In view of the expanding population of ex-servicemen (ESM) and widows, there were persistent demands from service Hqrs. and various associations for a separate Department to look after the welfare, resettlement and rehabilitation of ESM, war widows and their dependents. In 1986, a decision was taken to create an independent resettlement division in the Department of Defence.
A new Department was created in the Ministry of Defence on 22nd September,2004 in order to pay focused attention to the welfare and resettlement of ESM. It is mandated to formulate and implement various policies and programmes for the welfare and resettlement of Ex-Servicemen in the country. The Department consists of two Divisions i.e. (i) Resettlement Division; and (ii) Pension Division. It has 3 Attached offices namely, KendriyaSainik Board Secretariat (KSB Sectt.), Directorate General of Resettlement, (DGR) and Central Organisation, Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (CO, ECHS).
2. KSB Sectt. is responsible for the welfare of Ex-Servicemen and their dependents and also for the administration of welfare funds. It is assisted in its task by 32 RajyaSainik Boards (RSBs) and 392 ZilaSainik Boards (ZSBs), which are under the administrative control of respective State Governments/Union Territory Administrations. The Government of India shares 75% of the expenditure incurred on the maintenance of RSBs in respect of the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Jammu & Kashmir, and Himachal Pradesh and 60% for other States/UTs while the remaining expenditure is borne by respect State Governments as welfare and resettlement of ESM is the joint responsibility of the Central Government and State Governments.
3. The office of Directorate General of Resettlement implements various Policies / Schemes / Programmes for pre and post retirement training, re-employment and self- employment of ex-servicemen. The DGR is assisted in its task by 5 Dte. Resettlement Zones (DRZs) at each of the 5 Commands.
4. Central Organisation, Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme takes care of the healthcare and medical needs of Ex-servicemen and their dependents through a network of 426 polyclinics across the country.
Pension Policy Issues
5. The Pension Division of the Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare deals with pension policies for the Armed Forces personnel and redressal of grievances of Ex-servicemen.
Functions of the department as laid down in Allocation of Business Rules