The Central government has acceded to Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Amarinder Singh’s personal request not to cap the educational concession provided to children of armed forces personnel killed or disabled in action.
An official spokesperson of the CM said Union defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman has written to Amarinder to convey the Central government’s decision to continue the said concession without capping it at Rs 10,000 per month.
The CM has welcomed the decision to reverse the cap, saying it would go a long way towards boosting the morale of the armed forces and their families, particularly the children of martyrs and disabled soldiers, to whom the nation owed its security and sovereignty.
The defence minister’s communication is in response to Amarinder’s December 1 letter urging her to revoke the decision to put a cap of Rs 10,000 per month on the combined amount of tuition fee and hostel charges under the scheme of educational concession to such children.
Expressing serious concern about the proposed move of the defence ministry, the CM had then said it would make a mockery of the objective behind the scheme which was announced in the Lok Sabha in 1971.
Amarinder felt it would undermine the sacrifice of the defence personnel, and amounted to a shameful disregard for the contribution of the armed personnel to the country and its citizens.
He was of the opinion that the fee being paid to the children of martyrs and disabled soldiers was a small price in exchange for what they had given, and continued to give, to the nation.
The educational concession was initially being given to the children of armed forces personnel killed/missing or permanently disabled in 1962, 1965, 1971 wars, Operation Pawan and Operation Meghdoot.
However, on August 6, 2003, the defence ministry had extended the concession to the children of armed forces personnel who were killed/declared missing or permanently disabled during all post Meghdoot operations in India and aboard.