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National Bytes: Army mulls 3 year ‘Tour of Duty’ induction plan

Army mulls 3 year ‘Tour of Duty’ induction plan

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Army mulls 3 year ‘Tour of Duty’ induction plan

In News: Army mulls 3 year ‘Tour of Duty’ induction plan

  • In a transformational move, the Indian Army is considering a proposal to allow civilians including young working professionals to join the force for a three-year tenure as officers and in other ranks for a variety of roles.
  • The proposal is a part of broad reforms envisaged for the force.

About: Tour of Duty (ToD)

  • The proposal to allow civilians to join the force under the ‘Tour of Duty (ToD) or ‘Three Years Short Service’ scheme is being examined by top commanders of the Army.
  • Initially 100 officers and 1,000 men are being considered for recruitment as part of test bedding of the project.
  • The main aim is to bring people closer to the 1.3- million-strong force by giving them an opportunity to experience military life.
  • As per the proposal, the people to be recruited under the ToD will be eligible to be deployed as combatants in key forward locations and there will be no restrictions in their roles.

Voluntary engagement:

  • If approved, it will be a voluntary engagement.
  • In light of the resurgence of nationalism and patriotism in the country, the proposal attempts to draw youths who do not want to join the Army as a profession but wish to experience the military life for a temporary duration.
  • There will be no dilution in selection criteria. Age and fitness level will be among the key criteria for recruitment .

Not compulsory military service:

  • It will not be military conscription (compulsory military service) as in some countries like Israel.
  • With huge unemployment, India has no dearth of people wanting to join the armed forces.

Benefits:

Economic for the Army:

  • As per an internal study in the Army, the Army would gain significant financial benefit from the ToD scheme as it will save a huge amount of money on gratuity, severance packages, leave encashment and pension.

Savings at commissioned officers level:

  • At present, the Army recruits young people under short service commission for an initial tenure of 10 years which is extendable up to 14 years.
  • As per estimates, the cumulative approximate cost of pre-commission training, salary and other expenses is nearly Rs 5.12 crore and Rs 6.83 crore on an officer if he or she is released after 10 and 14 years respectively.
  • Since, approximately 50 percent to 60 percent of the Short Service Commission Officers are granted permanent commission, the cost of their retention till attaining 54 years of age is too high.
  • However, similar cost for those released after three years would be just Rs 80 lakh to Rs 85 lakh each.

Savings at sepoy level:

  • Money saved on cost incurred by the government for a sepoy with 17 years of service as compared with ToD sepoys with three years of service calculated over a 17-year period would be substantial.
  • The saving could be utilized for the much needed modernization of the Indian armed forces.

Good experience for young professionals:

  • An officer or soldier after completing one year of training and three years of ToD is likely to display visible improvement in self-confidence, teamwork, responsibility, initiative, stress management, innovation and social skills.
  • Thus, a stint in the Army would also be helpful for young people in getting jobs in corporate as well as government sector.
  • A survey indicated that many corporates would favour an individual who has been trained by military and comes to them at 26/27 years of age rather than a raw college graduates at 22/23 years of age.

Way ahead:

  • If Tour of Duty plan is successful, the vacancies can be increased later.

Also Read: Self-reliant India: Sectors in/dependent on imports

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