About the Scheme for Leadership Development of Minority Women

By TCN News,

New Delhi: The Scheme for Leadership Development of Minority Women is the latest one from the Union Ministry of Minority Affairs currently headed by Congress leader Salman Khurshid. The minister launched the scheme on 27th January saying 32,950 women from the minority communities will be trained with leadership qualities under the scheme during the remaining months of the current financial year 2009-2010.


Women in the minority communities fare badly. They are not just a minority, but the ‘marginalised majority’ and are sidelined in decision making in the family, and usually cut off from a full involvement in the workings of the society and from an equal share in the society’s rewards.

A report of the High Level Committee on the social, economic and educational status of the Muslim community of India (popularly known as the Sachar report) had highlighted the fact that India’s largest minority group, the Muslim numbering 13.83 crore, have been left out of the development trajectory and within this group Muslim women are doubly disadvantaged. With this in mind, the Ministry of Women & Child Development (WCD) formulated a scheme of “Leadership development for life, livelihood and civic empowerment of minority women” in 2007-08 for ensuring that the benefits of growth reach the deprived women among the minority communities. The scheme has now been transferred to the Ministry of Minority Affairs in 2009-10. The Ministry of Minority Affairs has recast the scheme and renamed it as “Scheme for Leadership Development of Minority Women”.

Target groups

The minority communities served by the Ministry of Minority Affairs are Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists and Zoroastrians (Parsis), which have been notified as minority communities under Section 2 (c) of the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992. Eligible women of these minority communities would be the target group. However, the scheme would permit a mix of women from non-minority communities not exceeding 25% of a project proposal. Efforts should be made by the organisation for having a representative mix of women from SC/ST/OBCs, women with disabilities and other communities under 25% group. Efforts should be made to persuade Elected Women Representatives (EWRs), from any community, under the panchayati raj institutions to be included as a trainee.


The objective of the scheme for leadership development of minority women, including their neighbours from other communities living in the village/locality, is to empower and instill confidence in women, by providing knowledge, tools and techniques for interacting with Government systems, banks, and intermediaries at all levels.

The scheme is envisaged to reach out to women through non-governmental organizations/organizations/institutions who will be provided with financial support for conducting leadership development trainings so that women are empowered and emboldened to move out of the confines of home and community and assume leadership roles and assert their rights, collectively or individually, in accessing services, facilities, skills, and opportunities besides claiming their due share of development benefits for improving their lives and living conditions.

Identification of women for training and selection criterion

Organization selected for carrying out training for leadership development of minority women would have the responsibility to motivate, identify and select women to be trained in accordance with the criteria of the scheme. Although there will be no annual income bar, woman/parent or guardian of woman having annual income not exceed Rs.2.50 lakh from all sources would be given preference in selection. They should be between the age group of 18 years to 65 years.

Leadership development training modules

The leadership training modules should invariably cover issues and rights relating to women, education, employment, livelihood etc. under the Constitution and various Acts; opportunities, facilities and services available under the schemes and programmes of the Central Government and State Government in the fields of education, health, hygiene, nutrition, immunization, family planning, disease control, fair price shop, drinking water supply, electricity supply, sanitation, housing, self-employment, wage employment, skill training opportunities, crime against women etc. It should also cover role of women in panchayati raj and nagar palika, legal rights of women, Right to Information Act (RTI), National Rural Employment Programme (NREGA), household surveys and Below Poverty Line (BPL) list, 6 office structure and functions, redressal forum and mechanism etc. The training module should be structured in such a manner that training inputs are given in short phases.

The training pedagogy should use audio-visual aids and case studies for making it more interesting and comprehensible. Qualities of leadership like organizational capacity, communicable skill, self development and articulation, communication and public speaking, organizing capacities, negotiation and conflict resolutions etc. should form integral part of the training. Group discussions should be incorporated in the training modules to encourage active participation. If possible, government functionaries, bankers etc. should be invited to speak on their schemes and programmes and interact with the women undergoing training.

There will be two types of leadership trainings and the criteria for each are as follows:-

(a) Leadership training in the village/locality: Upto 50 women in a village/locality who are dedicated, motivated and committed to work for the betterment of the welfare of women from the minority communities in particular and the society in general, would be imparted leadership training in one batch. At least 10% of the total women in a group of 40 women should have passed Class X. This may be relaxed to class V level in case women who have passed class X are not easily available,

(b) Leadership training in residential training institutes: Out of a group of 50 women for residential training, not more than five women from a single village/locality may be selected for leadership development training in residential government training institutes. They should possess at least a graduation degree, which may be relaxed to class X certificate holder in case graduates are not easily available, and should be dedicated, motivated, physically fit and healthy and committed to work for the betterment of the welfare of women from the minority communities in particular and the society in general.

It is envisaged that women imparted leadership development training would work towards achieving the objectives stated in para 5 of this scheme. The organization shall carry out nurturing and handholding for a period of at least one year to ensure that the empowered women folk are able to act as a pressure group to take up their grievances/problems with the village/block/district/State authorities for improvement of the status of basic infrastructure and services identified as lacking in the village/locality during formulation of the project. The organization would need to ensure that facilitators engaged for nurturing/handholding service visit the village/locality as stipulated, carry out their assignments diligently, report the progress and are assisted by the organization whenever the need arises.


The organization, in collaboration with the District Collector/Deputy Commissioner/sub-divisional officer/block development officer, will organize at least half-day workshop to sensitise government functionaries, bankers including panchayati raj functionaries etc. at the district, sub-division/block, etc. concerned about the women empowerment programme carried out by them under this scheme. The functionaries would be informed of the remedial action which may be brought and sought by groups of women and to be responsive in addressing their problems and grievances. One workshop each would be held in the district/sub-division/block concerned having jurisdiction of the village/locality covered by the training programme. The workshops should contain audio-visual clips of the training imparted by the organization .

Who will implement the scheme?

The leadership development training scheme shall be implemented by the Ministry of Minority Affairs through organizations. The selected organizations may implement the project directly through their organizational set-up or through smaller organizations operating in the locality/village/area. In case smaller organizations are engaged by the selected organization to execute the project in different villages/locations, it shall nevertheless be the responsibility of the selected organization to ensure that smaller organizations also fulfill the relevant pre-requisite qualifications and terms & conditions laid down in para 17 and 18 of this scheme. The onus of implementing the project properly and successfully would vest with the organization assigned the work by the Ministry.

Eligible organizations

Organisations/institutions, apart from Non-governmental Organisation, which would be eligible for applying for financial assistance under this scheme are given below:-

i) A Society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860,

ii) A Public Trust registered under any law for the time being in force,

iii) A Charitable Company licensed under Section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956 and

iv) Universities/ Institutions of higher learning.

v) Panchayati raj institutes.


Advertisement would be inserted by the Ministry of Minority Affairs in the national papers inviting applications of expression of interest from organization fulfilling the pre-qualification criteria.

Pre-qualification criteria for NGOs/Organisations/Institutions

Stringent pre-qualification would be adopted for short listing organisation in order to ensure that only those national and regional NGOs/organisations/institutions that are highly motivated, dedicated and committed to the welfare of women and working in the field among women, especially minority women, qualify. They should have the personnel, finances and infrastructure to further engage organisation operating at the grass root level for implementation of the project.

Given below are the indicative pre-qualification criteria for organisation, which may be modified as per the requirement under General Financial Rules (GFR)/relevant instructions of the Government in this regard, and interested organisation should be in a position to furnish documents in support of their claims/ submissions. The purpose is to select organisation of unblemished repute with high credibility and recognition.

(a) The organisation must be duly registered and should have been in operation for a minimum of five years.

(b) The organisation must be a currently functioning organization, preferably having experience of implementation of projects in the region/area/locality for which they intend to implement projects under this scheme.

(c) The organisation must have undertaken at least one project in training for women. Organizations with experience of having worked on women’s issues, especially among minority women, would be preferred.

(d) The organization having experience in implementation of Government, bi-lateral, multi-lateral funding agencies/institutions or United Nations funded projects would be preferred.

(e) The organization should have been working with a budget of at least rupees one crore per annum during the last three years and must not be a loss making concern.

(f) The organization should have completed its annual accounts and annual reports of the last three years. Account must be duly audited.

(g) The organization should have held all their statutory meetings.

(h) The organisation shall furnish the details of its existing set up in the State/UT and sub-state levels.

(i) The organization shall furnish history of collaboration with Government managed training institutes.

(j) The organisation should have conducted training course in the region.

(k) The organization must have key personnel with expertise in leadership development training for women, issues relating to women and nurturing/hand holding.

(l) At least two-thirds of field workers/facilitators of the organization to be deployed for this scheme should be women with relevant experience.

(m) The organization should give its credentials and prove its ability through documents for carrying out the projects of such nature.

(n) The organization should not be a religious or political organization or affiliated with such organization.

(o) The organization should not have been blacklisted by any Government Departments/agencies. Organization or any of its personnel should not be involved with any criminal or civil litigation.

Terms and conditions

The following shall be the terms and conditions of giving financial assistance, which may be modified by the Ministry, depending on the circumstances:-

(a) The organization shall have a website displaying all the details of their organization, head office, field offices, land line telephone numbers, personnel, details of past operations and activities, and maintain full details of name, address, and telephone number etc. of the women given training under the scheme, the activities carried out by them for improving their lives and living conditions after the training and during the nurturing/handholding period and furnish this information to the Ministry.

(b) The organization shall furnish an undertaking, in the name of the competent authority responsible for actual implementation of the scheme, accepting the terms and conditions laid down by the Ministry of Minority Affairs and furnish a bond with two sureties and will also be responsible for furnishing of accounts of the grant sanctioned. The requirement of furnishing two sureties need not be insisted upon if the grantee organization is a Government run institute/university, society registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860, or is a co-operative society, or is an organization of standing in whose case such sureties would not be considered necessary by the Ministry.

(c) The organization shall maintain a separate account for the financial assistance released by the Ministry of Minority Affairs and shall make it available to the Ministry as and when requisitioned for inspection.

(d) The organization shall utilize the financial assistance for the specified purposes only. The organization shall give an undertaking that in the event of acting in contravention of this condition, it will refund the amount received from the Government with 18% annual penal interest and any other action, as deemed necessary by the Government.

(e) The institute shall be solely responsible for ensuring that women fulfilling the eligibility criteria are selected for training.

(f) The organization shall give an undertaking that their books for this project will be open to inspection by the officers of Central Government/State Government/UT.
(g) After completion of the project, the organization shall submit to the Ministry of Minority Affairs, the utilization certificate (GFR-19A), and audited accounts, certified by a Chartered

Accountant along with the following documents:-

(i) Duly audited income and expenditure account/balance sheet for the year, including receipt & payment account of the institute, in respect of funds received during the year.

(ii) A certificate to the effect that the institution has not received any other grant for the same project from any other Ministry/Department of the Government of India, State/UT Government and any other Government/Non-Government organization/bilateral/ multi-lateral funding agencies or United nations.

(h) At the venue of the programme, necessary banners/ boards will be displayed/ erected indicating that the training/workshop is organized on behalf of Ministry of Minority Affairs Government of India.

(i) Prior intimation about the programmes should be given to the Ministry/ State Government well in advance so that, if necessary, officials can be deputed to observe the training programmes.

(j) Photographs, video clippings as evidence of holding the training programme/workshop shall be furnished to the Ministry. Pamphlets, publicity materials etc. brought out in connection with the programme should also be furnished to the Ministry.

(k) The Government of India will have the right to direct the organization for making any changes in the programmes or in the estimated cost.

(l) The Government shall have the right to lay down any other conditions prior to the release of the grants-in-aid.

Short listing of NGOs/Organisations/Institutions

Organizations fulfilling the pre-qualification criteria would be short-listed for selection by a committee as per the General Financial Rules/relevant instructions of the Government in this regard.

Preparation of project proposal

Financial assistance would be given to organisations for implementing the scheme of leadership development of minority women. Selected organisations would be asked to prepare project proposal which will placed before a Sanctioning Committee in the Ministry for approval. The entire project period would be limited to a maximum period of one year. The project proposal for leadership development training of minority women submitted to the Ministry of Minority Affairs would be a regional plan with village/locality specific proposals as the purpose of empowering and emboldening women is linked with advocacy and monitoring the outcome thereafter. Village/locality facing deprivation, in terms of availability of infrastructure and services relating to civic/basic amenities and socio-economic conditions, should be selected, so that the women folk of the village/locality are empowered to approach the appropriate authorities at village, block, district or State level to seek remedy to their problems and grievances. The plan should contain a list of problems faced by the women folk of each village/locality which they would be targeting for addressal after their training.

The project proposal should contain a broad baseline profile of basic amenities and services available in each village/locality selected for training women. It should invariably cover availability of Government personnel, status and access to existing infrastructure/services, quality and standard of service delivery, problems faced, and difficulties of implementation in the areas of schemes/programmes relating to (i) education, mid-day meals in schools; (ii) inoculation and nutrition in anganwadi centre; (iii) health care, institutional delivery, family planning services in health centre/sub-centre/dispensary; (iv) essential commodities in Fair Price Shop (ration shop); (v) drinking water supply; (vi) toilets/sanitation facilities; (vi) electricity supply; (vii) employment opportunities; (viii) skill development/training; (ix) crime against women, (x) banking services etc. It is envisaged that the empowered and emboldened women would be taking up their grievances and assert their rights with the authorities concerned.

20.4 Training programme , proposed during summer vacation/holidays of schools, would be given priority so that schools are available as a training venue and expenditure is reduced.

20.5 Organisation indicating its ability to ensure the participation of Government functionaries in the training programme would also be given priority.

If a group wishes to avail schemes for economic activities after the training their training is over, they would be given priority for sanction of their project by the National Minorities Development & Finance Corporation (NMDFC) in accordance with the guidelines of their scheme.

Sanctioning Committee

A sanctioning committee, comprising of the following, shall be constituted in the Ministry of Minority Affairs to consider and approve projects submitted by the organizations for implementation of the scheme:-

(a) Secretary, Ministry of Minority Affairs – Chairperson

(b) Financial Advisor, Ministry of Minority Affairs

(c) Joint Secretary, Ministry of Women & Child Development – Member

(d) Joint Secretary, Department of School Education & Literacy – Member

(e) Joint Secretary, Ministry of Rural Development – Member

(f) Deputy Director general, Council for Advancement of People’s Action and Rural Technology (CAPART) – Member

(g) Executive Director, Rashtriya Mahila Kosh (RMK) – Member

(h) Advisor, Minority Welfare Sector, Planning Commission – Member

(i) Managing Director, National Minorities Development & Finance Corporation (NMDFC) – Member

(j) Joint Secretary, Ministry of Minority Affairs (dealing with the scheme) – Convenor and Member

The Ministry may invite the Principal Secretary/Secretary of the State/UT concerned to participate in the selection of the organizations.

Implementation expenditure and agency fees/charges for training courses

Implementation expenses admissible to the organisation would cover items of expenditure of the organization on scouting, motivation, identification and selection of eligible women; training course, transportation, honorarium of facilitators; post-training hand holding/nurturing; concurrent monitoring and reporting, etc.

Agency fees/charges: The organization would be paid agency fees/charges at the rates stated in this scheme for the professional services rendered towards proper, timely and successful implementation of the project.

Administrative expenditure for Ministry: The Ministry shall be permitted to set aside upto the extent of 1.5% of the annual allocation under this scheme to meet administrative expenditure of purchase of computers and accessories, digital cameras, furniture, stationary and developing software, engaging qualified personnel for entering and analysing data, processing proposals, monitoring and evaluating reports, preparation of notes, power point presentation and reports, preparing material for placing information and data on the Ministry’s website, manning telephone during office days for question and answer (Q & A) facility or outsourcing such activities, issue of advertisement, consultancy charges for preparation of pedagogy and training materials, etc.

The organization shall be provided financial assistance for implementation of the scheme. The item-wise rates given below in the table are indicative and may vary according to the area of operation, fees charged by training institutes, boarding cost etc. The total cost indicated for each type of training would be the maximum permissible cost that may be sanctioned for a group of 50 women. However, item-wise cost would be inter-changeable provided it does not exceed the total permissible amount, except for allowance/stipend which is fixed. Supporting documents should be provided in the project proposal by the organization for proposed expenditure to be incurred in respect of training, travel etc. The rates are given in the table below:-

Details Of Rates For Leadership Development Training For Women From Minority Communities


Items of expenditure for leadership

development training programme

No. of persons




day (Rs)




Total cost



(i) Leadership
development training in







(a) Fees/honararium for engaging faculty

members/resource person






(b) To and fro transportation cost for

faculty members/resource person






(c) Lodging cost for faculty members






(d) Hiring of venue, furniture, and creche







(e) Cost for one meal for trainee women






(f) Cost for using/hiring audio-visual aids,

participatory training kits and taking

audio-visual clips of different activities for







(g) Cost for distribution of training

material, literature in local language and







(h) Allowance/stipend for women















admissible to the






(a) Cost for motivation, identification and

selection of eligible women.






(b) Cost for hand holding/nurturing by

facilitators for project period including

concurrent monitoring and reporting.












(iii) Agency fees
and charges



























training in institutes.






(a) Includes fees, boarding, food etc.

(actuals to be reimbursed)













government schemes and programmes,

relevant laws and Acts, stationary.






(c) Indicative transport expenditure

(actuals to be reimbursed)






(d) Allowance/stipend for women















to the organization






(a) Cost for motivation,
identification and

selection of eligible women.






(b) Cost for hand holding/nurturing by

facilitators for project period

concurrent monitoring and reporting.












Agency fees and charges

















Financial and physical targets

15. The scheme will be implemented throughout the country with special focus on districts, blocks and towns/cities having a substantial minority population. It is proposed to cover 182,800 women from 2009-10 to 2011-12. For 2009-10, 32950 women will be targeted with an outlay of Rs.8.00 crore. The fund requirement for the scheme for a period of three years of the Eleventh Plan is Rs.48.00 crore and the annual break-up, both financial and physical, is as below:


No. of


batches to

be trained

No. of

women to

be trained



nt (in Rs.)

Total for 2009-10




Total for 2010-11




Total for 2011-12




Total for 11th Plan period





Release of fund

It shall be sufficient if the bond, to be furnished by the organization along with two sureties, covers the amount that would be released directly to the organization. Funds will be released by the Ministry to the organization concerned based on the approved project proposal as follows:-

(a) Leadership development training in the village/locality:

1st instalment: 50% of the approved project cost would be released before the commencement of the training. The organization will ensure that this release covers expenditure for conduct of training and allowance/stipend.

2nd instament: 25% of the approved project cost would be released on submission of a certificate of satisfactory completion of the training course duly signed by at least 75% of women trained and countersigned by a representative of local body concerned like Sarpanch/Pradhan, etc. or Block Development Officer/Sub-Divisional Officer and submission of utilization certificate.

3rd instament: The balance 25% of the approved project cost would be released on submission of a certificate of satisfactory completion of the project duly signed by at least 75% of women trained and countersigned by a representative of local body concerned like Sarpanch/Pradhan, etc. or Block Development Officer/Sub-Divisional Officer and submission of utilization certificate. This will include expenditure on workshops.

Electronic fund transfer

Transfer of fund would be done through electronic transfer by the banks wherever facility for such transfer is available. For enabling E-payment directly into the account of organization/training institute through ECS, RTGS, NIFT, TTs system, the NGO shall furnish an authorization letter from the payee, with full details of e-payment of the NGO/training institute i.e. name of payee, bank IFC code number, bank branch number, bank branch name, bank branch address etc. The authorization letter must be counter-signed by the manager of the bank branch concerned to avoid wrong account number. Only one authorization letter would be required for the entire financial year or till the account number is changed during the year. A proforma of the authorization is annexed.