The Indian Army that is also the world's largest standing army radically wants to tweak how it recruits men. As per the latest reports, the Army headquarters is mulling two different models of recruitment in the near future. The first proposal is to recruit men for a temporary period of three years and others under which it will recruit men from Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs), trained and posted in the Army for about seven years and will eventually be transferred back to their original battalion. However, the proposal in a pre-mature stage, and an official announcement is yet to be made.

Majority of the Army's budget goes towards salaries and pensions

As the per argument given by the Army such models would attract more youth in the Army, fill up officers' vacancies, and reduce burgeoning defence pensions. Interestingly, after the implementation of the 'One Rank One Pension' (OROP) scheme, the Army's one-fourth budget goes towards paying pensions. For instance, for the fiscal year 2019-20, the Army paid a whopping Rs. 1.12 lakh crores as pension. In contrast, only 22 percent of the allocated funds were used for capital acquisition.

Indian Army
Officer cadets of OTA, Gaya during routine drillCredit: PIB Twitter

Three years of voluntary service option for youth

The 'three-year short service' or also called a 'tour of duty' is a proposal under which posts will be offered for officers and Jawans. As per a report in The Print, the Army is planning to test around 100 officers and 1,000 jawans who will be trained for the first years out of their three years of service. One of the officers added that the past experiences from the Kargil war and other conflict-prone countries have shown that three years of service is an ideal tenure.

He said, "In the Kargil conflict, officers and jawans with less than three years of service had shown exemplary performance." It is also being argued that after three years of voluntary services corporates will prefer such trained professionals instead of college fresher.

Indian Army
Indian Army soldiers in KashmirCredit: Reuters

Cost optimisation for Army

Further, in case of battle casualty, Tour of Duty personnel would be entitled to avail the same benefits as regular officers, such as a liberalised family pension, ECHS facility, gratuity, and ex-servicemen status. Considering some numbers, the cumulative approximate cost from pre-commission training till retirement after completing the Short service Commission, Defence Ministry spends nearly Rs 5.12 crore and Rs 6.83 crore. But in for an officer through a tour of duty, it would be between Rs 80-85 lakh.