Updated: May 28, 2022 12:33:30 pm
Some radical changes have been proposed in the new system of recruitment in the three services — Army, Navy and the Air Force — under the Tour of Duty/Agneepath scheme wherein 100 per cent of the soldiers recruited shall be released from service after four years and then 25 per cent re-enlisted for full service.
Highly placed sources have informed that there has been much discussion over the final format of the Tour of Duty and that some new suggestions have been proposed and are likely to be accepted as the announcement of the new recruitment scheme is expected any day now.
As against the initial proposal that certain percentage of the recruits would be released after three years of service, including training and that more would be released after five years of contractual service with around 25 per cent retained for full term, the new proposal envisages release of 100 per cent recruits of the new scheme after four years. However, with a period of approximately 30 days of release of these soldiers after four years of contractual service, 25 per cent of them would be recalled and re-enlisted as soldiers with a fresh date of joining. Their past four years of contractual service would not be counted towards their full service for the fixation of pay and pension. A substantial sum of money is expected to be saved this way.
Sources say there would be some exceptions made for certain trades of soldiers in the three services wherein these may be retained beyond the four year contractual service because of the technical nature of their job. These could also include personnel serving in the Army Medical Corps.
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There had also been a proposal that technically trained manpower should be directly recruited from the Industrial Training Institutes so that not much time would be spent on their technical training. The Army Training Command had been tasked to conduct a study in this regard, the outcome of which is not yet known.
With no recruitment taking place for nearly two years now in the military, there has been considerable anxiety among the youth of those areas which firm the bedrock of traditional recruiting. There have been protests in Haryana as well as Punjab over the delay in recruitment with many youth fearing that they would turn overage by the time the government decides to reopen recruitment. There have also been instances of youth dying by suicide in Haryana in frustration over not being able to join the Army and getting overage.
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