National Defence Fund (NDF):
Context: A major change has been brought about in the ‘Prime Minister’s Scholarship Scheme’ under the National Defence Fund.
- 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.
- 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.
About National Defence Fund (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, 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.
- 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.
- Scholarships are available for education at technical institutions (medical, dental, veterinary, engineering, MBA, MCA and other equivalent technical professions with suitable AICTE/UGC approval).
- The National Defence Fund accepts online voluntary contributions through the website.