What is National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP)?


NSAP is short for National Social Assistance Programme. NSAP was introduced on 15th August 1995. The National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) shows a significant step towards the fulfilment of the Directive Principles in Article 41 and 42 of the Constitution recognizing the concurrent responsibility of the Central and the State Governments in the matter. In short Article 41 of the Constitution of India directs the State to provide public assistance to its citizens in case of unemployment, old age, sickness and disablement and in other cases of undeserved want within the limit of its economic capacity and development. NSAP is a social security and welfare programme to provide support to aged persons, widows, disabled persons and bereaved families on the death of a primary earning person, belonging to BPL households.

The NSAP at its launch in 1995 had three components namely

  • National Old Age Pension Scheme (NOAPS,
  • National Family Benefit Scheme (NFBS) and
  • National Maternity Benefit Scheme (NMBS). The National Maternity Benefit Scheme (NMBS) was subsequently transferred on 1st April 2001 from the Ministry of Rural Development to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

On 1st April 2000, a new Scheme known as Annapurna Scheme was introduced. This scheme main goal is to provide food security to meet the requirement of those senior citizens who, though eligible, have remained uncovered under the NOAPS.

In February 2009, two new Schemes are known as Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme (IGNWPS) and Indira Gandhi National Disability Pension Scheme (IGNDPS) were launched.

Presently NSAP comprises of five schemes, namely –

  1. Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOAPS),
  2. Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme (IGNWPS),
  3. Indira Gandhi National Disability Pension Scheme (IGNDPS),
  4. National Family Benefit Scheme NFBS) and
  5. Annapurna.

For getting advantages under NSAP the applicant must belong to a Below Poverty Line (BPL) family according to the criteria prescribed by the Govt. of India. The other eligibility criteria and the form of central assistance under the subschemes of NSAP areas below. Besides the central assistance, states / UT contribute an equal amount as their share:

Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOAPS): The entitled age for IGNOAPS is 60 years. The pension is Rs.200 p.m. for each eligible being between 60 years and 79 years.

Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme (IGNWPS): The entitled age is 40 years and the pension is Rs.300 per month. After getting the age of 80 years, the beneficiary will get Rs.500/ – per month.

Indira Gandhi National Disability Pension Scheme (IGNDPS): The entitled age for the pension is 18 years and above and the disability level has to be 80%. The sum is Rs.300 per month and after attaining the age of 80 years, the person will get Rs 500/ – per month . under this scheme dwarfs are also covered.

National Family Benefit Scheme (NFBS): Rs. 20000/ – will be given as a approx assistance to the bereaved household in the event of the death of the sole earner. It is cleared that any event of death (natural or otherwise) would make the family eligible for help. A woman in the family, who is a homemaker, is also considered as a sole earner for this purpose. The family advantage will be paid to such surviving member of the household of the deceased poor, who after local inquiry, is found to be the head of the household. For the attainment of the scheme, the term “household’ would include a spouse, minor children, unmarried daughters, and dependent parents. In the death case of an unmarried adult, the term household would include minor brothers/ sisters and dependent parents. The death of such a breadwinner should have occurred whilst he/ she is more than 18 years of age and less than 60 years of age. The assistance would be given to every case of death of the breadwinner in a family.

Annapurna Scheme: 10 kgs of food grains (wheat or rice) is given per month per beneficiary. The scheme aims at providing food security to meet the requirements of those eligible old aged persons who have remained uncovered under the IGNOAPS

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