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Indian Economy / Social Development Programs

National Social Assistance Programme in India


    National Social Assistance Programme ( NSAP ) was initiated on 15th August, 1995. Originally it consisted of three sub-schemes, namely National Old Age Pension Scheme ( NOAPS ), National Maternity Benefit Scheme ( NMBS ) and National Family Benefit Scheme ( NFBS ).

    Bringing of NSAP by the Government, constitutes a major step in fulfilling the Article 41 of the Constitution, which says Government should provide public assistance in cases of old age, unemployment, disablement, sickness, etc. This programme brought in a National Policy for Social Assistance for the poor and needy. It tries to ensure minimum national standard for social assistance besides the benefits currently being provided by the states or might be provided in the future.

    Schemes under National Social Assistance Programme

    National Social Assistance Programme presently has the following five sub-schemes

    • Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme ( IGNOAPS ) - Every person belonging to Below Poverty Line ( BPL ) and aged 60 years and above is eligible for this pension. The pension contributed by the Centre under this scheme is Rs. 200 per month per beneficiary having the age between 60 and 79 and Rs. 500 per month per beneficiary who is above 80 years. In addition to this amount, the State Governments may contribute some extra money. At present, beneficiaries of IGNOAPS are getting the money anywhere between Rs. 200 to Rs. 2000 depending on the State they reside in.
    • Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme ( IGNWPS ) - The eligibility criteria under this Pension Scheme is that the beneficiary should be a widow, whose age must be in the range of 40-59 years and she should belong to BPL. If the widow attains 60 years, she will qualify for pension under IGNOAPS. The pension amount contributed by the Centre is Rs. 200 per month per beneficiary and at least an equal amount should be contributed by the State Government so that the beneficiary gets an amount of at least Rs. 400 per month.
    • Indira Gandhi National Disability Pension Scheme ( IGNDPS ) - The eligibility criteria under IGNDPS is that the beneficiary age should be in the range of 18-59 years, with severe or multiple disabilities and should belong to Below Poverty Line family in accordance with the criteria that is specified by the Government of India. The contribution of pension by the Central Government under the Indira Gandhi National Disability Pension Scheme is Rs. 200 per month per beneficiary and at least an equal amount should be contributed by the State Government so that the beneficiary gets an amount of at least Rs. 400 per month.
    • National Family Benefit scheme ( NFBS ) - In case of the death of primary breadwinner of the family due to accident and who is in the age group of 18 to 64 years and belong to BPL family, the affected household receives an amount of Rs 20,000 as one time assistance.
    • Annapurna - Those senior citizens who are eligible but remained uncovered under the Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme, are provided with 10kgs of food grains per month free of cost.