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Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana, Explained


The Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) is a prominent social welfare initiative launched by the Government of India to address the healthcare and financial requirements of pregnant and lactating women in the nation. Commenced in 2017, this scheme is designed to deliver essential support to expectant and nursing mothers, particularly those hailing from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, to ensure their well-being during pregnancy and early motherhood. PMMVY forms a key part of the broader mission to enhance maternal and child health, reduce maternal mortality rates, and advance the general welfare of women and children in India.


OBJECTIVE OF PRADHAN MANTRI MATRU VANDANA YOJANA

The Maternity Benefits Program, initiated by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, offers a cash incentive of ₹5000 to pregnant women aged 19 or older during their first live birth. This support is disbursed in three instalments and must be claimed within specific timeframes – 150 days, 180 days, and at the time of childbirth. This program is intended to aid women who were employed and experienced a loss of income due to pregnancy, therefore it supports them in addressing their daily nutritional requirements during this critical phase.


The Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) is administered through Anganwadi Centers (AWC) and operates in close collaboration with the respective State and Union Territory (UT) Departments of Social Welfare & Empowerment and Health & Family Welfare. Its primary aim is to alleviate the financial burden faced by pregnant women and promote their well-being and that of their newborns.


HOW THE SCHEME IS IMPLEMENTED?

The Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) is executed through the framework of the Anganwadi Services program within the comprehensive Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme administered by the Ministry of Women & Child Development. This is applicable to states and union territories that implement the program through the Women and Child Development Department or Social Welfare Department. In cases where the scheme is implemented through the Health & Family Welfare Department, it operates through the health system in those respective states and union territories.


WHO ARE THE BENEFICIARIES OF THE SCHEME?

Beneficiaries of the scheme are female Indian citizens who are pregnant and experience wage loss. Eligible applicants must be a minimum of 19 years old, and this program is specifically intended for their first live birth. It's important to highlight that pregnant women and lactating mothers in stable employment with the central government, state government, or public sector organizations, or those already receiving analogous benefits under current legislation, are not eligible to receive benefits through PMMVY.


HOW IS THE ALLOCATION OF INCENTIVES DONE BY THE GOVERNMENT TO THE BENEFICIARY?

Cash incentives amounting to ₹5,000 are disbursed in three stages as follows:

  1. Initial Payment (First Installment): A sum of ₹1,000 is granted upon the timely registration of pregnancy at the Anganwadi Centre (AWC) or an approved healthcare facility as designated by the respective State/Union Territory authorities.

  2. Second Payment (Second Installment): An amount of ₹2,000 is provided after six months of gestation, contingent upon the expectant mother having undergone at least one ante-natal check-up.

  3. Final Payment (Third Installment): The remaining ₹2,000 is disbursed once the childbirth is formally registered, and the infant has received the initial series of vaccinations, including BCG, OPV, DPT, and Hepatitis-B, or their approved equivalents or substitutes.

Additionally, eligible beneficiaries will also receive incentives under the Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) for opting for institutional delivery. (JSY is an Indian government-funded initiative with the primary goal of lowering maternal and infant mortality rates by promoting institutional childbirth. Under this program, eligible pregnant women receive cash assistance, irrespective of their age and the number of children they have, when they deliver their baby at a government-authorized healthcare facility or an accredited private healthcare institution.) These JSY incentives contribute towards maternity benefits, ensuring that, on average, a woman receives a total of ₹6,000 in support of her maternal healthcare needs.


ADD-ONS IN RECENT YEARS

PMMVY 2.0, which came into effect on April 1, 2022, has been restructured and integrated as a component of Mission Shakti. Mission Shakti is a significant government effort in India with the goal of advancing gender equality and empowering women. Its inauguration took place in 2018, and it centres on enhancing the well-being and security of women across the nation. The mission comprises multiple facets, including the provision of self-defence training for women and the promotion of their engagement in diverse fields, advocating their active participation in decision-making procedures. Ultimately, the mission strives to establish a more all-encompassing and safe atmosphere for women in India.


A key aim of PMMVY 2.0 remains similar to its predecessor, which is to provide financial incentives to partially compensate for the wage loss experienced by pregnant and lactating women during and after pregnancy. This support enables women to take adequate rest before and after giving birth and encourages improved health-seeking behaviours among pregnant women and lactating mothers (PW&LM). The primary difference lies in its incorporation into the broader Mission Shakti framework, which may include additional initiatives and resources to empower women in various ways.


NEW ELEMENTS ADDED TO THE POLICY IN THIS YEAR (2023)

Recently, a new PMMVY Portal, known as PMMVY soft MIS, has been created with a range of enhanced features. These improvements include the integration of 'facial authentication technology' by UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) for accurate verification of eligible beneficiaries.


Moreover, the portal now utilizes NPCI Verification for beneficiary bank accounts to facilitate seamless fund transfers via the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) mechanism. NPCI Verification for beneficiary bank accounts refers to the process of verifying the bank accounts of beneficiaries through the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). The NPCI is an organization that operates various retail payment systems in India, including the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and the National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT), implementing in the scheme ensures that the bank accounts provided by beneficiaries are valid and linked to them. This verification process helps prevent errors and fraud by confirming the authenticity of the bank accounts, which is crucial for the successful transfer of funds to eligible beneficiaries through the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) system. Additionally, it introduces a convenient paperless online registration system that allows beneficiaries and Anganwadi/ASHA workers to register directly through the portal, thereby streamlining the process.


REFERENCES

  1. Ani. (2023, October 26). The national event celebrates Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana: A salutation to motherhood. ThePrint. https://theprint.in/economy/national-event-celebrates-pradhan-mantri-matru-vandana-yojana-a-salutation-to-motherhood/1819616/

  2. Online Bureau, ET Government, & www.ETGovernment.com. (2023, October 28). Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana brings digital innovation, and good governance together: Smriti Zubin Irani. ETGovernment.com. https://government.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/digital-india/pradhan-mantri-matru-vandana-yojana-brings-digital-innovation-good-governance-together-smriti-zubin-irani/104768252

  3. PMMVY | Ministry of Women & Child Development|IN|fklfd. (n.d.). https://wcd.nic.in/schemes/pradhan-mantri-matru-vandana-yojana


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