SAGE Project & SACRED Portal

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    Context 

    Senior care Ageing Growth Engine (SAGE) project and Senior Able Citizens for Re Employment in Dignity (SACRED) Portal will support India’s elderly.

    Image Courtesy: TH 

     

    About Senior care Ageing Growth Engine (SAGE) Project 

    • Recommended by: 
      • The project is shaped on the recommendations of the empowered expert committee (EEC) report on startups for the elderly
        • The Expert Group on the silver economy has recommended a scheme to promote private enterprises that bring out innovation in products and processes for the benefit of the elders.
        • Objectives: To focus on addressing the needs of India’s fast rising elderly population, to select, support and create a “one-stop access” of elderly care products and services
          • To encourage the selected “startups” based on the innovative products and services address the services from health, housing, care centers, technology access linked to needs ranging from finances, food and wealth management to legal guidance.
        • It is aimed at promoting private enterprises to bring out innovation in products to benefit elders
    • SAGE Portal: 
      • In order to provide a transparent mechanism for selecting the start-ups, a dedicated portal has been designed. 
      • All proposals will be uploaded and selection will be based on blind review by an independent screening committee of experts. 
    • Equity support:
      • The Inter Ministerial committee for the SCWF has considered funding of about Rs. 100 Cr as equity support to the selected start-ups @ maximum Rs. 1 Cr per Startup. 
      • For the current year, Rs. 20 Cr is made available.  
      • In the next five years, about 100 such innovative start-ups will be funded under the project.
    • Facilitator: 
      • The MoSJE will act as the facilitator in the entire process enabling the elderly to access the credible products through these identified start-ups.

    Image Courtesy: PIB

     

    About Senior Able Citizens for Re Employment in Dignity (SACRED) Portal

    • Aim:
      • The aim is to devise ways to ensure Senior Citizens live healthy, happy, empowered, dignified and self-reliant life
    • Funding: 
      • Rs. 10 Cr would be provided for funding for the platform development along with maintenance grant of Rs. 2 Cr per year for 5 years
    • LASI Report:
      • More than 50% senior citizens are found active as per the LASI report 2020
    • Scope of the Portal:
      • One Platform:
        • An IT portal to bring the employment seeker, senior citizens and employment providers on one platform will be developed and maintained by an agency identified through a transparent process.
      • Job seeker Registration at portal:
        • An individual senior citizen will get himself registered on the portal with his relevant education, past experience, skills and the areas of interest. 
    • Job provider registration:
    • Any job provider – individual / firm/ company/ partnership/ Voluntary Organisation etc. can also register on the portal. 
    • The job provider will specify the task involved and the number of senior citizens that are required to complete it.
    • Voluntary Organizations:
      • They will help the senior citizens in applying for these jobs. 
      • No user charges will be taken from any of the senior citizens by any Voluntary Organizations. 
      • Therefore, the Employment Portal will serve not only the senior citizens seeking employment, but also the employers, the SHGs, the senior citizens gaining skills, and other agencies/ individuals.
    • A facilitating platform:
      • The Employment Exchange Portal will not be a guarantee for getting a job/ employment or selling of the products of the SHGs, or for any other activity. 
      • It will act as an interactive platform where stakeholders meet each other virtually and decide on the course of action with mutual respect, consent and understanding.
    • Weighing experience and new recruitment:
      • Any individual/ firm/ company/ agency will seek the services of the senior citizens in respect of those tasks where experience can naturally outweigh hiring new personnel and providing them training, etc. 
      • Examples can be short term employment, contract for a project, teaching, counselling jobs.
    • Modalities: 
      • Web portal will be developed through NIC.
      • There will be adequate publicity both among elders and enterprises to enroll on the portal.

     

    What is the Silver Economy?

    • It is the system of production, distribution and consumption of goods and services aimed at using the purchasing potential of older and ageing people and satisfying their consumption, living and health needs.
    • The silver economy is analyzed in the field of social gerontology (study of aging) not as an existing economic system but as an instrument of ageing policy and the political idea of forming a potential, needs-oriented economic system for an aging population.
    • Its main element is gerontechnology (Technology pertaining to aged people) as a new scientific, research and implementation paradigm.

     

    Image Courtesy: TOI 

    Need for Such Initiatives

    • Rise in elderly population:
      • There is a sharp rise in India’s elderly population and thrust is on creating an ecosystem that supports their needs more holistically. 
      • There are 110 million elders in this country, who are above the age of 60. 
      • As per the latest industry reports, the share of elders, as a percentage of the total population in the country, is expected to increase from around 7.5 percent in 2001 to almost 12.5 percent by 2026, and surpass 19.5 percent by 2050. 
    • Ageing:
      • Ageing has become a major social challenge and there is a need to provide for the economic and health needs of the elderly and to create a social milieu, which is conducive and sensitive to the emotional needs of the elderly. 
    • Business Opportunities:
    • To highlight and increase the business opportunities in this space which could emerge from:
      • impact-focused enterprises (social enterprises, non-profits, informal networks), 
      • technology start-ups (fintech, adtech, foodtech, healthtech, wealthtech), 
      • legal and financial services (planning solutions, insurance, medico-legal) and 
      • infrastructure and managed care systems (senior housing, living facilities, care centres.).
    • Young startups with elderly cause promoted:
      • The empowered committee has recommended that during selection innovative ideas by young startups (with less than 3 years) put up by social incubators and independent startups which have worked on the elderly cause for 3 years should be considered and encouraged.
    • Ensure healthy and dignified life for elderly:
      • General improvement in the health care facilities over the years is one of the main reasons for the continuing increase in the proportion of the population of senior citizens. 
      • Ensuring that they not merely live longer, but lead a secure, dignified and productive life is a major challenge.

    Image Courtesy: TOI 

    Challenges

    • Devise ways to build a society for Senior Citizens across the nation in which they can live healthy, happy, empowered, dignified and self-reliant life along with strong social and inter-generational bonding by involving society at large
    • Dwindling social support systems and nuclear families leading to lack of elder friendly spaces.
    • No support groups directed specifically for this cause.
    • No emergency response system like 911 in the USA. It leads to late detection of problems/diseases due to eders staying alone.
    • Fastly changing technology is a big hurdle for elderlies.

     

    Other Initiatives for Elderly 

    • Senior Citizen Welfare Fund
      • It was created in 2016 
      • Its objective is to fund activities that would bring significant change in the lives of the elderly in India. 
      • The Fund is expected to use Rs. 9,000 Cr of unclaimed deposits in the EPF and other public funds. 
      • The Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana is funded through this.
    • Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Scheme
    • This is one of the most popular senior citizen pension schemes in India. 
    • Designed for senior citizens above 60 years of age, the policy term of this Prime Minister Senior Citizen Scheme extends to ten years. 
    • The pensioner can choose the frequency of the payment – monthly/quarterly/half-yearly/annually. 
    • One can earn interest of 8% per annum over this scheme. 
    • The minimum and maximum capping of pension are Rs. 3,000 per month and 10,000 per month, respectively.  
    • Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana
      • This scheme provides physical aids and assisted-living devices for older adults above 60 years of age that belong to the BPL (below the poverty line) category. 
      • So, if senior citizens wish to avail this, then they must have a BPL card. 
      • This is a Central Sector Scheme and is entirely funded by the Central Government.  
    • Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana
      • This pension scheme, launched by the Ministry of Finance, is for senior citizens above 60 years. 
      • The LIC of India has the authority to operate this scheme. 
      • No need to get any medical check-ups done to avail this policy. 
      • It offers an assured pension with a guaranteed interest rate of 8% per annum for up to 10 years – you can opt for monthly, quarterly, half-yearly, and yearly pension – depending on how you’d like to receive it.  
    • Senior Citizens’ Welfare Fund
      • Launched by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, this fund includes unclaimed amounts from small savings and savings accounts in the Central government schemes. 
      • It aims to make seniors financially stable for their overall welfare and health care.  
    • Vayoshreshtha Samman
      • This scheme focuses on those seniors who have made significant contributions in their disciplines and recognizes their efforts. 
      • It was upgraded to the National Award in 2013, and since then, awards have been granted under thirteen categories.  
    • Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana
      • This scheme was launched in 2018 by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for covering up to 10 crore people belonging to poor and vulnerable families. 
      • Under this scheme, coverage of up to Rs. 5 lakhs per family for secondary and tertiary hospitalization is provided. With a broad spectrum of schemes launched by the Government of India, benefitting senior citizens belonging to various classes, planning for your health, and other related expenses has become easier. 

     

     

    Sources: PIB