About Nirbhaya Fund Framework
- Nirbhaya Fund is a dedicated fund set up by the Government of India in 2013 which can be utilized for projects specifically designed to improve the safety and security of women.
- It is a non-lapsable corpus fund administered by the Department of Economic Affairs of the Ministry of Finance.
- As per this framework, the Ministry of Finance through the Department of Economic Affairs is the nodal Ministry for any accretion into and withdrawal from the corpus, and the Ministry of Women & Child Development (WCD) is the nodal authority for appraisal of the schemes/proposals received under Nirbhaya Fund.
- Funding to Non-Governmental Organisations is not envisaged under the framework.
- The proposed projects under the Nirbhaya Fund should have the following features:
- Direct impact on safety and security concerns of women
- Optimum use of existing infrastructure
- Innovative use of technology
- No duplication of existing government schemes/programmes
- Provision for real time intervention as far as possible.
Why in News?
- The Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development chaired a meeting of the Empowered Committee of Officers constituted under the Framework for Nirbhaya Fund.
Initiatives under Nirbhaya fund
- The Nirbhaya fund is primarily meant to implement three initiatives through coordination between the WCD Ministry and the central government as well as state and union territory administrations: One-Stop Centres (OSC), Universalisation of Women Helpline (WHL), and Mahila Police Volunteers (MPV).
- The OSCs are meant to help women who are victims of violence by providing a range of services such as police, medical aid, legal aid and counselling, and psychological support under one roof.
- The WHL scheme oversees a toll-free 24X7 helpline — available at 181 — for women seeking immediate support and information in cases of violence.
- The MPV scheme, implemented by the WCD Ministry in collaboration with the Ministry of Home Affairs, seeks to identify volunteers who can act as a link between police and society at large and help report incidents of violence against women.
- However, the report noted that many of the states have not yet utilised the total funds allocated to them under One Stop Centers and Women Helpline schemes. Only 20 to 30 per cent of the fund has been utilised by the majority of the states.
- The committee recommended that the WCD Ministry organise direct meetings with the state governments and UT administration quarterly to monitor the expenditure of funds on the schemes.