple.

(Last Update: 21.12.2016)

F.No. 34-1/2013/DAF
Dr. Ambedkar Foundation
Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment

Dr. Ambedkar Scheme for Social Integration through Inter-Caste Marriages

(I) Background

  1. Sociologists have argued that caste system is a hierarchical system in which castes are placed one above the other on the basis of social status and prestige. Dr. B. R. Ambedkar defined Indian caste system as a system based on graded inequality. It divides men into separate communities and one of its main feature, the practice of endogamy i.e. the social rule that requires an individual to marry within a specific culturally defined social group of which he/she is member, reinforces and sustains this separateness and it is this segregation, which has created difficulty in achieving Constitutional values of liberty, equality, fraternity etc in the society.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme for implementation of the Protection of Civil Rights Act (PCR) and Prevention of Atrocities (POA) Act, Central assistance to State Governments and Union Territory Administrations is provided towards incentive for intercaste marriages where one of the spouses belongs to Scheduled Caste.
  5. The object no. XXXI in the Memorandum of Association of Dr. Ambedkar Foundation also mandates “To organize special campaigns for removal of untouchability and caste-based prejudices and for bringing in attitudinal change in the society through communal harmony and brotherhood and receive Govt. assistance for such purposes.” Given the enormity of the social challenge that an inter-caste marriage faces, the Foundation also joins the initiative for bringing in an attitudinal change among the members of society through inter-caste marriages which has the potential to bring sustainable social integration, harmony and fraternity.
  6. Since the problem is societal, the solution has to be determined at the level of society. Further, as the matter pertains to the realm of tradition and mind-set, it has to be pursued in a calibrated manner by gradually convincing the society about the desirability of creating a progressive society for which the inter-caste marriages should be accepted as a norm. Therefore, there appears to be a need for greater involvement of Representatives of People from Panchayat to Parliament, Social Activists/ Reformers, Administration, Media etc. in the implementation of this Scheme.

(II) The Scheme:

  1. The Scheme would be known as ‘Dr. Ambedkar Scheme for Social Integration through Inter-Caste Marriages’.
  2. The objective of the scheme is to appreciate the socially bold step, of an Intercaste 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.
  3. It shall be the discretion of the Minister of Social Justice & Empowerment & Chairman of Dr. Ambedkar Foundation to sanction the incentive to the Couple.
  4. Submission of false/ fabricated information to the competent authority would be punishable as per law in force.

(III) Eligibility:

The eligibility criteria are as under:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. No incentive is available on second or subsequent marriage.
  4. Proposal would be treated as valid if submitted within one year of marriage.
  5. The total annual income of the newly married couple, both put together, should not be more than Rs. 5.00 lakh.
  6. The couple who have already received incentive from the State Govt./UT Administration are not be eligible for incentive from the Foundation under the Scheme.

(IV) Extent of Incentive

  1. The incentive for a legal inter-caste marriage shall be Rs.2.50 lakh per marriage. On receipt of a Pre-Stamped Receipt on a Ten Rupee Non-Judicial Stamp Paper the total amount of incentive will be released to the eligible couple in a single instalment through RTGS/ NEFT to the joint account of the couple.
  2. 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 State-wise target for release of incentive under the Scheme is annexed as Annexure.
  3. It has been decided that the scheme, to begin with implemented on a pilot basis for a period of 2 years i.e. 2013-14 and 2014-15 will be continued as a regular scheme with effect from 1st April, 2015.
  4. The District Authorities and State Government should be persuaded to be more proactive in supporting Inter caste Marriage (one spouse SC category) by organizing Mass Inter-caste marriages in the Districts/ States. They may publicize the same in the local media, arrange functions for the inter-caste marriage invite eminent personalities to grace the occasion etc. An amount at the rate of Rs.25,000/- per inter-caste marriage will be paid to the District Authorities/ State Government for organizing the above programme.
  5. 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.

(V) Norms for release of Incentive:

The norms for release of the Incentive amount under the Scheme are as follows:-

  1. The proposal to give incentive under the Scheme should be recommended either by sitting Member of Parliament or Member of Legislative Assembly or the District Collector/ Magistrate and submitted by the State/UT Government.
  2. The incentive for a legal inter-caste marriage shall be Rs.2.50 lakh per marriage. On receipt of a Pre-Stamped Receipt on a Ten Rupee Non-Judicial Stamp Paper the total amount of incentive will be released to the eligible couple in a single instalment through RTGS/ NEFT to the joint account of the couple.
  3. Power of Relaxation: Chairperson DAF & HMSJE may relax any provisions of the scheme in deserving cases.
  4. How to apply: A statement showing copies of documents which are to be submitted by the applicant is enclosed.

The proposal to give incentive under the Scheme should be recommended either by sitting Member of Parliament or Member of Legislative Assembly or the District Collector/ Magistrate and submitted through Department dealing with the development of the Scheduled Caste in the State/UT Government Authorities.

Details of documents to be submitted by the applicant for incentive under Dr. Ambedkar Scheme for Social Integration through Inter-Caste Marriage

The application is submitted to the Department dealing with the Welfare of Scheduled Caste in the respective States/UTs and the State Government may forward the same to the Director, Dr. Ambedkar Foundation, 15, Janpath, New Delhi-110001 with their recommendations.

  1. Date of Birth (please enclose a copy birth certificate issued by the competent authority or copy of the Secondary School Examination)
  2. Address. Please include PIN code. (please enclose copy of voter ID/ Driving Licence/Passport etc)
  3. Email ID and Mobile Number
  4. Whether one of the spouses belong to Scheduled Caste and the other to a Non- Scheduled Caste (please enclose a copy of Caste certificate issued by the competent authority)
  5. Annual Income (if employed copies of salary certificate should be enclosed. For others a enclose a certificate issued by the Taluk /District Authorities)
  6. Whether it is the first marriage of the couple (please enclose an affidavit on plain paper by the couple)
  7. Date of Marriage
  8. Whether the application for incentive was submitted within one year of marriage
  9. Whether the marriage is valid as per the law and Registered under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 (please enclose a copy of the Marriage registration certificate)
  10. Whether any incentive was received for the Inter-caste Marriage from the State Government. If so give details.
  11. Details of Joint Bank Account (enclose a copy of the first pages of the pass book)
  12. Recommendation by sitting MP/MLA (please enclose the recommendation letter) OR Recommendation by District Collector/District Magistrate

Inter-Caste Marriage Scheme, Source