Topic – Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the
performance of these schemes.
5) Explain the maternity benefits available in formal and informal sector? Examine issues and give suggestions?(250 words)
Why this question
The article explains the benefits under the two and issues with the two maternity benefit schemes. Both are important schemes and hence needs to be prepared.
Key demand of the question
The question expects us to explain the difference in provision of the two schemes and the issues in their design and implementation . Finally we need to provide suggestions for tackling these issues.
Examine – When you are asked to examine, you have to probe deeper into the topic, get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any .
Structure of the answer
Introduction – Explain that The provision for maternity entitlements in the NFSA is very important for women who are not employed in the formal sector. The PMMVY, however, undermines this provision due to the dilution of the entitled amount and the exclusion criteria.
- Discuss the differences
- Under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) of 2013, every pregnant woman is entitled to maternity benefits of ₹6,000, unless she is already receiving similar benefits as a government employee or under other laws.
- The PMMVY announced in December 31, 2016 violated the NFSA on 3 grounds – First, the benefits have been reduced from ₹6,000 to ₹5,000 per child. Second, they are now restricted to the first living child. Third, they are further restricted to women above the age of 18 years.
- Explain the other issues
- Cumbersome application process
- Little assistance to women who lose their babies
- excludes more than half of all pregnancies because first-order births account for only 43% of all births in India. Etc
- Give suggestions for improvement
Conclusion – The government’s maternity benefit programme must be implemented better and comply with the Food Security Act. Maternity benefits should be raised to ₹6,000 per child at least, for all pregnancies and not just the first living child.