The Defence Ministry is likely to review its decision of capping at Rs 10,000 per month the educational assistance it gives to children of martyrs or those disabled in action following resentment among the three services, officials said. The issue was taken up with the government by Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba. 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 said. Talking to reporters in Ahmedabad, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman indicated that the government was going to review the decision, saying the durrent 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. However, the provision of “other fees” was removed in 2010.
Admiral Lanba is the chairman of the powerful chiefs of staff committee (CoSC) which comprises the Army, Navy and IAF chiefs.