If patriotism and nationalism runs in your veins and you want to serve your country with the highest level of commitment then the Indian army has an opportunity for you as it is set to bring a ‘game-changing’ proposal that will help you fulfill this unquenchable thirst of yours.
The proposal in development by the Indian Army will allow civilians including young working professionals to join the force for a three-year tenure as officers and in other ranks in diverse areas like logistics and front-line formations. Currently, the proposal is being referred to as ‘Tour of Duty (ToD) or ‘Three Years Short Service’ scheme.
The proposal is being examined by top commanders of the Army and its main aim is to bring people closer to the 1.3-million-strong force by giving them an opportunity to experience military life.
Initially, 100 officers and 1,000 men are being considered for recruitment into the Army as part of test-bedding of the project. While it will provide new employment opportunities, time in the army will also prepare the youngsters for challenges in the latter part of their lives.
The army is widely-known for instilling virtues like self-confidence, teamwork, innovation, stress-management amongst numerous others and therefore when an Army officer after completing one year of training and three years of ToD returns to civilian life, he will have a resume with envious skills that the corporates will be desperate to get their hands-on.
The sources quoting an internal study said the Army would also 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.
Currently, India’s defence pension budget is $16 billion, nearly double the total defence spending of Pakistan, which is $10 billion. Having civilians join the forces for a three year ‘ToD’ will help Army cut back on this cost and instead use it for the modernisation of the forces.
Sources said 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 Army officer if he or she is released after 10 and 14 years respectively. However, similar cost for those released after three years would be just Rs 80 lakh to Rs 85 lakh each.
For soldiers, who usually serve for 17 years, the Army has calculated a lifetime savings of Rs 11.5 crore per person, as compared to a three-year service.
Top military sources said the Army is also considering to induct personnel from paramilitary forces and central armed police forces for a short duration of up to seven years following which they would be allowed to return to their parent organisations.
The Indian Army is working hard to make the proposal as attractive to the government. The minute details of the recruitment regarding age and fitness level are also being worked out.
While countries like South Korea, Russia, Brazil, UAE, Israel, etc., have mandatory services in the Army of varied durations, India does not need conscription, given we already have the second-largest military-force in the world.
However, the “Tour of Duty’ scheme will allow those citizens to experience the life of army who do not wish to make a permanent career in it. Or those who somehow are not able to enlist.
Recently, Son Heung Min, the Tottenham striker had also enlisted for his training in South Korea as all South Korean men are required to mandatory enlist in the military before the age of 28. There have been news of the popular K-pop band BTS and its members enlisting in the army too.
The Indian Army bringing this change will help the forces to cherry-pick individuals from a bigger pool of talent which will ultimately help serve the nation efficiently. Not to forget the massive financial saving included in the proposal.
“How’s the Josh?” It would indeed be high if the proposal by the Indian Army sees the light of the day. The youth of the nation will be eager to jump on this opportunity.