In 1985, under Rajiv Gandhi, Indira Awas Yojana, which is the IAY full form, was launched to provide housing for the rural population in India. This was the government’s proactive measure to solve homelessness, and in 40 years, the scheme has now been renamed to PMAY. IAY’s provisions, goals, and features are still very much in effect under the PMAY initiative.
Homelessness is the grim reality many citizens in urban and rural areas grapple with, and the last census found around 6.5 crore people living in urban slums. The IAY scheme was launched to combat this, and over time, it was renamed to PMAY and now functions under the ‘Housing For All’ mission.
What is IAY (Indira Gandhi Awas Yojana)
IAY stands for Indira Gandhi Awas Yojana which was launched to provide housing for the rural population in India. IAY, otherwise known as Pradhan Mantri Gramin Awas Yojana (PMGAY) or IAY Gramin, was a sub-scheme of the Rural Landless Employment Guarantee Programme (RLEGP) and a social welfare programme that was first launched by Rajiv Gandhi in 1985.
This was the government’s proactive measure to solve homelessness. Homelessness is the grim reality many citizens in urban and rural areas grapple with, and the last census found around 6.5 crore people living in urban slums. The IAY scheme was launched to combat this, and over time, it was renamed to PMAY and now functions under the ‘Housing for All’ mission.
It was the flagship housing programme of the Ministry of Rural Development and worked toward constructing houses for the below-poverty-line (BPL) population in rural India. In the financial year 1995-96, the IAY extended its aid to widows and close relatives of defence personnel killed in action as well.
What were the key features of Indira Gandhi Awas Yojana?
As the IAY was a social welfare scheme, a lot of the key features were designed to empower citizens, beyond simply putting a roof over their heads. To understand further, consider the following pointers.
- Ownership: Any home constructed under IAY was under joint ownership of both husband and wife, with exception of the unmarried, divorced, and widows. However, the state could give ownership to the woman only. Similarly, if the state allotted the construction of the house based on the eligibility of a disabled member, then they maintained sole ownership.
- Construction: Under this scheme, the construction was to be carried out by the beneficiary only. Any external involvement of a contractor or agency was not permissible, and, if done, the government could withhold or confiscate the funding provided. However, beneficiaries could acquire support services from NGOs, youth clubs, and others, for monitoring and assisting with construction.
- Construction standards: As per the objectives of this initiative, eco-friendly and sustainable modes of building houses were to be promoted. Preference was given to locally-sourced materials.
- Fund allocation: Under this scheme, funds were released in instalments.
- The first instalment comprised 25% of the total unit cost and was provided on the Awas Divas with the sanction order.
- The second instalment was paid after the first stage of construction was complete, reaching the lintel level, and comprised 60% of the total cost.
- The final instalment was released after the home had a fully-constructed and functional bathroom or latrine and the beneficiary was living in the home. Here, the remaining 15% of the total cost was disbursed to the beneficiary.
- Construction time limit: Upon receiving the first instalment, the beneficiary had 9 months to complete the first stage. Following this, stage 2 had to be completed within another 9 months from receiving the second instalment.
What were the benefits of the IAY scheme?
The benefits of this social welfare scheme were as follows.
- Houses constructed under IAY were designed based on the requirements of the residents.
- It aimed to use locally-sourced materials to construct homes that will last at least 30 years.
- IAY promoted the use of eco-friendly and environmentally sustainable construction techniques while also generating employment.
- IAY encouraged Panchayats to spearhead change in their constituency so that the program was effectively implemented across the nation.
- IAY supported construction of homes with required provisions like workplaces.
What was the eligibility criteria for the Indira Gandhi Yojana?
IAY was primarily aimed at providing housing for the poor in rural societies of India. So, households under the BPL were the primary beneficiaries; however, IAY was not restricted to just that category. Here is a list of all those eligible under this scheme.
- Disabled or handicapped citizens
- Ex-service personnel
- Citizens under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe categories
- Free bonded labourers
- Next of kin of defence or parliamentary personnel killed in action
- Citizens in the marginalised sector of society
What were the special projects undertaken by IAY?
The IAY scheme made reserve funds from the Central Government accessible to ensure that certain special projects across the states were carried out smoothly. They are as follows:
- Rehabilitating families below the BPL and affected by violent outbreaks
- Rehabilitating families below the BPL and affected by natural calamities
- Offering settlement to families forced to relocate along international borders
- Providing settlement for scavengers, tribal societies, and labourers
- Providing rehabilitation for individuals affected by occupational diseases and ‘Kala-azar’
Why was Indira Awas Yojana Renamed as PMAY?
There is no official reason for why the Government of India renamed the Indira Gandhi Awas Yojana scheme to the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana scheme. That said, under PMAY, urban citizens can also access affordable housing via a home loan interest subsidy. Based on your income-group categorisation, you can get an interest subsidy through PMAY’s CLSS component of up to Rs. 2.67 lakh. All you need to do is partner with an empanelled lender.
This is a benefit you can enjoy when you avail the Bajaj Housing Finance Limited Home Loan. What’s more, you can get approval for a sizable sanction at an attractive interest rate, and opt for a tenor that ranges up to 30 years. This loan is also easy to avail thanks to its relaxed requirements, and you can start the application online by filling a simple form.
PMAY subsidy scheme for MIG I & II category is not extended by regulatory. Category wise scheme validity is mentioned below:
1. EWS & LIG category is valid up to 31st March 2022
2. MIG I & MIG II category was valid up to 31st March 2021
Indira Awas Yojana FAQs
To apply for Indira Awas Yojana, visit the official website or approach the local Gram Panchayat office. Fill out the application form with accurate details and submit the required documents. The authorities will verify your eligibility and process the application accordingly.
Essential documents for Indira Awas Yojana include proof of identity, residence, income certificate, land ownership or possession proof, and a recent passport-sized photograph. Additional documents may be necessary based on specific criteria in different regions.
Indira Awas Yojana aims to provide financial assistance to the rural poor for constructing new houses or renovating existing ones. The primary goal is to uplift living standards, ensure shelter for the homeless, and contribute to overall rural development.
IAY funds are typically disbursed in instalments directly to the bank accounts of beneficiaries. The release of funds is contingent on the progress of construction and adherence to guidelines, ensuring efficient utilization for housing purposes.
Yes, Indira Awas Yojana can be availed for renovating existing houses to improve living conditions. However, the renovation should align with the specified guidelines and criteria set by the program.
Indira Awas Yojana prioritises the allocation of funds to specific groups such as Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and other marginalised sections of society. The aim is to address the housing needs of the most vulnerable populations.
Indira Awas Yojana contributes to rural development by providing housing, promoting infrastructure development, generating employment through construction activities, and fostering a sense of social and economic security among rural communities.
The Gram Panchayat plays a crucial role in Indira Awas Yojana implementation. It verifies applications, identifies beneficiaries, monitors construction progress, and facilitates the disbursement of funds, ensuring efficient and transparent execution at the grassroots level.
While beneficiaries may have some input, the construction design under Indira Awas Yojana generally follows predefined guidelines to ensure structural integrity, safety, and adherence to local building codes. However, there may be flexibility within those parameters.
Yes, there is typically a stipulated time frame for completing construction under Indira Awas Yojana. Beneficiaries are expected to finish the construction within the specified period to receive the full benefit of the scheme and ensure timely housing for the rural poor.