1. What is Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme (IGNWPS)?
IGNWPS is a scheme that provides financial support in the form of monthly pension to women below poverty line who are widows. The scheme was introduced in 2009 under the National Social Assistance Programme.
2. What are the objectives of the IGNWPS?
The IGNWPS scheme was implemented by the Government of India in order to improve the living conditions of widows even in rural areas by making them financially independent.
3. Who operates and implements the scheme?
IGNWPS is a centrally sponsored scheme under the Ministry of Rural Development. It is generally implemented by the Social Welfare Departments/Rural Development Departments/Women Child Developments in the States and Union Territories.
4. What are the eligibility criteria for widows under the scheme?
For availing financial assistance under the scheme, the widow must be between the ages of 40 to 79 years and should belong to a household below the poverty line.
5. What is the amount of pension bestowed to widows under the scheme?
The central assistance under IGNWPS will be provided at the rate of Rs 300/- per month per beneficiary for widows between 40 to 79 years of age. The amount will be increased to Rs 500/- per month when beneficiary attains the age of 80 years.
6. What documents should a beneficiary produce in order to avail the scheme?
For claiming the benefits of the scheme, the widow beneficiaries must furnish the following documents: • Death certificate of husband • BPL Status certificate • Aadhar certificate • Any of the following documents, namely : Voter’s ID, Ration Card, Bank Passbook, PAN card, Driving License, Passport, MGNREGA Card
7. How can one apply for the scheme? How long does it take to process the application?
The beneficiaries need to fill up the application form available free of cost and furnish necessary documents and certificates. After verification and sanction of application, beneficiaries are issued Pension Passbooks. The processing of application from the time of receipt, verification till sanction is usually completed within 60 days.
8. What are the circumstance under which pension can be discontinued?
Pension to widows under the scheme can be discontinued in case of remarriage or if the widow moves above the poverty line.
9. How can a widow beneficiary register a complaint or grievance regarding the scheme?
For redressing their complaints, widows can approach the Nodal Secretary in the State or the Welfare officer in the district or block.
10. How is the scheme monitored and evaluated effectively?
There are advisory committees under the National Social Assistance Programme at the national/state/district level to assist in the implementation and evaluation of the scheme. There are state nodal departments for periodic review and submission of reports. Additionally, there are Social Audit reports, performance review committees and Vigilance & Monitoring Committees for effective implementation and monitoring of the scheme.