Covid

PM Cares Fund: Govt announces Rs 10 lakh, free education for children orphaned in pandemic

"Children represent the future of the country and we will do everything to support and protect the children," PM Modi said while announcing the relief measures.

UPDATED: May 29, 2021 22:33 IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday announced the roll-out of a slew of benefits under PM Cares For Children, in a bid to support children who lost their parents to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The decision was taken following a high-level review meeting chaired by the prime minister to deliberate on the impact of the pandemic on children and how to mitigate it.

PM Cares will contribute through a specially designed scheme to create a corpus of Rs 10 lakh for each child when they reach 18 years of age. The corpus will be used to give a monthly stipend from 18-23 years of age to take care of the child’s personal requirements during the period of higher education. On reaching the age of 23, the child will get the corpus amount as a lump sum for personal and professional use.

The government will also ensure free education for such children.

“Children represent the future of the country and we will do everything to support and protect the children. It is our duty, as a society, to care for our children and instil hope for a bright future,” PM Modi said while announcing the relief measures.

Children will receive assistance in getting education loan for higher education and PM Cares will pay interest on it. All children will be enrolled for free health insurance of Rs 5 lakh under Ayushman Bharat till 18 years and the premium will be paid as part of the scheme.

The PM added that the measures being announced have only been possible due to the generous contributions to the PM Cares Fund which will support India’s fight against Covid.

School education: For children under 10 years

SCHOOL EDUCATION FOR CHILDREN UNDER 10 YEARS

  • The child will be given admission to the nearest Kendriya Vidyalaya or in a private school as a day scholar.
  • If the child is admitted to a private school, the fees as per the RTE norms will be given from PM Cares.
  • PM Cares will also pay for expenditure on the uniform, textbooks and notebooks.

SCHOOL EDUCATION FOR CHILDREN BETWEEN 11-18 YEARS

  • The child will be given admission to any Central Government residential school such as Sainik School, Navodaya Vidyalaya etc.
  • In case the child is to be continued under the care of guardian/ grandparents/ extended family, then he or she will be given admission in the nearest Kendriya Vidyalaya or in a private school as a day scholar.
  • If the child is admitted to a private school, the fees as per the RTE norms will be given from the PM CARES.
  • PM Cares will also pay for expenditure on the uniform, textbooks and notebooks.

SUPPORT FOR HIGHER EDUCATION

  • The child will be assisted in obtaining an education loan for professional courses / higher education in India as per the existing education loan norms. The. interest on this loan will be paid by the PM Cares
  • As an alternative, scholarship equivalent to the tuition fees/course fees for undergraduate/ vocational courses as per government norms will be provided to such children under central or state government schemes. For the child who is not eligible under the existing scholarship schemes, PM Cares will provide an equivalent scholarship.

The move to establish a PM Cares scheme specifically for children comes in the wake of several state governments announcing relief packages for minors who lost parents during the pandemic. Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu have already made provisions to grant financial aid and other benefits to such children.

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