Chapter on Welfare


  • The government has instituted six national awards known as ‘Stree Shakti Puraskar’.
  • These awards carrying a cash prize of 3 lakh and a citation are in the name of eminent women personalities from Indian history, who are famous for their personal courage and integrity: Devi Ahilya Bai Holkar, Kannagi, Mata Jijabai, Rani Gaidenliou Zeliang, Rani Lakshmi Bai and Rani Rudramma Devi.


  • The Government adopted a new National Policy for Children in April, 2013.
  • It recognizes every person below the age of 18 years as a
  • The Policy recognizes childhood as an integral part of life with a value of its own, and a long term, sustainable, multi-sectoral, integrated and inclusive approach is necessary for the harmonious development and protection of children.
  • The Policy lays down the guiding principles that must be respected by the national, state and local government in their actions and initiatives affecting children.
  • Some of the key guiding principles are the right of every child to life, survival, development, education, protection and participation, equal rights for all children without discrimination; the best interest of the child as a primary concern in all actions and decisions affecting children; and family environment as the most conducive for the all-round development of children.


  • To deal with child abuse cases, the Government has brought in a special law “The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012”.
  • The Act has come into force with effect from 14th November, 2012 along with the rules framed there under.
  • The Act defines a ‘child’ as any person below 18 years of age.
  • Being gender neutral, this definition provides equal protection to both the male and the female child.
  • The Act provides for stringent punishments, which have been graded as per the gravity of the offence.
  • The punishments range from simple to rigorous imprisonment of varying periods.
  • There is also a provision for fine, which is to be decided by the Court.
  • An offence is treated as aggravated when committed by a person in a position of trust or authority of child such as a member of security forces, police officer, public servant, etc.
  • The Act provides for the establishment of special courts for trial of offences under the Act, keeping the best interest of the child as of paramount importance at every stage of the judicial process.
  • The Act incorporates child friendly procedures for reporting, recording of evidence, investigation and trial of offences.
  • For the more heinous offences of sexual assault, the media has been barred from disclosing the identity of the child without the permission of the Special Court.
  • For speedy trial, the Act provides for the evidence of the child to be recorded within a period of 30 days.
  • The National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) and State Commissions for the Protections of Child Rights (SCPCRS) have been made the designated authority to monitor the implementation of the Act.


  • ICDS Scheme was launched in 1975 as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme with the following objectives:
  • to improve the nutritional and health status of children below the age of six years and pregnant and lactating mothers;
  • to lay the foundation for the proper psychological, physical and social development of the child,
  • to reduce the incidents of mortality, morbidity, malnutrition and school dropouts,
  • The Scheme provides for a package of six services to children below 6 years and pregnant women and lactating mothers, comprising: (i) supplementary nutrition (ii) nutrition and health education, (iii) pre-school, non formal education. (iv) Immunization, (v) health check-ups and (vi) referrals.
  • The last three services are provided in convergence with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare through the Public Health System.
  • Government approved the proposal for Strengthening and Restructuring of ICDS Scheme in 2012.
  • The Ministry of Women and Child Development has launched the multi-state externally ICDS Systems Strengthening and Nutrition Improvement Project (ISSNIP) in 2013 in New Delhi.
  • The project is funded by the International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank through a credit.