NEW DELHI: Responding to pressure from security forces, the government has reinstated an order to pay in full the education fees of children of soldiers killed in the line of duty.
In July last year, the Centre imposed a cap of Rs 10,000 per month on the education expenses of children of martyred soldiers. This, combined with the dissatisfaction over the government’s formula for ‘One Rank One Pension’, was the reason for heartburn among the armed forces and veterans.
The defence ministry took up the matter with the finance ministry. It was pointed out that the imposition of the fee cap led to a paltry saving of about Rs 4 crore a year, but the cost of disenchantment among the military was higher. Nearly 3,500 children of martyred soldiers benefitted from the scheme that financed their school and higher education, including management courses.
In its March 21 order, the government has said that education fees for such children would be borne if they were studying in government-recognised institutions.
The scheme was introduced in 1972, a year after the war that led to the birth of Bangladesh. In 1990, the benefit was extended to children of soldiers and officers killed or wounded in Siachen, in Sri Lanka and in counter-insurgency.