In view of the ever expanding population of ESM and widows, there has been persistent demands from service Hqrs. And various associations for a separate department to look after the welfare, resettlement and rehabilitation of ex-servicemen (ESM), war widows and their dependents. In 1986 a decision was taken to create an independent resettlement division in the Department of Defence.
Accordingly, a new Department of Ex-servicemen Welfare (ESW) was set up in September, 2004 within the Ministry of Defence. This Department formulates various policies and programmes for the welfare and resettlement of Ex-servicemen (ESM) in the Country.
This Department has two Divisions viz., the resettlement Division and the Pension Division and has 3 attached offices namely (i) Secretariat of Kendriya Sainik Board (KSB), (ii) Directorate General (Resettlement) (DGR) and (iii) Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) Organisation.
The Kendriya Sainik Board (KSB) is responsible for the welfare of the Ex-servicemen and their dependents and also for administration of welfare funds. The KSB is assisted in its task by 32 Rajya Sainik Boards (RSBs) and 376 Zila Sainik Boards (ZSBs), which are under the administrative control of respective State Governments/Union Territory Administrations. The Government of India bears 75% of the expenditure incurred on the organization of RSBs in respect of the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh and 60% for other States/UTs while the remaining expenditure is borne by respect State Governments since welfare and resettlement of ESM is the joint responsibility of the Central Government and State Governments.
The office of Directorate General of Resettlement (DGR) implements various policies/Schemes/programmes of the Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare (ESM) like pre and posts retirement training, re-employment, self-employment etc. The Directorate General of Resettlement also has five Director Resettlement Zones (DRZs), one in each of the five Army Commands.
Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) take care of the health and medical care of ESM pensioners and their dependents
Functions of the department as laid down in Allocation of Business Rules