There are many who want to be a “personnel in uniform” and experience the military life but did not want a full career in the Army. For them, in a game changer move, our Indian army is considering a proposal to allow civilians, including young working professionals, to join the force for 3 years as officers and in other ranks (ORs) in areas like logistics and front-line formations under the “Tour of Duty” or “Three-Year Short Service” Scheme.
- If this proposal gets approved, it will be a voluntary engagement and will not affect the current selection criteria.
- Initially, 100 officers and 1,000 men are being considered for recruitment.
- The key criteria under this scheme will be age and fitness, among others.
Current Recruitment Process in Army
The Army currently recruits young people under Short Service Commission (SSC) for an initial tenure of 10 years, extendable up to 14 years. The cumulative approximate cost of pre-commission training, salary and other expenses is nearly between Rs 5.12 crore and Rs 6.83 crore on an officer if he or she is released after 10 and 14 years. If officers are granted Permanent Commission, the cost of their retention till they are 54 years old is too high.
About proposed ToD:
A stint in the Army would also be helpful for young people in getting jobs in corporate as well as government sectors. Also, individuals who opted for ToD would get a much higher salary than their peers on an average who started a career in the corporate sector.
- Tax free income: The proposal suggests several measures to incentivize this scheme like a tax-free income for 3 years and a token lumpsum at the end of three years of about Rs 5-6 lakh for officers and Rs 2-3 lakh for ORs.
- Reduction in cumulative cost: The cumulative approximate cost of pre-commission training, salary and other expenses after three years would be just Rs 80 lakh to Rs 85 lakh each which results in saving of around Rs 11,000 crore, which can be used for modernisation of the armed forces.
About Indian Army:
Chief of Army Staff (COAS)– Manoj Mukund Naravane
Headquarters– New Delhi