Introduced in 1995 as part of the National Social Assistance Programme, the National Maternity Benefit Scheme is designed for pregnant women from BPL households.

An amount of Rs. 500 is expended to these women 8-12 weeks prior to delivery for each of their first two births. This financial assistance is deemed to support their nutritional needs during pregnancy.

The NMBS was however modified into a new scheme called Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) in 2005. The JSY is aimed at reducing maternal mortality and/or infant mortality through promotion of institutional deliveries. Under the scheme, irrespective of the number of births, women who have institutional deliveries are entitled to receive assistance of Rs. 1,400.

Recently, the aforementioned orders were reviewed. As a result, the Supreme Court ordered for the retention of the benefit provided in NMBS under JSY.

NMBS Court Order Summary

  1. Prompt implementation of the scheme must be observed.
  2. All BPL pregnant women shall be paid Rs. 500/- under NMBS 8–12 weeks prior to delivery.

Mother and child from a primitive tribal group in Orissa