Last updated: 13/6/2021

Programme Details

Programme objectives

The objectives of the National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) is to ensure a minimum national standard for social assistance and promoting the population’s right to work, to education and to public assistance as laid out in Article 41 of the Constitution.

Programme components
In the case of the National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP), there are not only different targeting parameters for each component, but each of them also provides different benefits. Additionally, despite a coverage disparity among these components, the component covering the fewest people still reaches almost 1 million beneficiaries. National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) in India, also hosts the following subcomponents: Two different kinds of non-contributory pensions: • the Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOAPS); and • the Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme (IGNWPS); One cash transfer to working-aged persons with disability: • the Indira Gandhi National Disability Pension Scheme (IGNDPS); One in-kind food transfer: • the Annapurna Scheme; and One lump sum grant to the family of deceased persons: • the National Family Benefit Scheme (NFBS). These additional features only considered for defining an order of priority among the broader group of those eligible for the programme is what we designate ‘preferential targeting'.
Coverage
Total coverage figures for the FY 2018-19: 35,748,487, not including beneficiaries of the Annapurna Scheme. Disagreggated figures for specific components are also available as listed below. These disagreggated figures, however, don’t include 3,647,983 beneficiaries who receive their benefits through different arrangements wherein state governments operate the programme components and not the central government itself. Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOAPS): 24,028,595 Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme (IGNWPS): 7,027,702 Indira Gandhi National Disability Pension Scheme (IGNDPS): 1,034,917 National Family Benefit Scheme (NFBS): 9,290 Coverage figures for the fiscal FY 2014-15 were the following: Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOAPS): 22,981,127 beneficiaries. Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme (IGNWPS): 6,333,059 beneficiaries. Indira Gandhi National Disability Pension Scheme (IGNDPS): 1,087,361 beneficiaries. National Family Benefit Scheme (NFBS): 293,977 beneficiaries. Annapurna Scheme: 928,333 beneficiaries (2014-15)

Targeting and eligiblity

Target groups
India’s National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) prioritises a vast set of groups, including manual scavengers, persons affected by leprosy, AIDS, cancer, TB and other serious ailments, bonded labourers, transgender people and dwarfs. For methodological convenience, if at least one stream of the NSAP necessarily targets a given group, we classify the entire programme as such. In the above-mentioned example of India’s NSAP, it is clear that each component targets a different group. Yet, since we only classify the programme as a whole, we label it as targeting all groups covered by its components—namely, elderly people, castes and ethnic groups, PwD, widows/single women and poor households—whereas prioritisation is given to people affected by disasters and to the groups
Eligibility criteria
Below Poverty Line (BPL) People are eligible for the National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP). Each component has further specific eligibility criteria as listed below: Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOAPS): 60 years and above Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme (IGNWPS): 40 years and above. Indira Gandhi National Disability Pension Scheme (IGNDPS): 18 years and above with a disability level of 80 per cent. Little people are also entitled to this benefit National Family Benefit Scheme (NFBS): households whose bread-winner (male or female, between 18 and 60 years of age) passed away due to any event (natural or otherwise); the term ‘household’ includes spouse, minor children, unmarried daughters and dependent parents. Annapurna Scheme: elders eligible to the IGNOAPS but who didn’t gained access to it

Coverage and other information

Amount of benefits
Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOAPS): INR200 per month; INR 500 for the elderly above 80 years of age Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme (IGNWPS): INR300 per month; INR 500 for the elderly above 80 years of age Indira Gandhi National Disability Pension Scheme (IGNDPS): INR300 per month; INR 500 for the elderly above 80 years of age National Family Benefit Scheme (NFBS): INR20,000 (lump sum) upon the death of a BPL breadwinner aged 60 y.o. or less Annapurna Scheme: 10 kgs of wheat or rice per month per beneficiary
Payment/delivery frequency
Benefit delivery mechanism
Banks, post office accounts, money orders and cash disbursement, with preference given to transfers to bank accounts or post office savings accounts. The NASP guidelines also state that the benefits can be delivered at the doorstep of beneficiaries using a banking correspondent model (such as postal money order). Payment in cash is adopted only if the other modes are unavailable. Benefits of the Annapurna Sheme are delivered via the Targeted Public Distribution System
Minimum and maximum duration of benefits (if any)
Benefits cease in case of death of the beneficiary or if the benefits are not withdrawn within a reasonable amount of time
Monitoring and evaluation mechanisms and frequency
The Ministry of Rural Development is assisted by a National Social Assistance Advisory Committee established at all governance levels in the process of monitoring and evaluation. State governments will produce monthly and quarterly progress reports. These reports should be produced automatically once the programme’s monitoring and information system is fully operational