In a Government resolution dated 07 Sep 1919, The 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 & 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 GoI 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. Like the Kendriya Sainik Board at the Centre, the Rajya / Zila Sainik Boards 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 / Districts. To assist the Central Government in this regard, there are 32 Rajya Sainik Boards and 392 Zila Sainik Boards in the country.
The Secretary KSB advises the Department of Sainik Welfare in the States / UTs on the policies for resettlement and welfare of Ex-Servicemen, widows and seeks reports from the Director, Department Sainik Welfare / Secretary RSB and Zila Sainik Welfare Officer / Secretary ZSB, on implementation of policies and success in resettling Ex-Servicemen, widows, disabled personnel invalidated out from the Service and their dependents. Advice is also rendered on the welfare schemes required for the clientele, which are financed from funds allotted by the Governments of States / UTs and the Amalgamated Special Funds.