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Posted On : 17 May, 2017  Source : PTI  Place : New Delhi 
Cabinet gives nod to maternity benefit programme
The cabinet today gave its nod to the maternity benefit programme providing Rs 6,000 each to lactating mothers, but restricted the scheme to firstborns only.

"A pregnant or lactating woman having her first child will get up to Rs 6,000. Out of this, Rs 5,000 will be given by the women and child development ministry in three instalments," said Power Minister Piyush Goyal at a cabinet briefing today.

While Goyal maintained that the scheme was for the women having their first child, he added the pilot scheme was applicable for "the first two live births".

Pregnant women and lactating mothers are eligible to receive a cash benefit of Rs 5,000 in three instalment through direct benefit transfer from the women and child development ministry.

The mother will receive the initial Rs 1,000 after early registration of pregnancy, Rs 2,000 after at least one antenatal check-up (after six months of pregnancy) and Rs 2,000 after the child birth is registered and has received the first cycle of BCG, OPV, DPT and Hepatitis-B or its equivalent/substitute.

"The eligible beneficiaries would continue to receive the remaining cash incentive as per approved norms towards Maternity Benefit under existing programmes after institutional delivery, so that on an average, a woman will get Rs 6,000," said an official release.

In his address to the nation on December 31 last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced pan-India expansion of the existing 'Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana', which was being implemented across 56 districts on pilot-basis since 2010.

Cabinet approves setting up of IARI-Assam

The government today decided to set up Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) in Assam at a cost of over Rs 155 crore to promote agri-education and realise second green revolution in the north eastern region.

A decision to this effect was taken at the Union Cabinet meeting, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The first IARI was set up in the national capital way back in 1967. The Modi government announced plans to set up four such institutes the Budget 2014-15.

"The work to set up an IARI in Ranchi (Jharkhand) has started. The IARI-Assam was delayed as the previous government did not give land. The current (Sarbananda) Sonowal government has given 587 acres of land and work will start," Union Minister Piyush Goyal told reporters after the meeting.

The Cabinet has approved the agriculture ministry's proposal to set up an IARI in Dhemaji district in Assam. It has also approved 98 positions, an official statement said.

The IARI-Assam would focus more on research activities and will teach 67 MSc students and 106 PhD students, Goyal said, adding that it will promote research in agriculture and benefit eight north eastern states.

Development of north eastern region is a priority for the government and has the potential to bring second green revolution, he added.

"IARI-Assam would work on the agrarian challenges and complexities of North Eastern India in coordination with all existing central and state government research and development Institutions and private sector enterprises," the statement said.

It will be an off-campus of IARI, New Delhi, and undertake integrated multi-disciplinary research through Schools of Crop Sciences, Natural Resource Management, and Animal Sciences and Fisheries, it added.