Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has launched a web portal to promote inter-caste marriages.
Launching a web portal called the Sumangal portal virtually on Tuesday, Patnaik also announced an incentive hike of Rs 1.5 lakh, from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 2.5 lakh, and said that such marriages can help bring about social harmony in society.
Before this, the state government had last increased the incentive for inter-caste marriage in August 2017 when it hiked the grant from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh.
The portal has been developed by the ST & SC Development, Minorities & Backward Classes Welfare Department.
In order to avail of the one-time grant, the marriage should be between upper-caste Hindus and Hindus of scheduled castes.
The wedlock should be valid as per the law and duly registered under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 and either spouse should belong to the scheduled castes as specified under Article 341 of the Constitution of India.
Once all the said criteria are fulfilled, the incentive amount would then be deposited in a joint account of the couple in any nationalised bank which they would be able to withdraw only after three years of marriage.
People getting married for the first time are eligible to avail of the incentive. Besides, the widows or widowers can also exercise the benefit.
Along with this, Patnaik also launched the Integrated Odisha State Scholarship Portal to help eligible students of Odisha avail of benefits and scholarships in a transparent and seamless manner.