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Why in News?

The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment just launched this new national portal called ‘Pradhan Mantri Samajik Utthan and Rozgar Adharit Jankalyan‘ (PMSURAJ). Its main goal is to provide credit support to those in society who often get left behind. The Prime Minister himself showed up as the Chief Guest for the big online launch event!

What is PM-SURAJ?

PM-SURAJ: The ‘PM-SURAJ‘ national portal aims to uplift the most marginalize sections of society and provide credit assistance to one lakh entrepreneurs from disadvantaged communities.

  • The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and its departments are the ones implementing it.
  • The portal serves as a one-stop point where people from disadvantaged sections of society can apply for and monitor the progress of all loan and credit schemes already available to them.
  • Banks, as well as Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFC-MFIs) and other organizations, will be stepping in to offer credit assistance, ensuring that it’s easily available across the entire country.
  • An NBFC MFI is a non-deposit taking NBFC with a minimum Net Owned Funds (NOF) of Rs. 5 crore (Rs. 2 crore for those registered in the North Eastern Region of the country) and having at least 85% of its net assets as “qualifying assets (intended use or sale)”.

What is the NAMASTE Scheme?

About – NAMASTE Scheme

  • The NAMASTE Scheme, crafted in 2022 by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MoSJE) and the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), is a central sector initiative.
  • The NAMASTE initiative has given a new name to the Self-Employment Scheme for Rehabilitation of Manual Scavengers (SRMS).
  • The NAMASTE scheme is to be implemented over 4800 Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) of the country, during the next three years i.e. up to 2025- 26.


  • Rehabilitation of Manual Scavengers (MS) and Persons Engaged in Hazardous Cleaning of Sewer and Septic tanks (SSWs).
  • Promotion of safe and mechanised cleaning of sewers and septic tanks through trained and certified sanitation workers.

Intended Outcomes

  • Zero fatalities in sanitation work in India.
  • All sanitation work is performed by formalized skilled workers.
  • No sanitation workers come in direct contact with human faecal matter.
  • Self Help Groups (SHGs) have gathered sanitation workers and empowered them to operate sanitation enterprises.
  • Sewers and SSWs and their dependents also have access to livelihoods by providing capital subsidies for purchase of sanitation related equipment.
  • Increased awareness amongst sanitation services seekers (individuals and institutions) to seek services from registered skilled & certified sanitation workers.
  • Extending Health Insurance Scheme benefits under Ayushman Bharat, Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY) to SSW & manual scavengers and their family members.

What are India’s Other Credit Schemes to Empower Marginalized Sections?

  • Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY)
  • Stand-Up India Scheme
  • Ambedkar Social Innovation and Incubation Mission
  • Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana
  • Special Credit Linked Capital Subsidy Scheme
  • Rashtriya Garima Abhiyaan: National campaign for dignity and eradication of the practice of manual scavenging and rehabilitate the manual scavengers.

Read also: Manual scavenging in India

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