Indira Awas Yojna : Introduction Housing is one of the basic requirements for human survival. For a normal citizen owning a house provides significant economic and social security and status in society. For a shelterless person, a house brings about a profound social change in his existence, endowing him with an identity, thus integrating him with his immediate social milieu. A housing programme for the rehabilitation of refugees was taken up immediately after partition by the Ministry of Refugee Rehabilitation and this lasted till around 1960. Approximately 5 lakh families were housed in various centres mainly located in Northern lndia. A Village Housing Scheme was also launched as part of the Community Development Movement in 1957, in which loans to individuals and cooperatives were provided up to a maximum of Rs. 5000/- per house. However, only 67000 houses were built under this scheme by the end of the Fifth Plan (1980). In 1972-73, the Estimate Committee of the Lok Sabha in its 37th Report pointed out that ‘‘the Committee is distressed to note that although 83% of India's population lives in villages and about 73% of the rural population reside in unsatisfactory kutcha structures, the problem of rural housing has not received the close attention of the Government’’. Following this, certain initiatives were undertaken by Government including the launching of the House Sites cum Construction Assistance Scheme which began as a Central Scheme in the 4th Plan and was transferred to the State Sector with effect from 1.04.1974 on the recommendation of the National Development Council (NDC). The genesis of the Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY) can be traced to the programmes of rural employment, which began in the early 1980s. Construction of houses was one of the major activities under the National Rural Employment Programme (NREP), which began in 1980, and the Rural Landless Employment Guarantee Programme (RLEGP), which began in 1983. There was, however, no uniform policy for rural housing in the States. For instance, some States permitted only part of the construction cost to be borne from NREP/ RLEGP funds and the balance was to be met by beneficiaries from their savings or loans obtained by them. On the other hand, others permitted the entire expenditure to be borne from NREP. RLEGP funds. Further, while some states allowed construction of only new dwellings, others permitted renovation of existing houses of beneficiaries. As per announcement made by the Government of India in June 1985, a part of the RLEGP fund was earmarked for the construction of houses for SCs/STs and freed bonded labourers. As a result, Indira Awaas Yojana (lAY) was launched during 1985-86 as a sub-scheme of RLEGP. IAY, thereafter, continued as a sub-scheme of Jawahar Rozgar Yojana (JRY) since its launching in April, 1989. 6% of the total JRY funds were allocated for implementation of lAY. From the year 1993-94, the scope of lAY was extended to cover below the poverty line Non-Scheduled Castes/ Scheduled Tribes families in the rural areas. Simultaneously, the allocation of funds for implementing the scheme was raised from 6% to 10% of the total resources available under JRY at the national level, subject to the condition that the benefits to Non-Scheduled Castes/ Scheduled Tribes poor should not exceed 4% of the total JRY allocation. IAY was de-linked from JRY and made an independent scheme with effect from 1st January 1996. Since 1999-2000, a number of initiatives have been taken to improve the Rural Housing (RH) Programme by making provision for upgradation of unserviceable kutcha houses and by providing credit with subsidy for certain sections of the poor. Emphasis has also been laid on use of cost affective, disaster resistant and environment friendly technologies in rural housing. Objectives : Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY) is a flagship scheme of the Ministry of Rural Development to provide houses to the poor in the rural areas. The objective of the Indira Awaas Yojana is primarily to help construction/upgradation of dwelling units of members of Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes, freed bonded labourers, minorities in the below poverty line category1 and other below poverty line non-SC/ST rural households by providing them a lump sum financial assistance. Indira Awaas Yojana is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme funded on cost-sharing basis between the Government of India and the State Governments in the ratio of 75:25. However, in the case of North-Eastern States and Sikkim, funding will be shared between the Government of India and these States in the ratio of 90:10 respectively2 . In the case of Union Territories, the entire funds under this Scheme are provided by the Government of India. Target Group: The target groups for houses under the IAY are below poverty line households living in the rural areas, belonging to Scheduled Castes/Scheduled tribes, freed bonded labourees, minorities in the BPL category and non-SC/ST BPL rural households, widows and next-of-kin to defence personnel/paramilitary forces killed in action residing in rural areas (irrespective of their income criteria), ex-servicemen and retired members of paramilitary forces fulfilling the other conditions. Earmarking of Funds for SC/ST/Minority Beneficiaries: The available resources under the Scheme in a district are earmarked for various categories as under: (i) At least 60% of the total lAY funds and physical targets should be utilized for construction/upgradation of dwelling units for SC/ST BPL households. (ii) A maximum 40% for non-SC/ST BPL rural households. (iii) IAY funds and physical targets will be earmarked for BPL minorities in each State as indicated by the Ministry.1 (iv) 3% of the above categories are for physically and mentally challenged persons. If any particular category is exhausted or not available in a district, allocation can be utilized for other categories as per priorities given in the Guidelines after it has been certified to this effect by the Zilla Parishad/DRDA concerned. NB: Eligible minorities are those notified under section 2 (c) of the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992 – Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Budhists and Parsis. However, in the States where minorities are in a majority, only other minority population is treated as minority. Muslims in J&K, Sikhs in Punjab, and Christians in Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland are not treated as minorities in the respective States Identification of beneficiaries : The District Panchayat/Zilla Panchayat/District Rural Development Agencies (DRDAs) on the basis of allocations made and targets fixed shall decide the number of houses to be constructed / upgraded Panchayat-wise under IAY, during a particular financial year. The same shall be intimated to the Gram Panchayat concerned. Thereafter, the beneficiaries, restricting to this number, will be selected from the Permanent IAY Waitlists prepared on the basis of BPL lists in order of seniority in the list. The Gram Panchayats may draw out the shelterless families from the BPL List strictly in the order of ranking in the list. A separate list of SC/ST families in the order of their ranks may be derived from the larger IAY list so that the process of allotment of 60% of houses under the scheme is facilitated. Thus, at any given time, there would be two IAY Waitlists for reference, one for SC/ST families and the other for non-SC/ST families. Once the lists are prepared, they need to be approved by the Gram Sabha to be attended by a government servant who would be a nominee of the Collector. Selection by the Gram Sabha is final. No approval by a higher body is required. Zilla Parishads/DRDAs and Block Development Offices should, however, be sent a list of selected beneficiaries for their information. The Permanent IAY Waitlists so prepared will be displayed at a prominent place either in the Gram Panchayat office or any other suitable place in the village. The lists will also be put on the website by the concerned DRDAs1 Priority in Selection of Beneficiaries: Prioritization of beneficiaries will be as follows: (i) Freed bonded labourers (ii) SC/ST households • SC/ST households who are victims of atrocity • SC/ST households, headed by widows and unmarried women. • SC/ST households affected by flood, natural calamities like earthquake, cyclone and man-made calamities like riot. • Other SC/ST households (iii) Families/widows of personnel from defence services/paramilitary forces, killed in action. (iv) Non- SC/ST BPL households. (v) Physically and mentally challenged persons. (vi) Ex-servicemen and retired members of the paramilitary forces. (vii) Displaced persons on account of developmental projects, nomadic/semi-nomadic, and de-notified tribals, families with physically/mentally challenged members. The selection of the beneficiaries will be subject to the condition that the households of all the above categories except (iii) are Below Poverty Line (BPL) Allotment of Houses: Allotment of dwelling units should be in the name of female member of the beneficiary household. Alternatively, it can be allotted in the name of both husband and wife. However, if there is no eligible female member in the family available / alive, house can also be allotted to the male member of a deserving BPL family. Location of the lndira Awaas Yojana : The Indira Awaas Yojana dwelling units should normally be built on individual plots in the main habitation of the village. The houses can also be built in a cluster within a habitation, so as to facilitate the development of infrastructure such as internal roads, drainage, drinking water supply etc. and other common facilities. Care should always be taken to see that the houses under the IAY are located close to the village and not far away, so as to ensure safety and security, nearness to work . Unit Assistance for Construction of IAY Houses and Upgradation: The ceiling on grant of assistance per unit cost under the Indira Awaas Yojana for construction of a new house and upgradation of an unserviceable kutcha house is given as under: - Plain Areas Hilly/ Difficult Areas (a) Construction of house Rs. 45,000/- Rs. 48,500/- (b) Upgradation of un-serviceable households Rs. 15,000/- Rs. 15,000/- In addition to the assistance provided under the IAY, an IAY beneficiary can avail a loan of upto Rs.20,000/- per housing unit under differential rate of interest (DRI) scheme at an interest rate of 4% per annum1. Construction of sanitary latrines and smokeless chulhas and provision of other basic amenities: Construction of sanitary latrine and smokeless Chulha should be taken up with each IAY house. The latrine could be constructed separate from the IAY house on the site of the beneficiary. There should be convergence with activities and funds provided under the Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC), for providing sanitary latrines in the IAY houses All efforts should be made to ensure that every IAY house is provided with a sanitary latrine under the Total Sanitation Campaign Programme.