New Delhi: In the first decision of his new government, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday approved major changes in the Prime Minister’s Scholarship Scheme (PMSS) under the National Defence Fund, including a hike in scholarships and inclusion of state police personnel.
The rates of scholarship have been increased from Rs 2,000 per month to Rs 2,500 for boys and from Rs 2,250 to Rs 3,000 for girls, said a government statement after the first meeting of the newly sworn-in cabinet.
Moreover, the ambit of the scholarship scheme has been extended to the wards of state police officials martyred during terror or Naxal attacks. The quota of new scholarships for wards of state police officials will be 500 per year.
The Ministry of Home Affairs will act as the nodal ministry in this regard, added the statement.
Announcing the move, PM Modi said in a tweet, “Our Government’s first decision dedicated to those who protect India!”
Our Government’s first decision dedicated to those who protect India!
Major changes approved in PM’s Scholarship Scheme under the National Defence Fund including enhanced scholarships for wards of police personnel martyred in terror or Maoist attacks. https://t.co/Vm90BD77hm pic.twitter.com/iXhFNlBCIc
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 31, 2019
What is NDF?
The National Defence Fund (NDF) was set up in 1962 to take charge of the voluntary donations in cash and kind received for promotion of the national defence effort, and to decide on their utilisation.
Currently, the fund is being used for the welfare of the members of the armed forces, central police forces and Railway Protection Force and their dependents, said the statement.
The fund is administered by an executive committee with the prime minister as the chairperson and the defence, finance and home ministers serving as members.
The PMSS is implemented under NDF to encourage technical and post-graduate education for the widows and wards of the deceased/ex-service personnel of armed forces and paramilitary forces and Railway Protection Force.
Scholarships are available for education at technical institutions (medical, dental, veterinary, engineering, MBA, MCA and other equivalent technical professions with suitable AICTE/UGC approval), said the statement.
Under PMSS, every year, new scholarships are given for 5,500 wards of armed forces controlled by defence ministry, for 2,000 wards of paramilitary forces controlled by home ministry and for 150 wards of forces controlled by railways ministry.
The NDF accepts online voluntary contributions through its website.
“The prime minister has spoken at length about the monumental contribution of our police personnel. Come harsh summer, extreme winter or heavy monsoon, our police personnel are performing their duties with utmost diligence. Even during major festivals, our police personnel are on duty while the rest of the nation celebrates,” the statement said.