- The Indian Prime Minister has approved major changes in the Prime Minister’s scholarship scheme under the National Defence Fund. Prime Minister’s Scholarship Scheme (PMSS)’ seeks to to encourage technical and post-graduate education for the widows and wards of the deceased/ex-service personnel of Armed Forces and Para Military Forces and Railway Protection Force
- The rates of scholarship have been increased from Rs. 2000/ month to Rs. 2500 /month for boys and from Rs. 2250/ month to Rs. 3000 /month for girls.
- Further, the ambit of the Scholarship Scheme is extended to the wards of State Police officials who are/were martyred during terror/naxal attacks. The quota of new scholarships for wards of state police officials will be 500 in a year. The Ministry of Home Affairs has been made the nodal Ministry in this regard.
- 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. At present, the fund is being used for the welfare of the members of the Armed Forces, Para Military forces and Railway Protection Force, and their dependents.
- The fund is administered by an Executive Committee with the Prime Minister as the Chairperson and the Defence, Finance and Home Ministers as Members.
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