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Critical government policies for the ‘girl child’—aimed at their protection, education and development

By : Critical government policies for the ‘girl child’—aimed at their protection, education and development

January 24, 2022

National Family Health Survey 2019-21 (NFHS-5) indicates that India has 1020 females for every 1000 males, making the female population of India a larger sub-set. This warrants inclusive, efficient, and sustainable policies to ensure the proper development of the girl child. To inculcate and propagate the vitality of gender equality, India celebrates 24th January as ‘National Girl Child Day’ every year.

Last year, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi saluted the daughters of the nation on ‘National Girl Child Day and acknowledged their accomplishments in various fields. Prime Minister has emphasized on many occasions that India will progress when the girl child shines.

‘National Girl Child Day' is an initiative of the Ministry of Women and Child Development. The motive behind celebrating it is to provide support and opportunities to the girls of the country.

NFHS-5 indicates that India has successfully brought down its infant mortality rate to 35.2 from 101 per 1,000 births back in 1978-82. Efforts continue to bring this rate down further. In this vein, the Government of India has initiated multiple policies for the girl child—for her protection, education, and development. Crucial ones are:

  1. Beti Bachao Beti Padhao

Launched in 2015, this Scheme aims to address disparity in the sex ratio across the nation by:

  • Preventing foeticide-biased abortion and post-natal discrimination against daughters
  • Ensuring holistic growth and protection of the girl child
  • Providing equal opportunities for education and participation to the girl child

This Scheme has been implemented in approximately 100 districts of the country that have a low Child Sex Ratio (CSR). Here, government officials at Panchayat and district levels work towards elimination of female foeticide and infanticide, as well as ensuring free elementary education to each and every young girl.

  1. Sukanya Samridhhi Yojana

Launched in 2015, this Scheme offers incentives to save money for future use by female children in families. Any guardian can open a ‘Sukanya Samridhi Account’ in a girl’s name before she is the age of 10 and can deposit minimum Rs. 250 (maximum Rs. 1.5 lakh) in one financial year. Under this Scheme, this saving provides a tax benefits (upto Rs. 1.5 lakh) for the guardian and also offers 7.6% annual rate of interest. As per the notification from Ministry of Finance (released on 22.12.2014), the account shall mature on completion of 21 years from the date of opening of the account. This timeline and the relatively high interest rate helps the sum grow significantly larger by the time of its maturity. This Scheme also allows for premature withdrawal in case of girl's marriage or guardian's sudden death.

As per data from, sum total of 3.58 lakh ‘Sukanya Samridhi Accounts’ have been opened as of December 2021.

  1. Balika Samriddhi Yojana

Scheme of Balika Samriddhi Yojana was launched on 2nd October 1997 with the objective of raising the standard of living of female children born into poverty (below poverty line as defined by the Government of India). This Scheme benefits upto two girls per family, provided they are born on or after 15th August 1997.

A one-time grant of Rs. 500 id given to a mother giving birth to a girl child in a family that is below the poverty line. Further, the girl child can avail annual scholarships of Rs. 300 to Rs. 1,000 upto Class X.

  1. Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) Scholarship Scheme/Policy for Girl Education

This Scheme recognizes the efforts of parents promoting education among girls and provides encouragement to meritorious students.

It provides scholarships to meritorious female students who are the only child of their parents. They must pass the CBSE Class X Examination with 60% or more marks and are continue their school education of Class XI and XII.

The rate of scholarship is Rs. 500 per month if the tuition fee is less than Rs. 1,500 per month.

More information can be found at this link.

  1. National Scheme of Incentives to Girls for Secondary Education

Launched in May 2008, this Scheme provides incentives to female students enrolled in Class IX. The objective of the Scheme is to establish an enabling environment to promote enrolment and reduce drop out of girls belonging to SC/ST communities in Secondary Schools and ensure their retention upto the age of 18 years.

A sum of Rs. 3000 is deposited in the name of an eligible unmarried girl as a fixed deposit upon enrolment in Class IX. She is entitled to withdraw it, along with interest thereon, upon reaching 18 years of age and passing Class X examination.

More information can be found at

  1. State government schemes for the girl child

In addition to the Central Government Schemes, several others by State Governments are also in effect to empower and protect the girl child.

For example, Andhra Pradesh’s ‘Bangaru Thalli’ Scheme supports the family of a girl from her birth till her graduation, ‘Mamata Scheme’ by Government of Goa provides financial assistance of Rs. 10,000 to the mother of a female child, ‘Ladli Social Security Allowance Scheme’ of Government of Haryana provides financial aid to families with girl child/children, ‘Ladli Laxmi Yojana’ of Madhya Pradesh provides financial help of upto Rs 30,000 in the name of the girl child, ‘Kanya Sumangala Yojana’ by the Government of Uttar Pradesh provides financial help in the range of Rs. 2000 to Rs. 5000 as scholarships.  


Prime Minister Narendra Modi fervently emphasizes that the protection of girls is indispensable for India and urges his fellow Indians to take benefits of these Schemes for the ‘Shaktis’ of the nation. Without prosperous and empowered women, no country has a secure and fruitful future.