Social Justice

Social Justice

Congress has been the most vocal and active champion of the progress of the backward and oppressed classes and castes over the last seven decades. However, caste discrimination is still a reality. The people belonging to the SC, ST and OBC communities have not yet been able to catch up with the rest and are still left behind. While OBC, SC and ST constitute nearly 70 per cent of India’s population, their representation in high-ranking professions, services and businesses is disproportionately low. No progressive modern society should tolerate such inequality or discrimination based on ancestry and the consequent denial of equal opportunity. Congress will bridge historical inequities by implementing the following programme.

  1. Congress will conduct a nation-wide Socio-Economic and Caste Census to enumerate the castes and sub-castes and their socio-economic conditions. Based on the data, we will strengthen the agenda for affirmative action.
  2. The Congress guarantees that it will pass a constitutional amendment to raise the 50 per cent cap on reservations for SC, ST and OBC.
  3. The reservation of 10 per cent in jobs and educational institutions for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) will be implemented for all castes and communities without discrimination.
  4. We will fill all the backlog vacancies in posts reserved for SC, ST and OBC within a period of one year.
  5. Congress will abolish the contractualisation of regular jobs in the government and public sector enterprises and ensure regularisation of such appointments.
  6. We will enhance institutional credit to SC and ST for home-building, starting businesses and purchasing assets.
  7. Congress will establish an authority to monitor the distribution to the poor of government land and surplus land under the land ceiling Acts.
  8. The scope of the Public Procurement Policy will be expanded to award more public works contracts to contractors belonging to the SC and ST communities.
  9. Funds for scholarships for OBC, SC and ST students will be doubled, especially for higher education. We will aid SC and ST students to study abroad; and will double the number of scholarships for them to pursue a Ph.D.
  10. Congress will establish a network of residential schools for the poor, especially SC and ST students, and extend them to every block.
  11. We will include in the curriculum of schools the life and work of social reformers to spread the message of social justice.
  12. We will establish Ambedkar Bhavans-cum-Libraries in every district to promote the habit of reading and discussion.
  13. We will enact a law with reference to Article 15(5) of the Constitution to provide for reservation in private educational institutions for SC, ST and OBC.
  14. We will pass a law authorising allocation of resources for the Scheduled Caste Sub Plan and Tribal Sub Plan within the annual budget and monitoring the execution of the plans.
  15. Congress will end the evil of manual scavenging. Every manual scavenger will be rehabilitated, re-skilled, provided a job and assured a life of dignity and safety. The Prohibition of Manual Scavenging Act, 2013, will be strictly implemented and any person employing anyone for manual scavenging shall be punished. We will provide compensation of ₹30 lakh to families of sanitation workers (safai karamcharis) deceased while at work. We will allocate sufficient funds to enable the procurement of machines that will clean sewers and septic tanks, and remove human waste. Free insurance will be provided to all sanitation workers.
  16. The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 will be enforced diligently. A helpline will be established in every State’s capital and legal aid and paralegal support will be provided to the victims of such atrocities.
  17. Congress is committed to notify as ‘Scheduled Area’ all habitations or groups of habitations where ST are the largest social group outside the present Scheduled Areas in all States and Union Territories.
  18. A national mission will be set up for effective implementation of the Forest Rights Act, 2006 through a dedicated FRA division, a separate budget and action plans.
  19. The Congress will ensure settlement of all pending FRA claims within 1 year and establish a process for review of all rejected claims within 6 months.
  20. Congress is committed to ensure that states enact laws in conformity with the framework of the central Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996 (PESA) to establish ‘Village Council’ and ‘Autonomous District Council’ as envisaged in PESA.
  21. We will enact the Rohith Vemula Act to address discrimination faced by students belonging to the backward and oppressed communities in educational institutions.
  22. We will implement the recommendations of the Renke Commission. We will provide free education for children belonging to the Nomadic Tribes and De-notified Tribes.
  23. Congress will establish a Diversity Commission that will measure, monitor and promote diversity in public and private employment and education.


The plurality of religions represents the history of India. History cannot be altered. All people living in India and all children born in India are equally entitled to enjoy human rights that includes the right to practise one’s religion. Pluralism and diversity constitute the ethos of India and are enshrined in the Preamble to the Constitution of India. Given the history and the democratic traditions of India, the Congress believes that there is no place for authoritarianism or majoritarianism.

Linguistic and religious minorities are granted human and civic rights under the Constitution of India. Congress pledges to uphold and protect these rights.

Religious Minority
  1. We will respect and uphold the fundamental right to practice one’s faith and the rights guaranteed to religious minorities under Articles 15, 16, 25, 26, 28, 29 and 30 of the Constitution.
  2. We will also respect and uphold the rights of linguistic minorities guaranteed under Articles 15, 16, 29 and 30 of the Constitution.
  3. We will encourage and assist students and youth belonging to the minorities to take full advantage of the growing opportunities in education, employment, business, services, sports, arts and other fields.
  4. We will restore the Maulana Azad Scholarships for study abroad and increase the number of scholarships.
  5. The economic empowerment of minorities is a necessary step for India to realise its full potential. We will ensure that banks will provide institutional credit to minorities without discrimination.
  6. We will ensure that the minorities receive their fair share of opportunities in education, healthcare, public employment, public works contracts, skill development, sports and cultural activities without discrimination.
  7. Congress will ensure that, like every citizen, minorities have the freedom of choice of dress, food, language and personal laws.
  8. We will encourage reform of personal laws. Such reform must be undertaken with the participation and consent of the communities concerned.
  9. Congress promises to meet long standing demands for inclusion of more languages in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution.


Senior Citizens
  1. The central government’s contribution to pensions for senior citizens, widows and persons with disabilities under the National Social Assistance Programme remains a pitiful ₹200 - ₹500 per month. Congress will raise this amount to ₹1,000 per month.
  2. We will take measures to ensure easy access to legal services for senior citizens especially in cases of neglect, abuse, abandonment, eviction and financial fraud.
  3. Congress will review the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007, remove the deficiencies and enforce the Act.
  4. We will restore travel concessions in public transport (rail and road) for senior citizens.
  5. We will expand Articles 15 and 16 of the Constitution to prohibit discrimination on the ground of ‘disability’, ‘impairment’ or ‘sexual orientation’.
  6. We will recognise the Braille script and Sign Language as languages.
  7. We will establish a National Centre of Research and Excellence for Special Education to ensure that quality education is imparted to children with special needs and children with disabilities.
  8. As was done in Chhattisgarh, Congress will provide representation for persons with disabilities in local government bodies.
  9. We will strictly enforce the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.
  10. We will implement a scheme to establish Assisted Living and Care Centres for the disabled in public-private partnership throughout the country.
  11. After wide consultation, Congress will bring a law to recognize civil unions between couples belonging to the LGBTQIA+ community.


Congress was the first political party to acknowledge that health of the people and healthcare are the responsibility of the government. Congress introduced the first healthcare scheme in India and firmly believes that all citizens have the Right to Health.

  1. We promise that healthcare will be universal and free in public health centres such as hospitals, clinics, primary health centres, mobile healthcare units, dispensaries and health camps. Free healthcare will include examination, diagnostics, treatment, surgery, medicines, rehabilitation and palliative care.
  2. The Rajasthan Model of cashless insurance up to ₹25 lakhs will be adopted for universal healthcare.
  3. Primary Health Centres (PHC) will be upgraded according to Indian Public Health Standards norms, and diagnostics will be added in each PHC.
  4. will encourage the introduction of health insurance schemes in the private sector and public sector. The current universal healthcare programme will be redesigned for different sections of the people and will allow enlistment of private hospitals, non-profit health facilities and health centres under the schemes.
  5. Maternity benefits will be available to all women. All employers shall mandatorily grant paid maternity leave for their employees.
  6. Budget allocation for Health will be increased step by step every year to achieve 4 per cent of total expenditure by 2028-29.
  7. Congress will double the hardship allowance of doctors serving in rural areas, and provide suitable residence facilities.
  8. The contribution of the Central government to the pay of frontline health workers (such as ASHA, Anganwadi, Mid-Day Meal cooks, etc.) will be doubled.
  9. We will establish one government medical college-cum-hospital in each district.
  10. All vacancies in medical and paramedical posts in public health institutions and all vacancies in medical colleges will be filled in three years.
  11. No hospital or medical college shall be permitted to be opened or allowed to function unless 75 per cent of the medical, paramedical and teaching posts are filled.
  12. The National Medical Commission Act shall be reviewed, and the anomalies and deficiencies removed. NMC shall enjoy full autonomy to carry out the obligations under the Act.
  13. A second ASHA will be appointed in villages with a population of over 2,500.
  14. All systems of medicine will be supported by the government.
  15. All manufacturers of medicines will be under strict scrutiny for maintaining quality and following good manufacturing practices.
  16. The number of central government dispensaries will be rapidly expanded. All central government dispensaries will dispense brand and generic medicines of good quality at reasonable prices.
  17. A National Mission on Immunisation will be taken up. Only 76 per cent of Indian children receive full immunisation. Congress will ensure full immunisation of 100 per cent of children within 5 years.
  18. Nutritional deficiency among children will be addressed to rapidly reduce the incidents of stunting and wasting. We will expand the mid-day meal scheme up to Class XII.
  19. Congress will pass a law making it an offence to commit acts of violence against doctors and other health professionals while performing their duties.