A number of girl child initiatives have been launched across India with the goal of advancing the social attitude towards the girl children in India and enlightening their social status. The Central Government administers approved girl child schemes which can be used by the girl child and their parents regardless of which region of India they live in. Main features of India's most prominent central government girl child schemes are as follows:
1. Beti Bachao Beti Padhao
Beti Bachao Beti Padhao is a central government scheme that is beneficial across the country for girl child. The primary goal of this scheme is to save the girl child from societal issues like gender-based abortions and advance girl child education across the country. This scheme was originally aimed at districts that were known as having a low sex ratio, and later extended to cover other areas of the country. This is mainly an initiative based on education to help improve social perceptions and does not require immediate transfer of cash. Primary goals of this Girl child welfare scheme include:
- Preventing selective gender-based abortions
- Ensuring girl child survival and security in infancy
- Ensuring girl child schooling and participation
- Challenging gender norms and fostering gender equality
- Giving girls a healthy and secure environment
- Supporting the right of girls to inherit property
2. Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana
Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana is an unique government-sponsored savings scheme which promotes a girl child as the predominant account holder whereas the parent / legal guardian as a joint account holder. The account can be opened before the 10 years of age of the girl child contributions need to be made for 15 years from the date of opening of the account or till the marriage of the girl child, however the scheme matures after 21 years. Some main features and advantages of investing into a Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana account are as follows:
- Flexible deposit option starting from a minimum of Rs.Rs.250 and Maximum Rs.1.5 lakh p.a.
- Currently, the scheme offers an interest rate of 7.6% and it is compounded on a yearly basis.
- You can open an SSY account at banks and post offices and also can reap tax benefits of up to Rs.1.5 lakh under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, 1961.
- Partial withdrawal is allowed for higher studies if the girl child has attained the age of 18 years
3. Balika Samriddhi Yojana
The Balika Samriddhi Yojana is a scholarship programme intended to offer financial assistance for below-poverty line young girls and their families. The scheme's main goal is to boost their standing in society, improve girls' marriageable age, and enhance enrolment as well as girls' enrollment for studies in school.
- This child benefit scheme for girls is provided in both urban and rural areas.
- Cash benefit Rs. 500 given after the birth of an infant to the mother of a girl child.
- A girl child can receive an annual scholarship from Rs. 300 to Rs. 1000 till 10th while attending school.
- A girl child after reaching the age of 18 years can withdraw the balance amount from the scheme
- One can download the application form of Balika Samriddhi Yojana from the Women & Child Development Department portal for free.
4. CBSE Udaan Scheme
The CBSE Udaan scheme for girl child is managed and run by the Central Board of Secondary Education via the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India. The aim of this scheme is to raise girls' enrolment across India at prominent engineering and technical colleges. The scheme involves attempts to improve the educational experience with specific emphasis of girl students from the economically disadvantaged parts of society. The main features of this scheme are:
- Free course content / online services, such as video learning process for girls in 11th and 12th standard.
- Virtual classes on weekends for girl childs of 11th and 12th standards
- Opportunities of peer education and training meritorious girls students.
- Helpline services for studies and clearing doubts
- Steady observation and recording of progress of the students.
Key eligibility requirements for Udaan Scheme enrolment are as follows:
- Girl students residing in India
- Girl students in class 11th and 12th studying in CBSE affiliated schools must be enrolled in the physics, chemistry or mathematics stream.
- Annual income of the girl child's family must not exceed Rs. 6 lakh per annum
- Selection based on merit, according to certain criteria.
5. National Scheme of Incentive to Girls for Secondary Education
It is a pan-India scheme operated by the Department of School Education & Literacy, Human Resource Development Ministry, Government of India. It's mainly to the advantage of girls belonging to India's backward classes. An eligible girl will get Rs. 3000 as a fixed deposit on her behalf. Once the girl child completes the 10th class exam and is 18 years old she can withdraw the amount with interest.
- All SC / ST girls who cleared the Class 8 exam, girl students from other social groups are also eligible if they cleared the Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas Class 8 examination.
- Girls must be under the age of 16 to get eligible for the scheme
- Girls who have registered for numerous central government schemes such as CBS, NVS and KVS or are married are not eligible for the scheme