The scheme which is already in place since 2013 has now been modified to remove the income cap
A scheme that was already offering Rs 2.5 lakh to couples who have done intercaste marriage where one of the spouses is a Dalit has now been modified, reported The Indian Express.
Previously the “Dr Ambedkar Scheme for Social Integration”, in place since 2013, was only meant for couples who have income below Rs 5 lakh per annum. Now the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has removed the ceiling, while simultaneously making it mandatory for them to submit Aadhaar numbers and bank account details.
“Many states that have similar schemes do not have an income limit, so the Centre, too, decided it remove it,” a ministry official was quoted in the report.
Rs 2.5 lakh incentive is intended to laud the “socially bold step” couples are taking and to help them “settle down in the initial phase of their married life”.
As per media reports, despite a target to give 500 such couples the sum of money, only 5 couples were given the amount in 2014-15 and only 72 such couples got the money in 2015-16.
In 2016-17, only 45 of the 736 applications were approved and this year the Ministry received 409 applications for which the incentive was approved for 74 couples.
The scheme is based on BR Ambedkar's idea to remove endogamy in order for caste to be abolished and promote fusion through intermarriage.
The target for each state under the scheme is fixed in proportion to its Scheduled Caste population. As per that listing, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Rajasthan are allowed to submit maximum proposals.
There is a catch though. Conditions to be eligible for the cash prize need the couple to be registered under the Hindu Marriage Act owing to which couples registered under Special Marriage Act can't avail the scheme. Another added condition is that the proposal needs to be approved by the MP, MLA or District Collector.The report states that Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya and Tamil Nadu were the states where maximum couples married within their own caste.