News: The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has formulated a scheme, namely Information-Monitoring, Evaluation and Social Audit (I-MESA)in FY 2021-22.
About the I-MESA Scheme:
- Under this scheme, Social Audits are to be conducted for all the schemes of the Department starting FY 2021-22. These social audits are done through Social Audit Units (SAU)of the States and National Institute for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj.
Important Schemes of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment:
- Schemes for Economic Development:
- Credit Enhancement Guarantee Scheme for the Scheduled Castes (SCs)
- National Safai Karamcharis Finance and Development Corporation (NSKFDC)
- National Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corporation (NSFDC)
- Special Central Assistance to Scheduled Caste Sub Plan (SCA to SCSP)
- Scheme of Assistance to Scheduled Castes Development Corporations (SCDCs)
- Schemes for Self-Employment:
- Scheme for Rehabilitation of Manual Scavengers (SRMS)
- Venture Capital Fund for Scheduled Castes
- Schemes for Social Empowerment:
- Centrally Sponsored Scheme for implementation of the Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955and the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989
- Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana (PMAGY)
- Social Audit is the audit of a scheme jointly by the Government and the people, especially by those who are affected by the scheme or its beneficiaries. It is a powerful tool to promote transparency, accountability and people’s participation in the schemes meant for them.
- A social audit helps to narrow gaps between vision/goal and reality, between efficiency and
- Mahatma Gandhi National National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) was the first Act to mandate Social Audit by the Gram Sabha of all the projects taken up in the Gram Panchayat.
- Most States have set up an independent Social Audit Unit (SAU) and some have even begun to facilitate Social Audit in other programmes, including Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, National Social Assistance Programme, Midday Meal Scheme and Public Distribution System.
- The lack of adequate administrative and political will in institutionalizing social audits to deter corruption has meant that social audits in many parts of the country are not independent of the influence of implementing agencies.
- Social audit units, including village social audit facilitators, continue to face resistance and intimidation and find it difficult to even access primary records for verification. People’s participation has been minuscule due to the lack of education, awareness and capacity building among the common masses.
- There is an absence of an independent agency to investigate and act on social audit findings.