Monday, Sep 26, 2022

Navy Chief Seeks Review After BJP Government Caps Fee Waiver To Children Of Soldiers Killed Or Disabled In Action

Under the 1972 scheme, tuition fee was completely waived in schools, colleges and professional educational institutions but it has now been capped at Rs 10,000 per month

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Chief of Navy Admiral Sunil Lanba on Tuesday asked the Defence Ministry to review its decision of capping at Rs 10,000 per month the educational assistance or reimbursement it gives to children of martyrs or those disabled in action.

Admiral Lanba wrote to Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman saying that "the provision of educational concession to their (defence personnels') wards is a small gesture to recognise their commitment to the defence of the country," reported NDTV.

"This small gesture 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," he said in the letter recognising the "supreme sacrifice made by the defence personnels for the country.

In his capacity as Chairman of Chiefs of Staff Committee (CoSC), Admiral Lanba wrote to the defence ministry requesting it to remove the cap which was incorporated in July on the recommendation of the seventh pay commission, government sources told news agency PTI.

Talking to reporters in Ahmedabad, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman indicated that the government was going to review the decision, saying the current dispensation had always been supportive of the armed forces.

Under the scheme, rolled out in 1972, tuition fee of children of martyrs or those disabled in action was completely waived in schools, colleges and professional educational institutions. However, on July 1, the government had issued an order capping the amount at Rs 10,000 per month.

As per estimates, around 3,400 children of armed forces personnel were impacted by the decision.

The original scheme had entailed waiver of "other fees" besides the tuition fee. The provision was later removed in 2010.

Admiral Lanba is the chairman of the powerful chiefs of staff committee (CoSC) which comprises the Army, Navy and IAF chiefs.