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The Government of India approved the Pradhan Mantri Mahila Shakti Kendra (PMMSK) scheme for 2017-18 to 2019-20 to create an environment where rural women realise their full potential and empower themselves through community participation.
The MSK scheme was introduced under the umbrella scheme of Pradhan Mantri Mahila Shashaktikaran Yojana (PMMSY). This scheme will provide a platform for rural women to approach the government to avail their entitlements and empower them through training, awareness generation and capacity building. The government discontinued the MSK scheme in 2022.
The MSK scheme is envisaged to work at various levels. The National and state-level structures will provide technical support to the respective governments on issues related to women. The district and block level centres will support this scheme and give a foothold to women empowerment schemes.
Student volunteers play an instrumental role in generating awareness regarding various government programmes/schemes and social issues that impact women’s lives in a given block (or the equivalent administrative unit where such blocks are not in place). The MSK is implemented in 115 most backward districts in India to reach out to rural women and facilitate nutrition, health, employment, skill development, digital literacy, etc.
National level: Domain-based experts support implementing all women-centric government programmes or schemes to strengthen such schemes through convergence with Ministries and state governments/UTs. The point of focus at the national level will be training and capacity build-up to enhance gender issue understanding.
State level: At the state level, the State Resource Centre for Women (SRCW) under the respective state governments, i.e. Department of WCD or Social Welfare, will provide technical assistance in implementing laws, schemes and programmes for women. The SRCW working under the state governments will review and evaluate ongoing programmes, policies and legislative activities for better accessibility to women in need.
District level: At the district level, the District Level Centre for Women (DLCW) collate information on government schemes, programmes and services meant for women empowerment, including women helpline, one-stop centre, Beti Bachao Beti Padao (BBBP), Mahila police volunteers, Ujjawala, Swadhar, etc., to serve as a link between block or village and state level.
Block level: The Gram Panchayat implements the activities under the MSK and facilitates it through taluk or block level centres, which serve as the focal points and are called MSK-Block Level. The block level centres will be run by a Block Level Committee (BLC) whose members are nominated by the DC/DM. It will cover all the Gram Panchayats or Anganwadi centres in the selected block.
The services will be provided at the Gram Panchayat level through convergence with frontline workers such as Anganwadi Workers (AWW), Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs), Common Service Centres (CSCs), Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANMs), Women SHGs, Shiksha Mitra, Bank Correspondents, Krishi Mitra, Protection Officers (VAW), Elected Women Representatives (EWRs), Nyaya Mitra, Mahila Police Volunteers (MPV), etc.
In all states/UTs, the State Resource Centre for Women (SRCW) is set up to implement this scheme. In the districts, a District Level Centre for Women (DLCW) is set up in 640 districts to implement this scheme. The block level initiative covered 115 most backward blocks, identified by NITI Aayog, to implement this scheme through community engagement with the help of student volunteers.
Since women empowerment is multi-dimensional, the services provided under the MSK are built upon by leveraging available resources of various government programmes or schemes At the district or block level. Student volunteers cater to creating awareness about government programmes or schemes, capacity building and training for the empowerment of rural women through block-level intervention.
The MSK is implemented with a cost-sharing pattern between the Central Government and the state government in the ratio of 60:40, except in respect of Special Category and the North-Eastern States, where the cost-sharing ratio is 90:10. In the UTs, the scheme is implemented with 100% central funds. All payments made under the scheme must be through the Public Financial Management System (PMFS) under Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) mode.