Education cap issue: Army evolving better system, says Rawat

New Delhi, Jan 13:  Army chief Bipin Rawat said that the army is working on evolving a better system for providing aid being to children of martyrs and those disabled in action, after government put a Rs 10,000 cap on the monthly fund.

He said that the system that came in place after the 1971 war was aimed at helping the family of martyrs, but was however also misused.

“Somehow, some people started misusing it.

“When government put a cap, we said we will review the policy and ensure only genuine people get benefit,” he said.

Gen. Rawat said the army was working on a plan to open two schools, and once they are operational, instead of granting financial aid, children of martyrs and physically disabled soldiers who are eligible for the help will be given admission in these schools.

He said one of the schools was likely to be set up in Pathankot in Punjab, and the second one will be opened in central or southern part of the country.

“It will take three to four years to get these facility running… I am confident this will soon be overcome,” he said.

Asked about the higher education of these children, as the provision is to provide aid till the student is a graduate, he said Army ran a number of institutions of higher studies as well.

An order dated September 13 by the Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare of the defence ministry said the fee for tuition and hostel expenses for children of martyrs would be capped at Rs 10,000 per month, as per the recommendations by the 7th Pay Commission. The order came in effect from July 1.

The scheme for government bearing the cost of education of martyrs’ children was announced in Lok Sabha on December 18, 1971 — two days after Pakistani forces surrendered at Dhaka in the India- Pakistan war which led to liberation of Bangladesh.

According to the government, around 250 students have been reported to be affected during current financial year.