Indian Army Moots Three-Year Service For Civilians

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NEW DELHI: The Indian Army is considering "game-changing" proposal under the ''Tour of Duty (ToD) or "Three Years Short Service'' scheme to allow civilians, including young working professionals, to join the force as officers and in other ranks for a variety of roles, even of front-line fighters.

Spokesperson of the Army Col Aman Anand said, "If approved it will 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."

Age and fitness level will be among the key criteria for recruitment under the ''Tour of Duty (ToD) or "Three Years Short Service'' scheme.

There is a "resurgence of nationalism and patriotism" in the country and the proposal attempts to tap the feeling 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, according to a news agency.

The proposal, which is a part of broad reforms envisaged for the force, is set to be discussed at a conference of top commanders of the Indian Army following which the process would be taken forward, the sources said, adding the scheme will benefit the Army financially.

At present, the Army recruits young people under short service commission 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. Young working professionals would be allowed to apply under ToD.

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