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Indian Army's 'Tour of Duty' proposal is a win-win situation

The proposed 'Tour of Duty' scheme would be for four years, including a training period of six months, sources said. 

Indian Army 'Tour of Duty' proposal is a win-win situation
New Delhi, First Published May 22, 2022, 10:02 AM IST

The 'Tour of Duty' scheme to induct youth at the soldiers' level is likely to be announced soon as the Department of Military Affairs is about to complete the final process. 

As per the plan, the scheme will have a severance package and a certificate or diploma. It will be helpful to the soldiers after their service in the Army.

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"The proposal is at the final stage in DMA. If everything goes as per the plan it might be implemented by May end," a source in the defence establishment told Asianet Newsable.

The proposed 'Tour of Duty' scheme would be for four years, including a training period of six months, sources said. 

The Indian military has been facing a manpower crunch after the recruitment drive was stopped for the last two years in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, at least 100 recruitment rallies used to be held across the country for the youths to be inducted at the soldiers' level into the Indian Army.

In Parliament, the government had informed that the Indian Army currently has 11,35,799 Junior Commissioned Officers and Other Ranks. The government also informed Parliamentarians that there are 97,177 vacancies for JCOs and Other Ranks. 

In the Indian Navy, there is a shortage of 11,166 sailors while the Indian Air Force has a crunch of 4,850 airmen. 

As per the existing mechanism, the soldiers who join the services between the age of 17.5 and 21 years retire after 15 years. Under the new scheme, the soldiers will be inducted permanently after they complete a cycle of four years in service.  

As per the source, "Under the new system, the candidates will be selected through a written test first. Then, they will be called for a physical test. This would be done to lessen the chaos on the ground during the rallies."

The ToD scheme is being introduced to save the government's exchequer like salary and pensions. The saved fund could be utilised for the modernisation of the forces.

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