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Kerala PSC India Year Book Study Materials Page 477Book's First Page
institutions and scientific institutions. University Grants Commission (UGC) is the nodal agency for implementing the Scheme. About 2000 Junior Research Fellowships (JRF) per year are awarded to scheduled caste students. Number of fellowships were increased from 1333 in 2010 to 2000 in 2011. In case of non-availability of adequate number of scheduled caste candidates, the number of fellowships not availed during a year will be carried forward to the next academic session. In case, the number of candidates exceeds the number of available awards, the UGC selects the candidates based on the percentage of marks obtained by the candidates in their post graduation examination. There is no income ceiling prescribed under the Scheme. Special Central Assistance Scheduled Castes Sub Plan Special Central Assistance (SCA) to Scheduled Castes Sub Plan (SCSP) is a central sector Scheme, started in 1980, under which 100 per cent grant is given to the states/UTs, as an additive to their Scheduled Castes Sub Plan (SCSP). The main objective is to give a thrust to family oriented schemes of economic development of SCs below the poverty line. Scheduled Castes Development Corporations The centrally sponsored scheme for participating in the equity share of the Scheduled Castes Development Corporations (SCDCs) in the ratio of 49:51 (central/state) was introduced in 1979. At present, SCDCs are functioning in 27 states/UTs. The main functions of such corporations are identification of eligible SC families and motivating them to undertake economic development schemes, sponsoring the schemes to financial institutions for credit support, providing financial assistance in the form of margin money at low rate of interest and subsidy in order to reduce the repayment liability and providing necessary tie up with other poverty alleviation programmes. These Corporations are playing an important role in providing credit and inputs by way of margin money loans and subsidy to the target group. National Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corporation The National Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corporation (NSFDC) was set up in 1989 under Section 8 of the Companies Act, 2013 (formerly Section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956). The broad objective of NSFDC is to provide financial assistance in the form of concessional loans to scheduled caste families, and skill-cum-entrepreneurial training to the youth of the target group, living below double the poverty line for their economic development. Venture Capital Fund for Scheduled Castes Government announced the setting up of a Venture Capital Fund for Scheduled Castes in 2014. This was to promote entrepreneurship among the scheduled castes and to provide concessional finance to them. Credit Enhancement Guarantee Scheme for Scheduled Castes In 2014, the government announced that a sum of ₹ 200 crore will be allocated towards credit enhancement facility for young and start-up entrepreneurs, belonging to scheduled castes, who aspire to be part of neomiddle class category with an objective to encourage entrepreneurship in the lower strata of the society resulting in job creation.