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24 May, 2021

37 Min Read

Initiatives for the welfare of Transgender community

GS-I : Social issues Social issues

Initiatives for the welfare of the Transgender community

  • The Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment is the nodal ministry for Transgender Welfare has decided to provide a subsistence allowance of Rs.1500 to each Transgender person as immediate support to meet their basic requirements.
  • This financial assistance will help the Transgender community to meet their day-to-day needs. NGOs and Community-based Organisations(CBOs) working for Transgender Persons have been asked to spread awareness about this step.

How to apply?

  • Any Transgender Person or CBOs on behalf of the Transgender Person can apply for financial assistance after providing basic details, Aadhar, and Bank Account number in a form https://forms.gle/H3BcREPCy3nG6TpH7.
  • This form is available on the website of the National Institute of Social Defence, an autonomous body under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
  • To ensure that the information about this reaches a maximum number of Transgender Persons, this form is also being circulated on social media with the help of NGOs and CBOs.
  • The Ministry provided similar financial assistance and ration kits to Transgender persons during lockdown last year too. A total amount of 98.50 lakh rupees was incurred which benefitted nearly 7000 Transgender Persons across the country.

Counselling Services Helpline

As people facing mental health problems do not feel comfortable about seeking help due to the stigma around it, a free helpline for distressed Transgender Persons owing to the current pandemic for psychological support and mental health care has also been announced by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. Any Transgender Person can connect with experts on the Helpline Number 8882133897. This helpline will be functional from Monday to Saturday between 11 AM to 1 PM and 3 PM to 5 PM. On this helpline, counselling services will be provided by professional Psychologists for their mental health.

Vaccination of transgenders

  • A letter has also been written by the Ministry to the Principal Secretaries of all states to ensure that there is no discrimination against Transgender persons in existing Covid /vaccination centers.
  • They have also been requested to conduct awareness drives especially reaching out to the Transgender community in different vernaculars to ensure they are informed and aware of the vaccination process.
  • A request has also been made to the states to organize separate mobile vaccination centers or booths for vaccination of Transgender persons such as those taken up in the states of Haryana & Assam.

Other Initiatives for Transgender persons

  • This is the first-of-its-kind gender inclusive community policing initiative in the country, the Cyberabad police inaugurated a ‘Transgender Community Desk’ at Gachibowli Police Station.
  • The desk will be managed by a police liaison officer and a transgender person who is designated as community coordinator.
  • It will be the focal point for all grievance redressal among the transgender community in the Cyberabad Commissionerate.
  • The desk will provide support to file cases in offences related to violence or discrimination against any transgender person.
  • Among other services, the desk will also provide counselling, legal aid, life skills, soft skills training, job placements, and referral linkages to welfare schemes in partnership with the Department of Women and Child Welfare, and District Legal Services Authority.
  • The Society for Cyberabad Security Council (SCSC) will also organise monthly training, employability, life-skill training, and facilitate access to job opportunities, while Prajwala, a non-governmental organisation, would assist the desk to facilitate a safe space for any transgender person who needs emergency transit stay.
  • Over 200 transgender persons participated in the event, during which Mr. Sajjanar spoke about the need to build an inclusive society ensuring equal opportunities for all

National Council for Transgender Persons

Recently, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has constituted the National Council for Transgender Persons, under the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019.


  • Indian Census never recognized third gender i.e. Transgender while collecting census data. But in 2011, data of Transgender was collected with details related to their employment, literacy and caste.
  • As per 2011 Census, the total population of Transgender is 4.88 lakhs, highest being in Uttar Pradesh followed by Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Bihar.
  • In National Legal Services Authority v. Union of India case (2014), Supreme Court of India declared transgender people to be a 'third gender'. It also affirmed that the fundamental rights granted under the Constitution of India will be equally applicable to transgender people, and gave them the right to self identification of their gender as male, female or third-gender.

Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019

  • The Bill defines a transgender person as one whose gender does not match the gender assigned at birth. It includes transmen and trans-women, persons with intersex variations, gender-queers, and persons with socio-cultural identities, such as kinnar and hijra.
  • A transgender person may make an application to the District Magistrate for a certificate of identity, indicating the gender as ‘transgender’.
  • It calls for establishing a National Council for Transgender persons (NCT).
  • The Bill prohibits discrimination against a transgender person, including denial of service or unfair treatment in relation to Education, Employment, Healthcare, Movement, Reside, Rent, public or private office, access a Govt or private establishment.
  • The Act has a provision that provides transgender the right of residence with parents and immediate family members.
  • It states the offences against Transgender persons will attract jail of 6 months to 2 years + fine.
  • Bill also seeks to provide rights of health facilities to transgender persons including separate HIV surveillance centres, and sex reassignment surgeries. Govt shall review medical curriculum and provide medical insurance.

Functions of National Council for Transgender Persons:

  • Advising the Central government on the formulation of policies, programmes, legislation and projects with respect to transgender persons.
  • Monitoring and evaluating the impact of policies and programmes designed for achieving equality and full participation of transgender persons.
  • Reviewing and coordinating the activities of all the departments.
  • Redressing grievances of transgender persons.
  • Performing such other functions as prescribed by the Centre.

Composition of the Council:

  • Its chairperson will be the Union Minister of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
  • It will also consists of:
  • Representatives from 5 states or UTs (one each from the north, south, east, west and northeast regions), on a rotational basis.
  • Five members of the trangender community (one each from the north, south, east, west and northeast regions).
  • The tenure of the community members shall be three years.
  • Representatives from 10 central departments.
  • The council will have joint secretary-level members from the Ministries of Health, Home, Minority Affairs, Education, Rural Development, Labour and Law.
  • In addition, there will be a member from the Department of Pensions (Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions), NITI Aayog, National Human Rights Commission and National Commission for Women.

Way Forward

  • The establishment of National Council for Transgender Persons which seeks to increase awareness and inculcate sense of respect and acceptance for transgender community, is a welcome step. However, its upto the effective functioning of the council whether it will able to identify the issues faced by the transgender community and accordingly advice the government.
  • Apart from policies and regulations, there is also a need for an inclusive approach, sensitising legal and law enforcement systems in particular towards the issues of transgender community.

Source: PIB

Gold Hallmarking in India

GS-II : Economic Issues Gold investment

Gold Hallmarking in India

The government said that it is fully prepared to implement the mandatory hallmarking of gold jewellery and artefacts from June 15, 2021.

What is Gold hallmarking?

  • Gold hallmarking is a purity certification of precious metal. At present, It is voluntary in nature.

Gold Hallmarking in India:

  • In 2019, the Government announced that hallmarking of gold jewellery and artefacts will be made mandatory across the country.
  • The government had given jewellers more than a year to shift to hallmarking and register themselves with the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).

Key Features of Gold Hallmarking:

  • Hallmarked gold jewellery will only be available in three grades – 14-carat, 18-carat and 22-carat. Currently, it is available in ten grades.
  • The Hallmarked Gold jewellery will contain four marks. Such as BIS mark, purity in carat, assay centre’s name and jewellers’ identification mark.
  • The rule is applicable only to sales by retailers and not to consumers. However, it is available for consumers if they want to get their old jewellery hallmarked.
  • Anybody found violating the provision, will have to pay a minimum fine of Rs 1 lakh or 5 times the price of the article.

Benefits of Gold Hallmarking:

  • Gold Hallmarking will protect the public against lower caratage. It also ensures consumers do not get cheated while buying gold ornaments.
  • It will also help to get purity, bring in transparency and assure the consumers of quality.
  • The new system will also weed out anomalies and corruption in the system of manufacturing of jewellery.

Note: India is the largest importer of gold. In volume terms, the country imports 700-800 tonnes of gold annually, draining the exchequer in terms of outflow of foreign reserves.

Source: PIB

TRIFED and NITI to partner for Van Dhan initiative in all Aspirational districts of India

GS-II : Government policies and interventions Government Schemes & Programmes

TRIFED and NITI AAYOG to partner for implementing the Van Dhan initiative in Tribal Clusters of all Aspirational districts of India

  • Keeping in line with the Hon’ble Prime Minister's call for “Atmanirbhar Bharat” aligned to the slogan of “Be Vocal for Local Buy Tribal”, towards realizing the goal of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas”, TRIFED will now be partnering with NITI Aayog to implement the Van Dhan Yojana in the districts that have been identified as aspirational districts by NITI Aayog.
  • These include districts in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Telangana and Tripura.
  • As a part of this association, a special focus will be on these aspirational districts where the tribal population constitutes more than 50%.
  • Under the expansion plan of the tribal development program, an additional 9900 VDVKs subsumed into 659 VDVK Clusters spread out in these tribal aspirational districts are envisaged. At the moment, 5325 VDVKs subsumed into 355 VDVK Clusters have been established in these districts. This is expected to give a boost to the employment generation of nearly 2 lakhs tribal families.
  • Through this association, NITI Aayog will also support TRIFED in the concept of convergence for the Mission with Article 275(1), DMF, and STC components of different Ministries, and will help in professionally monitoring and promotion for effective implementation and feedback.
  • The Van Dhan tribal start-ups and the Mechanism for Marketing of Minor Forest Produce (MFP) Through Minimum Support Price (MSP) & Development of Value Chain for MFP Scheme that provides MSP to gatherers of forest produce and introduce value addition and marketing through tribal groups and clusters are among the many initiatives of TRIFED, Ministry of Tribal Affairs that have proved helpful by generating employment and income for the tribal population.
  • The Van Dhan tribal start-ups is a programme for value addition, branding & marketing of Minor Forest Produces by establishing Van Dhan Kendras to facilitate the creation of sustainable livelihoods for the forest-based tribes.
  • 37,259 Van Dhan Vikas Kendras (VDVKs), subsumed into 2224 Van Dhan Vikas Kendra Clusters (VDVKCs) of 300 forest dwellers each, have been sanctioned by TRIFED as of date.
  • A typical Van Dhan Vikas Kendra includes 20 tribal members. 15 such Van Dhan Vikas Kendras form 1 Van Dhan Vikas Kendra cluster.
  • The Van Dhan Vikas Kendra Clusters will provide the Van Dhan Vikas Kendras economies of scale, livelihood and market linkages, as well as entrepreneurship opportunities to nearly 6.67 lakh Tribal forest gatherers in 23 states and 2 UTs. 50 lakh tribals have been impacted by the Van Dhan start-ups programme up until now.

Aspirational Districts programme of NITI Aayog

  • Aspirational Districts are those districts in India, that are affected by poor socio-economic indicators.
  • It has a vision of Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas. It was launched in 2018.
  • The 117 districts were identified from 28 states, at least one from each state.
  • At the Government of India level, the programme is anchored by NITI Aayog. In addition, individual Ministries have assumed responsibility to drive the progress of districts.
  • The objective of the program is to monitor the real-time progress of aspirational districts.
  • ADP is based on 49 indicators from the 5 identified thematic areas, which focuses closely on improving people’s Health & Nutrition, Education, Agriculture & Water Resources, Financial Inclusion & Skill Development, and Basic Infrastructure.
  • With States as the main drivers, ADP seeks to focus on the strength of each district, identify low-hanging fruits for immediate improvement, measure progress, and rank districts.
  • The broad contours of the programme are:
  1. Convergence (of Central & State Schemes) which brings together the horizontal and vertical tiers of the government.
  2. Collaboration (of Central, State level ‘Prabhari’ Officers & District Collectors) which enables impactful partnerships between government, market and civil society.
  3. Competition among districts driven by a spirit of the mass movement, it fosters accountability on district governments.
  • The Aspirational Districts Programme (ADP) is one of the largest experiments on outcomes-focused governance in the world.
  • It focuses on becoming the best district in the State and then the best in the country.
  • It includes District Action Plans and the convergence of Central State efforts.
  • Champions of Change is the Aspirational Dist Dashboard for real-time data and ranking.

Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED), 1987

under the administrative control of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs.


  1. Socio-economic development of tribal people by marketing development of tribal products like metal crafts, tribal textiles, paintings and pottery etc.
  2. TRIFED is a facilitator and service provider. Capacity building of tribal people through sensitization, formation of SHGs and training them.


  1. Minor Forest Produce (MFP) development (NTFP like bamboo, canes, fodder, leaves, resins, honey etc).
  2. Hence Govt came out with MSP for MFP.
  3. Retail Marketing and Development: Sustainable market, create brand and business opportunities. Marketing through TRIBES INDIA outlets.
  4. Explore national as well as international markets, creating a brand and marketing tribal products.

Van Dhan Scheme, 2018 (MoTA and TRIFED)

  1. It seeks to improve tribal incomes through the value addition of tribal products.
  2. The establishment of "Van Dhan Vikas Kendra" is for providing training, skill upgradation and capacity building and setting up of primary processing and value addition facility. Kendras are proposed to be managed by a Managing Committee (an SHG).
  3. Coverage is proposed to be expanded from the current 18,000 SHGs to 50,000 Van Dhan SHGS.
  4. Coverage of tribal gathers to be increased threefold to 10 lakh through Art 275 (1).
  5. Go Vocal for Local Go Tribal – Mera Van Mera Dhan Mera Udyam’.


  1. MoTA is nodal dept at the Central level
  2. TRIFED as nodal agency at the National level.
  3. At the State level, the State Nodal Agency for MFPs
  4. District collectors at the grassroots level.

For further analysis of Van Dhan Scheme: click here

Source: PIB

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