16 May 2020, 11:55 am By Rohit Sindhu
Tour of Duty: Three Years' tenure for Civilians in Indian Army, Know all about the Proposal

Indian Army is considering a proposal of  permitting common citizens to join the army for a period of 3 years to serve the nation under the 'Tour of Duty' and 'Three Year Short Service' scheme. A game changing proposal is being considered by high ranking officials which will enable the citizens to work with Indian army for 3 years and serve their duty towards the country. In a transformational move, the Indian Army is reported mulling over a proposal to allow civilians including young working professionals to join the Armed force for a three-year tenure as officers and in other ranks in diverse areas like logistics and front-line formations. 

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.

Tour of Duty: Three Years Tenure for Civilians

The game-changing proposal to allow civilians to work for three years 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, sources said. If approved it would be a voluntary engagement and there will be no dilution in selection criteria. Initially, 100 officers and 1,000 men are being considered for recruitment as part of test bedding of the project, Spokesperson of the Army Col Aman Anand said when asked about it. According to a report of the  Standing Committee of Defence, 2019,there is around 14% deficiency in the officer cadre of Indian army. The Army had 42,253 officers and 11.94 lakh jawans according to the report. The Indian Navy had 10,000 officers 57,310 and personnel.

There is a resurgence of nationalism and patriotism in the country and the proposal attempts to tap the feelings of the youths who do not want to join the Army as a profession but wish to experience the military life for a temporary duration, a source said. The major agenda to come up with such a proposal is to provide the young men willing to join the army with a beforehand experience and in order to bring civilians close to the army officials to incorporate certain principles in them. If the proposal will get approved, then the youth who wants to experience an army official's life will get an opportunity to do the same.

Role & Responsibilities-

At present, the Army recruits young people under short service commission (SSC) for an initial tenure of 10 years which is extendable up to 14 years. According to 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.

The sources quoting an internal study said 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.

Applications/ Salary & Remuneration

Young working professionals would be allowed to apply under ToD, they said. The Army has also made a comparative study on whether the training costs on people to be recruited under ToD will be commensurate with their subsequent limited employment for only three years.

The initial approximate financial calculations show that the financial benefits accrued would be exponential. 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 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.

tour of Duty Three Years Tenure for Civilians in army

Tour of Duty Eligibility-

The official announcement on eligibility requirements however has not made. Likely the criteria of eligibility for entry into Armed Forces would remain same. Young working professionals would be allowed to apply under ToD, their Physical standards should be good a source said.

Benefits of Tour of Duty-

They said a stint in the Army would also be helpful for young people in getting jobs in corporate as well as government sector. 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, according to a military officer. A survey tells that all 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, he said.

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Businessman Anand Mahindra endorses Tour of Duty-

On Saturday Anand Mahindra endorses Indian Army's 'Tour of Duty' plans for providing opportunities to civilians in Indian Army. He said that Industrial Group would be happy to consider the candidature of youth for jobs who come after the three years tensure in Indian Army. The young, fit citizens of India will get an opportunity to gain operational experience in the Army both as Soldiers and Officers through this voluntary program. Read Mahindra would endorse those who finish Tour of Duty

Extension in Retirement Age

Along with this proposal, Chief of Defense Staff General Bipin Rawat is considering to extend the retirement age of the Army jawans, indian air force and Indian Navy personnel. The  Chief of Defence Staff said that a trained Army jawan retires after 15 years of service in the force, which results in a massive loss of trained manpower. If the proposal gets a green light, then 15 lakh personnel from three forces will claim benefit. Source- India Today