The government has decided to cancel the limits on the education reimbursement to the children of soldiers who are killed or disabled in the line of duty, a move that had resulted in protests from the armed forces community.
The Union Finance Ministry has sent a notice lifting the Rs. 10,000 limit.
The children of soldiers killed in action, those missing or disabled were previously given a full reimbursement of tuition fees, hostel charges, cost of books, cost of uniforms and clothing. In July 2017, the government capped the funds were capped to Rs. 10,000.
Until last year, 2,679 students were getting benefitted from the scheme, which was introduced in 1971 as an honour to the families of soldiers killed in the Bangladesh war.
Of these students, 193 students were drawing more than Rs. 10,000 per month, which is the cap proposed by the seventh pay commission. By denying the 193 students of their school and hostel fees beyond Rs. 10,000 per month, the government saved just Rs. 3.2 crores in the last financial year.
In a letter to the Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman last December, Indian Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba had said the education grant was a “small gesture that would assure the families of our brave women and men that the nation cares for them and their sacrifices are truly appreciated by the government.”
“These personnel have made the supreme sacrifice for the country and the provision of educational concessions to their wards is a small gesture to recognise their commitment to the defence of the country,”
Admiral Lanba, who is the most senior officer among the three service chiefs currently, had written in his request to the defence minister.