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Government removes cap on education allowance for martyrs’ children

The Union government has decided to remove the cap of Rs 10,000 per month on education allowance for children of armed forces personnel who got killed, went missing or suffered disability in the line of action.

An official memorandum was issued by the Department of Expenditure of the Ministry of Finance in this regard on Wednesday. Announcing the removal of the cap, the notification further said that the concession would be admissible only for study in government or government-aided schools and colleges. It will also be applicable for students of military schools.

“The ‘Educational Concession’ will be admissible only for undertaking studies in a Government/Government aided schools/educational institutes, Military/Sainik Schools or Colleges recognised by the Central or State Government including the autonomous organisations financed entirely by the Central/State Governments,” said the memorandum.

The government had been facing resentment from the three services after a decision was taken in July 2017 to cap the reimbursement of educational expenditure at Rs 10,000 per month on the recommendation of the seventh pay commission.

In December, Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba wrote to the Defence Ministry requesting the government to review the decision of imposing the cap on the reimbursement of education of children of martyrs or of those disabled in action.

Earlier 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.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had indicated that the government would be reviewing the decision, claiming that the current dispensation was always supportive of the armed forces.

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. However, the provision of “other fees” was removed in 2010.

(With agency inputs)

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