In Assam govt scheme for women, no benefits for those with more than 3 children

Syllabus: GS-II

Subject: Governance

Topic: Effects on industrial growth

Context: The Assam government has introduced the Mukhyamantri Mahila Udyamita Abhiyaan (MMUA), a financial support scheme for rural women entrepreneurs.

Issue: Child limit for welfare schemes.

Synopsis:

  • The scheme imposes a cap on the number of children for eligibility: three for general and OBC women, and four for Scheduled Tribes (STs) and Scheduled Castes (SCs) women.
  • This aligns with the push for population norms, aiming to link all beneficiary schemes to such norms.
  • The scheme targets women in self-help groups, aiming to help them become rural micro-entrepreneurs with an annual income goal of Rs 1 lakh per member.
  • The child limit emphasizes the need for women to focus on business rather than raising a large family.
  • About 5 lakh women out of 39 lakh involved in self-help groups may be excluded due to the child limit.
  • The beneficiaries must also fulfill other conditions, including enrolling girl children in school and ensuring the survival of trees planted under a government drive.
  • This move follows the state’s previous decision, starting in 2021, that those with more than two children would be ineligible for government jobs.

It’s Impact:

Pro’s:

ü  Encourages family planning, promoting smaller families for better resource allocation.

ü  It may contribute to overall demographic stability.

ü  The focus on women’s entrepreneurship aids economic empowerment, fostering self-sufficiency and potentially reducing dependency on government assistance in the long run.

Con’s:

ü  The child limits could be seen as intrusive, infringing on reproductive rights and potentially discriminating against women with larger families.

May lead to social and economic exclusion, raising concerns about fairness and inclusivity. Such policies might disproportionately affect marginalized communities, reinforcing societal inequalities.

 

Conclusion: The impact hinges on balancing demographic concerns with empowering women economically, raising questions about inclusivity and family planning priorities.

 

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