In news– Recently, the Union government has extended the PM Cares for Children Scheme till February 28, 2022. The scheme was earlier valid till December 31, 2021.
About the scheme-
- The scheme was launched by the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India on 29th May 2021 for the Children.
- It aims to support children who have lost both the Parents or legal Guardian or Adoptive Parents or Surviving Parent to COVID-19 pandemic during the period starting from 11th March 2020.
- The objective of the Scheme is to ensure comprehensive care and protection of Children in a sustained manner, and enable their well being through health insurance, empower them through education and equip them for self-sufficient existence with financial support on reaching 23 years of age.
- The Ministry of Women and Child Development is the nodal Ministry for execution of the scheme at the central level.
- The Department of the State/UT government dealing with the Juvenile Justice set up in the State shall be the nodal agency at State level.
- The District Magistrates shall be the nodal authority at District level for execution of the scheme.
The Entitlements under the scheme include-
- Efforts will be made by the District Magistrate with the assistance of the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) to explore the possibility of rehabilitating the child within her/his extended family, relatives, kith, or kin.
- Children more than 10 years old, not received by extended families or relatives or foster families or not willing to live with them or living in child care institutions after the demise of parents, may be enrolled in Netaji Subhash Chand Bose Awasiya Vidyalaya, Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya, Eklavya Model Schools, Sainik School, Navodaya Vidyalaya, or any other residential school by the District Magistrate, subject to the respective scheme guidelines.
- It may be ensured that the siblings stay together, as far as possible.
- For non-institutional care, financial support at the prevailing rates prescribed under the Child Protection Services (CPS) Scheme shall be provided to Children (in account with guardians).
- For children in institutional care, a maintenance grant at the prevailing rates prescribed under the Child Protection Services (CPS) Scheme shall be given to Child Care Institutions.
- For children below 6 years of age, Identified beneficiaries will receive support and assistance from the Anganwadi services for supplementary nutrition, pre-school education/ ECCE, immunization, health referrals, and health check-up.
- For children below 10 years of age, Admission shall be provided in any nearest school as a day scholar i.e. Government/ Government aided School/ Kendriya Vidyalayas (KVs)/ Private Schools.
- In Government Schools, two sets of free uniform and textbooks shall be provided, under Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan, and in private schools, tuition fees shall be exempted under section 12(1)(c) of RTE Act.
- Under circumstances where a child is unable to receive above benefits, the fees, as per the RTE norms, will be given from the PM CARES for Children scheme.
- The child will be assisted in obtaining education loan for Professional courses /Higher Education in India
- Under circumstances where beneficiary is unable to avail interest exemption from extant Central and State Government scheme, then the interest on the educational loan will be paid from PM CARES for Children Scheme.
- All children will be enrolled as a beneficiary under Ayushman Bharat Scheme (PM-JAY) with a health insurance cover of Rs. 5 lakhs.
- The lump sum amount will be transferred directly in the post office account of beneficiaries upon opening and validation of the account of the beneficiaries.
- Children will receive a monthly stipend once they attain 18 years of age, by investing the corpus of Rs 10 lakhs.
- The beneficiary will receive stipend till they attain 23 years of age and once they attain, he/she will receive an amount of Rs. 10 lakh.