Social Empowerment: Meaning, Types, Dimensions, Social Empowerment UPSC

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

Social Empowerment is the process through which disadvantaged sections of society can emerge from their subordinate position and achieve self-sufficiency. It is a process by which they are provided with opportunities to improve their living conditions, access to education, and other developmental services. Social empowerment takes place at both the individual and the collective levels. It refers to the process of enabling individuals or groups to gain control over their own lives, make informed decisions, and participate actively in society.

Understanding the concept of social empowerment and its significance is crucial for candidates preparing for the UPSC exam, as it allows them to comprehend and analyze the social dynamics and challenges faced by various sections of society, thereby enabling them to propose effective solutions for social empowerment and inclusive development. Candidates should cover all the dimensions of Social Empowerment to be well-versed in answering the questions on this topic.

Social Empowerment

Social Empowerment is the process by which people are made aware of their rights and responsibilities and empowered to achieve social goals. In India, Social empowerment has been defined as follows: “Social empowerment is a condition in which all individuals can participate in decision-making processes, especially those relating to their health care needs, education levels, and employment opportunities.”

Social empowerment means providing all people access to basic resources such as food, shelter, and education. It also means ensuring equal access for every individual, regardless of race or gender identity, so everyone has equal opportunities while achieving social justice through educational programs focused on youth development (which may include parenting skills).

Social Empowerment Initiatives in India

The administration has been using a multi-pronged approach to attempt and empower various groups within our society. The major Social Empowerment Initiatives in India are related to the following:

  • Women empowerment
  • Poor and marginalized sections
  • Social Empowerment of senior citizens
  • For Differently Abled
  • Social Empowerment of Scheduled Tribes

Social Empowerment Initiative – Women Empowerment

Women empowerment is a process of enabling women to exercise their rights and achieve equality with men. In short, it is about giving women opportunities that would allow them to live better lives than men do.

  • Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao (BBBP): BBBP is a campaign of the Government of India that aims to generate awareness and improve the efficiency of welfare services, especially educational rights intended for girls.
  • Pradhan Mantri Matritva Vandana Yojana (PMMVY): PMMVY is a maternity benefit program run by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, which provides partial compensation for wage loss in the form of a cash incentive so that the woman can take adequate rest before and after delivery of the first living child.
  • One-Stop Centre Scheme: The One-stop Centre (OSC) is an initiative of the Ministry of Woman and Child Development, Government of India. OSC was launched in January 2014. It aims to provide a comprehensive package of services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking.

Social Empowerment Initiatives for Poor and Marginalized Sections

Social empowerment initiatives play a crucial role in addressing the challenges faced by poor and marginalized sections of society. These initiatives aim to uplift and empower these sections by providing them with opportunities and resources to overcome social exclusion, poverty, and unemployment. Here are some key social empowerment initiatives targeted towards the poor and marginalized:

  • Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY): A scheme launched to provide banking facilities to the poorest sections, ensuring access to formal financial services and promoting financial inclusion.
  • Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana (PMMY): A scheme that offers low-cost loans to individuals for starting or expanding their small businesses, thereby promoting entrepreneurship and economic self-reliance. PMMY has three categories, namely Shishu (up to Rs. 50,000/-), Kishore (between Rs 50,001/- and Rs. 2 lakhs), and Tarun (between Rs. 2 lakhs and Rs 5 lakhs).
  • Skill India Mission: A mission aimed at enhancing the skills of the youth through various skill development programs to meet industry demands and improve employability. Skill India Mission was launched in 2015 to train the youth of our country to meet the requirements of various industries. Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana (PMAGY) is a flagship scheme aiming to develop model villages with basic amenities.
  • Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana (PMAGY): A flagship scheme focused on developing model villages with basic amenities, ensuring holistic development and improved quality of life for the marginalized communities.
  • Scholarships under Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) scheme: Scholarships specifically designed to promote education among girls from low-income families, providing them with financial support and encouraging their educational pursuits.

Social Empowerment Initiatives for Senior Citizens

Social empowerment of senior citizens is a major issue in India. With the increasing number of elderly people, ensuring they enjoy their freedom and dignity as much as possible is important. The government has launched various schemes to provide financial assistance to senior citizens, but these are not enough for them to lead dignified lives. To address this problem, we will discuss how social empowerment can help you live better with less money:

  • Atal Pension Yojana: This scheme provides retirement benefits at an age lower than what was offered by private companies or insurance companies (65 years old). It also ensures no waiting period between obtaining employment and receiving pensions; you get it right away after completing 15 years of service in any organization registered under EPFO Act 2006 (Employees Provident Fund Organization).
  • Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana: This program aims at providing financial assistance towards healthcare costs incurred during sickness or injuries suffered while on duty during emergencies like floods, etc., provided they have been working continuously as members from March 1st, 2017, till December 31st, 2020.
  • Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana: This scheme provides financial assistance towards medical expenses incurred due to chronic diseases such as diabetes mellitus type II, asthma, etc. It also provides incentives like cash payment if you cannot work because of sickness.

Social Empowerment Initiatives – Disabled Group

Social Empowerment is a key component of the social sector, which aims to increase the opportunities for disabled people. It encompasses many different forms of activity and has been an important part of the development process in many countries since its introduction in the mid-1990s.

Social empowerment is about enabling people with disabilities to achieve their full potential through access to education, employment, and independent living. The concept has been applied across various areas, including health care services, legal rights (housing), leisure facilities such as parks or swimming pools, transport services, etc.

Social Empowerment for Scheduled Tribes

Scheduled Tribes are a heterogeneous group of people. They define themselves as India’s most disadvantaged, vulnerable, and backward community. Dalits make up over half of the ST population. The Scheduled Tribes are listed at 9th position in National Commission for Scheduled Castes/Tribes’ Inquiry Report No.6-2001, as well as 12th position on the Backward Classes list. Scheduled Tribes communities have been affected by globalization since ancient times, they have been subjected to various types of displacement, including forced migration due to war.

Social Empowerment and Communalism

Social empowerment is a step towards communal harmony. It aims at creating conditions that will make people take an interest in the development of their own lives and make them socially responsible.

In the last 10 years, there has been an upsurge in social consciousness among the people. They have realized that they are producers and consumers and hence feel obliged to look after themselves and their families as far as possible. They understand that this is necessary so that they can lead a happy life and contribute something towards nation-building or social upliftment.

Social Empowerment and Regionalism

Social empowerment gives people a sense of belonging to a particular community, making them feel part of society. This makes it possible for them to have an identity and be proud of who they are.

The role played by social empowerment in promoting regionalism can be seen through its impact on ethnic groups that have undergone assimilation into mainstream societies over time due to migration or forced conversion.

Need for Social Empowerment

Social empowerment is a process of enabling people to improve their quality of life. It is important for society, the economy, and the environment. Social empowerment is improving the quality of life through empowering individuals or groups with knowledge and skills that allow them to shape their destinies. Social empowerment involves providing citizens with opportunities, resources, and information needed to make informed decisions about their lives, thus allowing them more control over their futures.

This explains the need for social empowerment in India. It is a challenge for all of us to work towards it. We have been able to achieve some success by putting our efforts together, but there are still many areas that need to be addressed.

Social Empowerment UPSC

Social empowerment refers to the process of enabling individuals or groups to gain control over their own lives, make informed decisions, and participate actively in society. It involves providing marginalized or disadvantaged sections of society with the resources, opportunities, and support needed to improve their social, economic, and political status.

Social Empowerment finds its mention in the UPSC Syllabus under government schemes. It is important to have in-depth knowledge about the same so that candidates can answer both MCQs and descriptive questions on the topic. Candidates should glance through UPSC Previous Year Question Papers to clearly understand the types of questions asked from this topic.

Social Empowerment UPSC Questions

Social empowerment holds great importance in the UPSC exam as it is an essential topic that candidates need to study. Having a good understanding of social empowerment enables candidates to answer questions related to this topic accurately. To help candidates prepare effectively, a list of questions on social empowerment is provided below for reference.

Question: Social empowerment is: (A) process in which a person seeks to become more social, (B) process in which a society works towards equality in its social roles, (C) process in which a society seeks to suppress segments of the population, (D) process in which one person becomes more powerful than others

Answer: (B) process in which a society works towards equality in its social roles

Question: What is the objective of social empowerment? (A) Promoting economic development in marginalized communities, (B) Ensuring equal distribution of wealth and resources in society, (C) Enhancing the social status and dignity of individuals and communities, (D) Fostering cultural diversity and inclusivity

Answer: (C) Enhancing the social status and dignity of individuals and communities

Question for UPSC Mains: Discuss the role of social empowerment in promoting inclusive development and reducing inequality in society. Provide examples and suggest measures to enhance social empowerment in India.

Question for UPSC Mains: Describe social empowerment and its importance for the deprived sections and society as a whole.

UPSC Notes
Index of Industrial Production Artificial Intelligence
Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups National Commission For Backward Classes
Consumer Price Index Balance Of Payment
Fiscal Deficit Priority Sector Lending
Types Of Elections In India Sharda Act 1929
Production Linked Incentive Scheme United Nation Environment Program
Our Apps Playstore
SSC and Bank
Other Exams
GradeStack Learning Pvt. Ltd.Windsor IT Park, Tower - A, 2nd Floor, Sector 125, Noida, Uttar Pradesh 201303
Home Practice Test Series Premium