• The Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment in India is implementing two schemes: The Scheme for Residential Education for Students in High Schools in Targeted Areas (SHRESHTA) and the Support for Marginalized Individuals for Livelihood and Enterprise (SMILE).


  • SHRESHTA provides financial assistance to NGOs for education projects related to students belonging to Scheduled Castes, with three types of projects covered. They are Residential Schools, Non-Residential Schools, and Hostels, both for Primary and Secondary Students.
  • The scheme has been revised and a new component, Mode-I, has been added for quality residential education for meritorious SC students in top-class residential High Schools through a nationwide entrance test conducted by National Testing Agency (NTA).


  • SMILE, on the other hand, supports marginalized individuals for livelihood and enterprise, but does not specifically cover persons belonging to Scheduled Castes.
  • The focus of the scheme is extensively on rehabilitation, provision of medical facilities, counselling, basic documentation, education, skill development, economic linkages and so on.

It includes a subscheme – ‘Central Sector Scheme for Comprehensive Rehabilitation of persons engaged in Begging’.

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