Marry a Dalit, get Rs 2.5 lakhs! Modi govt revises old scheme to promote inter-caste marriage

In a bid to promote inter-caste marriage, the Centre has revised an earlier scheme by removing the income ceiling of Rs 5 lakh per annum. Now, all the couples doing inter-caste marriage, where one of the spouses is a Dalit, will be entitled to Rs 2.5 lakh incentive from the Centre.

Under the ‘Dr Ambedkar scheme for social Integration through inter-caste marriage’ scheme, which started in 2013, a monetary incentive was provided to at least 500 such inter-caste couples per year. According to the scheme, only those couples were eligible to get a one-time incentive whose total annual income did not exceed Rs 5 lakh.

The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has now scrapped the ceiling and said there will be “no income limit for an incentive under the scheme”. It is mandatory for the couples 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 to remove it,” The Indian Express quoted a ministry official as saying.

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.

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 the matrimonial alliance would be submitted by the couple. No incentive is available on second or subsequent marriage. A proposal would be treated as valid if submitted within one year of marriage.

Meanwhile, rich tributes were today paid to the architect of the Constitution, BR Ambedkar, on his 61st death anniversary by thousands of followers who converged at his memorial Chaityabhoomi in Mumbai.

Ambedkar passed away on this day in 1956 at the age of 65.

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