IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


12th December, 2022 Social Issues

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In News

  • The Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare informed the Lok Sabha that more than 3.60 crores of pregnant women have received comprehensive antenatal care under the Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan programme across all States and Union Territories.
    • The Minister mentioned that the programme was launched to provide free of cost, assured, comprehensive, and quality antenatal care on the 9th day of every month to all pregnant women.
    • The Minister highlighted that the percentage of pregnant women with institutional births in public facilities has increased from over 52% in 2015-16 to around 62% in 2019-21.


Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan

  • The PM Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan was launched by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) in 2016 to provide assured, comprehensive and quality antenatal care, free of cost, universally to all pregnant women on the 9th of every month.
  • The programme aspires to improve the quality and coverage of Antenatal Care (ANC) including diagnostics and counselling services as part of the Reproductive Maternal Neonatal Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCH+A) Strategy.
  • Key Features of PMSMA
  • Antenatal checkup services would be provided by specialists / Radiologists/physicians with support from private-sector doctors to supplement the efforts of the government sector.
  • A minimum package of antenatal care services (including investigations and drugs) would be provided to the beneficiaries on the 9th day of every month at identified public health facilities (PHCs/ CHCs, DHs/ urban health facilities etc) in both urban and rural areas.
  • While the target would reach out to all pregnant women, special efforts would be made to reach out to women who have not registered for ANC (left out/missed ANC) and also those who have registered but not availed ANC services (dropout) as well as High-Risk pregnant women.
  • Pregnant women would be given Mother and Child Protection Cards and safe motherhood booklets.
  • One of the critical components of the Abhiyan is the identification and follow-up of high-risk pregnancies.
  • A National Portal for PMSMA and a Mobile application have been developed to facilitate the engagement of the private/ voluntary sector.
  • ‘IPledgeFor9’ Achievers Awards have been created to celebrate individual and team achievements and acknowledge voluntary contributions for PMSMA in states and districts across India.



  • Some activists criticise the scheme for underfunding and Failing to cover all targeted beneficiaries.
  • Lack of awareness among pregnant women, Lengthy registration process.
  • The requirement to produce the husband’s Aadhar card results in excluding women who may be living with men and are not married, single mothers and those who may be staying at their parents’ home.

Other Steps taken by the Government

  • Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) under the National Health Mission (NHM), promotes institutional delivery. For home delivery, monetary benefit to only BPL pregnant women.
  • Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram (JSSK) entitles all pregnant women delivering in public health institutions to have free and no-expense delivery, including caesarean section.
  • Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan (PMSMA) provides pregnant women free of cost assured and quality Antenatal Care on the 9th day of every month.
  • Surakshit Matratva Ashwasan (SUMAN) aims to provide quality healthcare at no cost and zero tolerance for the denial of services for every woman and newborn visiting the public health facility.
  • LaQshya aims to improve the quality of care in the Labour room and Maternity operation.
  • Mission Shakti has been launched recently to provide integrated benefits of safety, security and empowerment to women.
  • Under the revamped Pradhanmantri Matru Vandana Yojana under Mission Shakti, written consent and the Aadhar of the husband is not mandatory criterion, and this change will make the scheme more inclusive for single and abandoned mothers.
    • The maternity benefit amounting to Rs.6, 000/- is also to be provided for the second child, but only if the second child is a girl child, to discourage pre-birth sex selection and to promote the girl child.
  • Samarthya is an integrated sub-scheme under Mission Shakti for the empowerment of women which includes Ujjawala, Swadhar Greh, Working Women Hostel, and National Crèche Scheme for Children of Working Mothers and PMMVY.
    • Specific allocation is made for each component of Samarthya.
    • A sufficient budgetary provision has been made under Samarthya for the implementation of PMMVY.


Way Forward

  • Need to extend the benefit under the scheme to ensure the socio-economic development of women and Children, and also promote women's empowerment.
  • Pay greater attention to the special needs of pregnancy: good nutrition and health care.
  • Simplify the process, Create awareness among targeted beneficiaries; A simplification of the process can result in increased registration of beneficiaries.