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Indian Army's 'Tour of Duty' proposal to let young to serve for three years

Updated: May 19, 2020

Indian Army's 'Tour of Duty' proposal to let young to serve for three years.The Army headquarters is considering two different models for recruitment in the future — one under which youth can voluntarily serve in the Army for a temporary period of three years, and the other where they are recruited by Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs), trained and posted in the Army for about seven years, before being transferred back.

The Print has learnt that the recruitment models are being considered to attract more youth to join the Army, fill up officers’ vacancies, and reduce burgeoning defence pensions, which make up nearly 30 per cent of the defence budget and ballooned after the ‘One Rank One Pension’ (OROP) scheme came into effect

Colonel Aman Anand, PRO Army said, "The proposal Tour of Duty (ToD) is under discussion at the highest level and positive feedback has been received to start it as the pilot project.

Tour of Duty

According to Army sources, the Tour of Duty will be “three years’ short service”, whose pilot project will be for both officers and jawans, and for a limited number of vacancies.

The idea is expected to be tested on around 100 officers and 1,000 jawans in the first go, sources said. They will be trained for the first year of the three-year period.

If approved by the government, the Navy and the Air Force could also be asked to implement it.

“This will attract youth to join the armed forces, because it will not only give them a good experience of serving for a limited duration, but also a good remuneration, and they will be relieved with a lump-sum amount, aside from other perks and benefits which come with the service,” the officer said.

“In the Kargil conflict, officers and jawans with less than three years of service had shown an exemplary performance,” the officer said.

It can be a “lucrative” option because apart from gaining military experience for a limited period, personnel will be free to pursue another career after three years.

“Even major corporates would welcome young, military-trained professionals instead of college freshers, and these professionals would have an edge over others while getting into another career, or even in institutions offering a MBA degree because of the work experience t

hey will gain,” the officer added.

Sources said while opting for this model will be voluntary, the government could add additional perks for those who opt for it, such as being given preference in post-graduate courses or employment in security or administrative jobs in the government sector.


This engagement based on the pattern adopted by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF), excluding the conscription clause, is considered to accrue benefits to Army as well as the individual.

While this proposal keeps the engagement as voluntary unlike Israel’s practice of necessary three years of military service for every able-bodied person.

A youth once selected will be imparted one-year training and three-year service.

Mulling over the cost of training, the proposal mentions it at 5.12 crore for an officer serving 10-year term but under ToD it will be 80-85 lakhs.

In case of Jawan, the saving is mentioned to be 11.5 crores if he serves for 3 years instead of 17 years of minimum.

The report propounds, "At the rate 11.5 crore saving on one soldier it will be Rs 11,000 cr for 1000 soldiers. There will be immense savings due to a reduction in Pay and Gratuity payouts." The saved money could be utilized for the much needed modernization. The proposal is deemed to be equally beneficial for the youth, nation and corporates as they will get trained, disciplined, confident, diligent and committed young men and women after their ToD.

In case of any unfortunate eventuality, all the benefits will get extended to the person or the next of kin as is due to a regular officer or jawan.

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