National Defence Fund
- The National Defence Fund was set up in the year 1962 to receive voluntary donations in cash and kind received for promotion of the national defence effort, and to decide on their utilisation.
- It is used for the welfare of the members of the Armed Forces (including Para Military Forces) and their dependents.
- The Fund is administered by an Executive Committee, with Prime Minister as Chairperson, and Defence, Finance and Home Ministers as Members.
- Finance Minister is the Treasurer of the Fund and the Joint Secretary, PMO dealing with the subject is Secretary of the Executive Committee.
- Accounts of the Fund are kept with the Reserve Bank of India.
- The fund is entirely dependent on voluntary contributions from the public and does not get any budgetary support.
- The donations to the National Defence Fund are 100% tax exempt.
- The fund accepts online contributions.
Prime Minister’s Scholarship Scheme
Under National Defence Fund major scheme of ‘Prime Minister’s Scholarship Scheme (PMSS)’ is being implemented to encourage technical and post-graduate education for the widows and wards of the deceased/ex-service personnel.
The Scholarships are available for education at technical institutions (medical, dental, veterinary, engineering, MBA, MCA and other equivalent technical professions with suitable AICTE/UGC approval).
Changes in Prime Minister’s Scholarship Scheme
- The Scholarships increase from ₹2,000 to ₹2,500 a month for boys and from ₹2,250 to ₹3,000 a month for girls.
- The ambit of the scheme was widened to cover the wards of State police officials martyred in terror or Naxal attacks.
- The new scholarships are given to 5,500 wards of armed forces personnel, 2,000 wards of paramilitary forces personnel and 150 wards of forces under the Railways Ministry every year.