In a Government resolution dated 07 Sep 1919, the then Government of India suspended the functioning of the Central Recruiting Board and at its place a new Board was established called the Indian Soldiers’ Board to advise on matters affecting the interest of serving, discharged and deceased Indian Soldiers and non-combatants and their dependents. Due to steady expansion of the Navy and Air Force during the Second World War, the need for a single organization to perform the same functions in relation to all the three services was felt and the Board was consequently reconstituted in 1944.
In March 1951, it was renamed as the Indian Soldiers’, Sailors’ and Airmen Board. The designation of the Board was changed to the Kendriya Sainik Board at the Centre and Rajya Sainik Board and Zila Sainik board at State and District level in 1975..
The Board now functions under Dept of Ex-Servicemen Welfare in the Ministry of Defence vide Govt of India Notification No. 1, No.10(02)/I/D(Res.)/2007 dated 29 Jan 2009..
Though welfare of the Ex-Servicemen and their dependents is the joint responsibility of the Centre and the States / UTs, majority of the problems have to be resolved only by the States / UTs. To assist the State Governments in this regard, numbers of Directorate of Sainik Welfare /Rajya Sainik Boards(RSB) and Zila Sainik Welfare Offices/Zila Sainik Boards (ZSB) are in the country. The expenditure on establishment of RSBs & ZSBs is shared between the Centre and the States / UTs on 75:25 basis for the special category States (Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh) and 60:40 basis for rest of the States. Like the Kendriya Sainik Board at the Centre, the Directorate of Sainik Welfare/Rajya Sainik Boards and Zila Sainik Welfare Ofices(ZSWO) / Zila Sainik Boards(ZSB) are responsible for policy formulation and implementation of resettlement and welfare schemes for Ex-Servicemen, widows and their dependents residing in their respective States / UTs..