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New Delhi: Centre on Saturday announced 10 lakh fixed deposit, free health insurance and education for children who have lost both parents or surviving parent or legal guardian/adoptive parents due to covid-19.

The support will be provided under ‘PM-CARES for Children’ scheme.

The prime minister during the meeting discussed and deliberated on steps which can be taken to support children who have lost their parents due to Covid-19. PM announced a number of benefits to children impacted by the current covid-19 Pandemic.

The government announced that all such children will be enrolled as a beneficiary under Ayushman Bharat Scheme (PM-JAY) with a health insurance cover of Rs. 5 lakhs. The premium amount for these children till the age of 18 years will be paid by PM CARES. Also, the fund will also support their studies till higher education.

The government also launched a fixed Deposit in the name of the child. PM CARES will contribute through a specially designed scheme to create a corpus of 10 lakh for each child when he or she reaches 18 years of age. This corpus will be used to give a monthly financial support/ stipend from 18 years of age, for the next five years to take care of his or her personal requirements during the period of higher education and on reaching the age of 23 years, he or she will get the corpus amount as one lump-sum for personal and professional use, the prime minister office said in a statement.

Under the scheme, school education will be supported for the children under 10 years of age. “The child will be given admission in the nearest Kendriya Vidyalaya or in a private school as a day scholar. If the child is admitted in 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 uniform, text books and notebooks," the PMO said in a statement.

For the school education for children between 11-18 years, the child will be given admission in 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 in 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 uniform, text books and notebooks," the PMO said.

The government said that the fund will also support for higher education of such children. “The child will be assisted in obtaining 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 children who are not eligible under the existing scholarship schemes, PM CARES will provide an equivalent scholarship," the government said.

“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-19," said Modi.

The Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM CARES Fund) was created on 27 March 2020, following the covid-19 pandemic in India. The purpose of the fund is for combating, and containment and relief efforts against the coronavirus outbreak and similar pandemic like situations in the future.

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