5 Years Mandatory Military Service Proposed For Civil Service Aspirants

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence has recommended a 5-year compulsory military service for those aspiring for gazetted jobs in the state and central governments irrespective of the job profile.

The Standing Committee’s report tabled in Parliament this week said the government had informed it that the recommendation has been taken up with the Department of Personnel and Training for having five years of compulsory military service to such aspirants. The response of the department is awaited.

However, there is nothing such as conscription in the recommendations set out. The proposal is concerned with only aspirants for government service and that too for only gazetted ranks.

The Reasons:

The reasons for this recommendation is being cited as the alarming shortage of officers and other ranks in the armed forces and to overcome it.

In the report, it said, “The committee, while recommending five-year compulsory military service to such aspirants, has taken into account the fact that there is a perennial and alarming shortage of officers and PBORs in the armed forces, which needs to be corrected. The committee once again expresses the desire that the issue of shortage of officers needs to be given priority for being addressed.

According to latest figures, there is a shortage of 7,679 officers and 20,185 PBORs in Army; 1,434 officers and 14,730 sailors in Navy; and 146 officers and 15,357 airmen in the Indian Air Force.

In the Central government alone, about 30 lakh employees are with the Indian Railways, while the state governments employ about another 2 crore people.

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Sanctioned Strength vs Held Strength:

The sanctioned strength vs the actual strength in case of officers is:
Service Sanctioned Strength Held Strength
Army 49,932 42,253
Navy 11,872 10,384
Air Force 12,549 12,340
In case of PBORs, the sanctioned and present strength are:
Service Sanctioned Strength Held Strength
Army 11,94,864 12,15,049
Navy 57,310 71,656
Air Force 1,42,529 1,27,510

Department of Personnel and Training:

DoPT is the wing of government that reports to the Prime Minister and is tasked with administering and making policy for all government employees.

Apparently, the panel is unhappy with the lukewarm response of the MoD to this important recommendation and not taking up the matter with due seriousness with the DoPT. The Parliamentary Committee has also asked the Ministry of Defence to push with the DoPT with more vigour and earnestness.

The committee desires that issue of shortage of officers should be given priority as it is directly related to national security.

What Are Your Views?

Yes it should be made compulsory because:
  • It will reflect the deep reverence the nation has for its armed forces, their basic value system, discipline, training, sense of duty, and patriotism.
  • It will reduce the shortage of the number of officers in the military.
  • It will lead to improvement in civil-military relations.
No, it should not be made compulsory:
  • But, NCC training should be made mandatory for the civil service aspirants during their academics.
  • Brief tenure will lead to leakage of vital information.
  • SSB system will need to be modified accordingly.
  • They can be made to join as soldiers for 1-2 years than officers for 5 years.
  • Serving in the Territorial Army for 5 years should be made compulsory while they are still employed by the government.
  • The civil servants who had served the army should be considered for antedate seniority in civil services.

Do you have any other views on this? Let us know in the comments.

 

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