Context: Recently, Prime Minister approved changes to the ‘Prime Minister’s Scholarship Scheme (PMSS) under the National Defence Fund (NDF).
Concerned Ministry: The Welfare and Rehabilitation Board, Ministry of Home Affairs
Prelims: Indian Polity and Governance
Mains: GS II
- The Prime Minister Scholarship Scheme (PMSS), run by the Welfare and Rehabilitation Board, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, is a scholarship scheme that aims at encouraging higher professional and technical education for the dependent wards and widows of Central Armed Police Forces & Assam Rifles (CAPFs & AR) and State Police Personnel.
- Initiated in the year 2006-07, the PM scholarship scheme has by far influenced lakhs of students and helped them pursue their dream career with ease.
- The scheme is being implemented under the aegis of National Defence Fund.
- Scholarships are available for education at technical institutions (medical, dental, veterinary, engineering, MBA, MCA and other equivalent technical professions with suitable AICTE/UGC approval).
- Under PMSS new scholarships are given every year for about 5500 wards of armed forces (which is controlled by Ministry of Defence), 2000 wards of paramilitary forces (by Ministry of Home Affairs) and for 150 wards of forces (by Ministry of Railways).
- The new scholarships quota for wards of state police officials will be 500 in one year. For the implementation of it, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) will be the nodal ministry.
- The rates of scholarship have been increased from Rs. 2000 per month to Rs. 2500 per month for boys and from Rs. 2250 per month to Rs. 3000 per month for girls.
- The ambit of the Scholarship Scheme is extended to the wards of State Police officials who are/were martyred during terror or Naxal attacks.
National Defence Fund:
- NDF was set up in 1962. It was meant to take charge of voluntary donations (in cash and kind) received for promotion of national defence effort, and also to decide on their utilisation. National Defence Fund also accepts online voluntary contributions.
- NDF is used for the welfare of members of Armed Forces, Para Military forces and Railway Protection Force, and their dependents.
- An Executive Committee chaired by Prime Minister and with Defence Ministers, Finance Ministers and Home Ministers as Members administers the fund.