Aamir Khan’s Taare Zameen Par delivered the message that every child is special and now it’s impacting government policy too. Under the Central Civil Services (Educational assistance) Orders of 2006, there was a bar on a central government employee getting tuition fee reimbursement and education allowance for his/her child in case the child does not pass class examination within a stipulated period. But from September 1, 2008, the Centre has notified new rules on educational allowance which have removed this conditionality.
In a departure from earlier rules, the new norms which have come into effect since September 1 say: “Henceforth, the reimbursement of Children Education Allowance shall have no nexus with the performance of the child in his class. In other words, even if a child fails in a particular class, the reimbursement of Children Education Allowance shall not be stopped.” In comparison, the Central Civil Services (educational assistance) orders of 2006 said: “A government servant shall not be eligible to draw children's educational allowance, reimbursement of tuition fee or hostel subsidy for a child for more than two academic years in the same class.”
Assistance for education of children has been available to all Central Government employees without any pay limit. Before September 1, government employees could claim reimbursement of Tuition Fee of up to Rs 40 per month for students in Class I to X and Rs 50 per month for students in Class XI & XII. In case of physically handicapped and mentally retarded children, the maximum limit was Rs 100 per month. Apart from tuition fee reimbursement, there was a Children's Education Allowance payable at the rate of Rs 100 per month in case the Government employee was compelled to send his child to a school away from the Station of his posting. There was also provision for a hostel subsidy at the rate of Rs 300 per month.
But the rules which have come into effect since September 1 after taking into recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission have said: “Children Education Allowance and Reimbursement of Tuition Fee which were hitherto payable separately will be merged and will henceforth be known as ‘Children Education Allowance Scheme’…. The annual ceiling fixed for reimbursement of Children Education allowance is Rs 12,000.”