New Delhi: Extending a better life insurance cover for its personnel, the Indian Army has increased the Army Group Insurance Fund (AGIF) by Rs 10 lakh and Rs 5 lakh for its 35,000 officers and over one million jawans respectively.
"The government has taken a decision to increase the AGIF coverage for soldiers in the Army. Under the new scheme, the officers would avail coverage of Rs 40 lakh, while the same has been increased to Rs 20 lakh for jawans," Defence Ministry officials said.
The premium amount payable by the soldiers has also been increased accordingly.
Now, jawans would have to pay a minimum of Rs 2,000 annually while earlier they were paying between Rs 600 to Rs 1,000.
For officers, the same amount has been increased from Rs 2,000 to Rs 4,000.
"It is the minimum deduction from the salary of soldiers and after the sixth pay commission soldiers are contributing even more voluntarily," the officials said.
The decision, which would come into effect from April 01, was pending with the Ministry for quite some time.
Earlier, the officers were provided an insurance package of Rs 30 lakh and for the Personnel Below Officer Ranks (PBORs), it was Rs 15 lakh.
"The policy was pending with the ministry and its concerned department for review and the Army had mentioned few important points to raise the insurance limits," officials said.
While counter-insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir and North East region have always been a major task for the Army, its role during disasters and natural calamities across the country has further increased the stress on its men.
"The soldiers posted in difficult terrain and elsewhere must believe that the organisation is taking care of the basic needs of his family.”
"Besides, there are issues of rising prices and meeting the requirements of good education and health for the old parents. It takes out a lot of stress and even motivates him to perform better," officials said.
Over the years, a number of new monetary measures have been initiated by the Indian army to ensure better life and facilities for the family members of its soldiers.
The focus has been mainly on ensuring good education for the children and re-employment of the soldier in case of disability during action.
Various options have been made available for the children from military background.
Along with education loans, soldiers get due assistance from Army Welfare Corpus in form of scholarship, tuition fee and higher technical education through educational institutions run by the Army.
"There are provisions for covering the tuition fee and the cost of books for children pursuing professional courses.”
"A significant amount is spent by the army in ensuring these measures. It is very important for the organisation to take care of the family members specially parents and children so that he can perform his tasks well," officials said.