esm-corner-Ex-Servicemen Welfare Schemes

The welfare of serving and retired Defence personnel is a priority for the Indian government. Various departments and organizations work together to ensure that these brave individuals and their families are well taken care of during and after their service. This article provides an overview of the various welfare measures and schemes available to them.


The Ministry of Defence (MoD) in India plays a pivotal role in ensuring the welfare of both serving and retired Defence personnel. As the central agency, it supervises various departments and organizations that execute welfare measures and schemes. These initiatives are designed to provide comprehensive support and care to our brave servicemen and women during their service and post-retirement. The MoD’s commitment underscores the nation’s gratitude for their invaluable contribution. You can visit the MoD website by clicking here.


The Department of Ex-Servicemen  Welfare (DESW) is a significant department under the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in India. It was established in 2004 with a specific focus on the welfare of Ex-Servicemen, war widows, and their dependents. You can visit the DESW website by clicking here

The DESW’s primary role is to ensure the well-being, resettlement, and rehabilitation of those who have served in the Defence forces. It does this through two main divisions and three key organisations:

  • Pension Division: The Pension Division is a crucial part of DESW. It formulates and implements policies related to pension benefits for Ex-Servicemen and their dependents. This ensures that those who have served the nation are financially secure in their post-service life.
  • Resettlement Division: This division provides resettlement opportunities to Ex-Servicemen. It offers various training programs and job opportunities, helping them transition smoothly from military to civilian life. This aids in their social and economic integration post-retirement.

Key Organisations UNDER DESW :

1. Directorate General Resettlement (DGR):

The DGR is a key organization under DESW. It provides resettlement opportunities to Ex-Servicemen through various training programs and job opportunities, facilitating their reintegration into civilian life.

2. Kendriya Sainik Board (KSB):

The KSB plays a vital role in the welfare of Ex-Servicemen and their dependents. It administers various welfare funds and implements welfare schemes through Rajya Sainik Boards (RSBs) and Zila Sainik Boards (ZSBs), ensuring comprehensive support for these families.

3. Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS):

The CO, ECHS is committed to providing quality healthcare to Ex-Servicemen and their dependents. It operates a network of ECHS Polyclinics, Service Hospitals, and empanelled medical facilities, ensuring that our veterans have access to the best healthcare services.


SPARSH (System for Pension Administration – RAKSHA) is a dedicated portal implemented for the pension sanction and disbursement requirements for Armed Forces and Defence Civilians. It provides a single window for pensioners to avail of pension-related services, such as viewing pension details, pension entitlements, and pensioner profile details. The portal also offers facilities for updating mobile numbers and Aadhar numbers and lodging grievances. It’s a significant initiative towards digitalization and ensuring a smooth pension disbursement process.

esm-corner-Ex-Servicemen Welfare Schemes


Raksha Mantri Ex-Servicemen Welfare Fund (RMEWF): The Raksha Mantri Ex-Servicemen Welfare Fund (RMEWF), formerly known as RMDF, is a significant initiative by the Indian government. It provides financial assistance to Ex-Servicemen and their dependents in need. The fund offers support in various forms, including assistance to old and infirm ESM, financial aid for the marriage of daughters of ESM, and funds for house loan subsidies to Ex-Servicemen and widows.

In addition, it provides Education Grants, Medical Treatment Grants, Grants for Disabled Children, Daughter’s Marriage Grants, And Vocational Training Grants for widows. It also provides financial assistance for the treatment of serious diseases and grants for modified scooters for those with a disability of 50% or more. This scheme underscores the nation’s commitment to ensuring the welfare of those who have served it. The Raksha Mantri ESM Welfare Fund (RMEWF) Scheme provides financial assistance out of the Armed Forces Flag Day (AFFD) Fund. The fund supports eligible ESM and their widows.

Click here to learn more about the AFFDF.

Prime Minister’s Scholarship Scheme (PMSS): The PMSS is a scholarship program aimed at promoting higher technical and professional education among the dependent wards of Ex-Servicemen and Ex-Coast Guard personnel, as well as their widows. The scheme, funded out of the National Defence Fund administered by the Prime Minister’s Office, provides scholarships for education at various technical institutions. The scholarship amount has been increased to Rs.2,500 per month for boys and Rs.3,000 per month for girls from the academic year 2019-20.

In addition, from the academic session 2019-20, this scheme has been extended for the dependent wards of States/UTs Police personnel who were martyred during Terror/Naxal attacks. This initiative plays a crucial role in empowering the families of our servicemen and women through education.


  • The Indian Government has implemented a reservation policy for Ex-Servicemen (ESM) in Central Government jobs to honour their service to the nation. This policy applies to all Central Civil Services & Posts (CCS&P), Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs), Central Public Sector Undertakings (CPSUs), Public Sector Banks (PSBs), and Defence Security Corps (DSC).
  • In Central Government Ministries/Departments (CCS&P) and Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs), there is a reservation of 10% in Direct recruitment posts in Group ‘C ‘, 20% in Direct recruitment posts in Group ‘D’, and 10% in all Direct recruitment posts up to the level of Assistant Commandant.
  • In Central Public Sector Undertakings and Public Sector Banks, the reservation is 14.5% in all Direct Recruitment Group ‘C‘ Posts, 24.5% in all Direct Recruitment Group ‘D’ Posts (including 4.5% for Disabled ESM and dependents of Service personnel killed in action), and 100% in Defence Security Corps.
  • This reservation policy ensures that Ex-Servicemen have fair opportunities to continue contributing to the Nation even after their military service. It is a testament to the nation’s gratitude for their invaluable service. Reservation


The Directorate General Resettlement (DGR) provides resettlement training courses to officers, Junior Commissioned Officers/Other Ranks (JCOs/OR), and retired personnel. These courses are designed to enhance their educational qualifications and increase employment options post-retirement. The training programs cover a wide range of areas, including entrepreneurship development, emerging technologies, business management, and 3D printing. These courses are conducted at various prestigious institutes across the country, including IITs and IIMs. The aim is to equip the Ex-Servicemen with the necessary skills and knowledge to thrive in their post-service life.


The Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas in India has implemented a significant initiative to support the welfare of Armed Forces Personnel. They have reserved an 8% quota for the allotment of Oil Product Agencies, which includes LPG Distributorship, Petrol/Diesel retail outlets, Kisan Seva Kendra (KSK), and SKO/LDO Dealership (Kerosene Oil Agency).

This initiative is designed to provide self-employment opportunities to eligible Ex-Servicemen  (ESM), widows, and dependents under the Defence Personnel (DP) category. The eligibility criteria for this scheme prioritize widows/dependents of posthumous gallantry award winners, war widows/dependents of those who died in war, war-disabled personnel, widows/dependents of those who died in harness due to attributable causes, and personnel disabled in peace due to attributable causes.

Once the Oil Company advertises a particular location reserved for Defence Personnel, the eligible ESM/Widows/Dependent are required to approach the Directorate General Resettlement (DGR) for the issue of an Eligibility Certificate with a specified set of documents. After receiving the Eligibility Certificate, they can apply to the concerned Oil Company within the stipulated date of submission of the Application Form.

This reservation policy ensures that our nation’s heroes and their families have fair opportunities to continue contributing to the nation even after their military service.


There are several self-employment ideas in India that Ex-Servicemen Officers, JCOs and ORs can follow and start their businesses

  • ESM Coal Loading & Transportation Scheme: This scheme, based on a MoU between Coal India Limited (CIL) and the Directorate General Resettlement (DGR), allows Ex-Servicemen officers to form a company for coal loading and transportation. The company starts with one payloader and ten tippers and can expand to four payloaders and forty tippers.
  • Tipper Attachment Scheme: Linked with the ESM Coal Loading and Transportation Scheme, this scheme allows retired JCOs/OR Widows & Dependents to attach a tipper truck with the company.
  • Management of CNG Station: In collaboration with Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL), DGR allows Ex-Servicemen officers to manage company-owned and company-operated CNG stations in Delhi/NCR and Pune.
  • Management of Company Owned Company Operated Retail Outlets: Retired Defence officers are allowed to manage retail outlets of oil companies on a contractual basis.
  • Management of Mother Dairy Booths / Safal Outlets: Retired JCOs / NCOs can manage Mother Dairy’s milk booths / Safal outlets in Delhi and NCR area.
  • Security Agency Scheme: This scheme provides a stop-gap arrangement for Ex-Servicemen during their resettlement process after retirement from the Armed Forces.


CPGRAMS: An online system maintained by the Department of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances for effective resolution of public grievances. The Joint Secretary (ESW), Dr. Pudi Hari Prasad, reviews the status monthly. He can be contacted at 23011804, 23015933 (Fax), or


Department of Ex-Servicemen  Welfare (DESW): A specific cell handles grievances relating to pension. Grievances are forwarded to the respective agencies for necessary action and disposal. They are located at 226, B Wing, Sena Bhavan, New Delhi-110011. Dr Pudi Hari Prasad, Joint Secretary (ESW), can be contacted at 23011804, 23015933 (Fax), or Click here for detailed info

Kendriya Sainik Board Secretariat.: The Joint Dir (Adm & Coord) can be contacted at 011-26192360 or Click here for detailed info

Directorate General of Resettlement: They are located at Directorate General Resettlement West Block-IV, Rama Krishna Puram, New Delhi – 110066. Their Helpline / Service Desk can be reached at 011-26100266. Click here for detailed info

Central Organization, ECHS: Their Toll-Free Helpline is available to all ECHS members at 1800 114 115 for resolving queries. Click here for detailed info

SPARSH: Call Centre at the toll-free number 1800-180-5325. Alternatively, you can send an email to or Additionally, grievances can be lodged directly on the SPARSH website. These resources ensure that your concerns are addressed promptly and effectively.

Call Centre in PCDA (P), Allahabad: A dedicated call centre with a toll-free number 1800 180 5325 for Ex-Servicemen to resolve queries.

Please note that the information is subject to change and it’s always a good idea to check the official websites or contact the organizations directly for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

In conclusion, the Indian government provides a wide range of welfare measures and schemes for serving and retired Defence personnel. These initiatives ensure that these brave individuals and their families are well taken care of during and after their service.

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