It is optional for passengers to buy ticket & book berth for children below 5 years
Free travel is allowed for children below 5 years, if no birth is booked
There have been some recent media reports that claim that Indian Railways has changed the rule with regards to booking of tickets for Children travelling in the train. These reports claim that now children between the age of one to four years will have to get a ticket for traveling in the train.
These news items and media reports are misleading. It is informed that Indian Railways has not introduced any changes with regards to booking of tickets for children travelling in the train. on the demand of the passengers, an option has been given to them to buy a ticket and book a berth for their under 5 year old child if they want. And if they don’t want a separate berth, then it is free, same like it used to be earlier.
A Circular dated 06.03.2020 of Ministry of Railways states that Children under five years of age shall be carried free. However, separate berth or seat (in chair car) shall not be given. Therefore purchase of any ticket is not required provided separate berth is not claimed. However, if berth/seat shall be sought on voluntary basis for children of age below 5 years then full adult fare shall be charged.