The government is planning life and health insurance cover and a group housing scheme at a subsidised cost for 60 lakh primary and secondary school teachers.

While the two insurance schemes will require financial contribution by the Centre, the States and the teachers, the group housing scheme will be run at the Central level but will not require financial contribution from the Centre or the States, Union Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal said on Friday. He was addressing a meeting of the National Foundation for Teachers Welfare here.

Thanks to their huge scope, the health and life insurance schemes would premium-wise cost much less than individual schemes or even schemes run at the State level. The economics of scale would drive individual premiums down. The life insurance cover would guarantee a minimum of about Rs. 5 lakh on retirement and Rs. 2 lakh on death during service. The health cover, limited to hospitalisation of the teacher, the spouse, two children and parents, was being worked on two options — either on a maximum cover of Rs. 1.25 lakh which would mean a lesser premium or a cover of Rs. 3 lakh which would mean a higher premium.

The group housing scheme is being envisaged to be Centrally-administered through a portal, with construction done by the National Building Construction Corporation (NBCC), land bought at institutional rates and group housing societies formed by teachers. Thus, while there will be no cost to the government, the teachers will get quality housing at lesser rates without much struggle or fear of being cheated.

To begin with, the Delhi Education Minister announced land for the housing scheme in the capital. Mr. Sibal said the proposals were to show that the country looked after, cared for and respected its teachers. He clarified that he too was yet to seek Finance Ministry approval.