Chandigarh – The Central government has acceded to Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s request not to cap the educational concession provided to children of armed forces’ personnel, a state government official said.
“Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has written to the Chief Minister to convey the Union Government’s decision to continue the said concession without capping it at Rs 10,000 per month,” a spokesman of the Chief Minister said here on Wednesday.
Welcoming the decision, the Chief Minister said 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.
“The Defence Minister’s communication is in response to Captain Amarinder’s letter dated December 1, 2017, 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 Chief Minister had then said it would make a mockery of the objective behind the scheme which was announced in the Lok Sabha in 1971,” the spokesman said.
Amarinder Singh felt that the move 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.
In August 2003, the Defence Ministry 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 abroad, including counter insurgency operations.