Tour of Duty allows civilians of the country to join the Indian Army for three years and serve the country as an army soldier.
- The proposal is yet under process but it has certainly gained a lot of popularity.
- This could be a great opportunity for those who would like to experience the work of a soldier without actually pursuing it as a career.
Tour of Duty
- The concept ‘Tour of Duty’ is still at concept stage and details of this are yet to be finalised by the MoD. The Army has always been feeling deficiency of officers at the level of Lt and Capt.
- To fill this gap, there is a need for short service officers.
- These join at the lower level and leave within a few years.
- This fills the gap at the Platoon and Company levels in a Battalion, where needed most.
- I feel that this type of commission, should be made mandatory for all aspirants to Central Govt Services. It will ensure better understanding of the security related issues.
- It will also instil better physical fitness and sense of discipline into our bureaucracy and corporate world.
- Leaving Army, after 3 years, at around 27 or 30 years of age, should be given advantage when appearing for Central Govt employment.
Agnipath entry scheme:
- Agnipath is the new name of the Indian Army’s ‘Tour of Duty entry scheme’ and the three forces have been giving presentations to the Union government.
- As per the scheme, soldiers would be inducted on a short-term contract, trained, and deployed in different fields.
- The forces will also have the option of recruiting specialists for specific tasks who would perform the desired role.
- During the COVID-19 pandemic, the recruitment for soldiers in the armed forces had been affected adversely and over 1.25 lakh vacancies exist in the three services.
Tour of Duty :
A new approach to recruiting soldiers for the armed forces has taken shape, with the formal announcement of a ‘Tour of Duty’ concept expected shortly that is designed to provide employment avenues for youth
Join Indian Army short-term contract
A proposed new scheme to recruit soldiers on a short-term contract into the Indian Army has stirred a debate within the military.
Defence experts and veterans from both ends of the spectrum have taken to the media to voice their strong opinions on the scheme with most arguing vehemently against it, while a few others backing it too.
How to join ‘Tour of Duty’ Indian Army?
- The proposal of Tour of Duty is an effort made by the Indian Army to attract the best talent that the country has towards the Indian armed forces.
- Tour of Duty will be launched with around 100 vacancies for officers and 1000 for jawans.
- This ‘course’ set up by the Indian Army will help with the improvement of self-confidence, teamwork, initiative, stress management, innovation and a sense of responsibility.
- Army spokesman Colonel Aman Anand was quoted by a news source saying that the scheme will be launched with limited seats as an experiment.
- If it is a successful venture, the number of vacancies will be increased.
Tour of Duty Training
Mooted as a step that would save crores annually on defence pensions, the draft of the Tour of Duty scheme has proposed to recruit soldiers on three and five-year contracts.
There has been no formal announcement on the scheme from the government, though it is expected that the scheme will first take off with the Army and then extend to the Navy and the Indian Air Force.
As the plan stands now, 50 per cent of Army soldiers will retire from service within five years, while the rest will continue till the standard retirement age of the soldiers.
It is understood that internal deliberations are still ongoing within the Army, with most arms batting for a bigger percentage of permanent soldiers.
Triggered by media reports of its possible announcement, the debate has assumed a greater significance with the recruitment of soldiers continuing to remain suspended for two years now.
It has also given way to questions on whether this would be the only mode under which soldiers will be recruited once the process resumes.
But beyond everything else, the first question which occurs to me is why should there be any takers for the scheme in the first place?
- Much of India’s youth, particularly from the rural belts of the country, are keen to join the defence forces and consider it a lucrative job as well.
- Apart from the patriotism factor, there are three reasons for them to take up the job, which is fraught with risks, including getting killed in action.
- This includes a permanent government job, a life-long pension, and the status and respect which comes with a job in the Army.
So if the government decides to go ahead with the scheme which is set to affect thousands, the defence establishment needs to first offer clarity on the perks which can come with a job that is temporary
As of now, Army soldiers are assessed on their firing capabilities and physical fitness.
Annual Confidential Reports for their career progression are only initiated once they reach the rank of Naik in eight to 12 years of service.
The promotion to the rank of Naik is based on a promotion cadre, a training programme.
For the first five to six years after induction into the Army, all general duty soldiers perform similar tasks. Framing a set of well-defined criteria to select the 50 per cent of soldiers who would make the cut to the permanent lot may pose a big challenge.
And in the absence of that, the Armed Forces and the government would end up fighting a plethora of court cases, which would drain attention and resources.
Another factor to consider here is how receptive will infantry and other fighting arms and even Rashtriya Rifles units engaged in counterterrorism duties be to conduct operations with ToD soldiers? Can this be done without blunting the operational edge of the Army or will they be inducted only for support arms? Those in the know of things tell me that most of these issues are yet to be resolved.
Tour of Duty eligibility
There are no updates as of the criteria for being eligible to apply for Tour of Duty. As per an education website, the official details will soon to be released by the Army. There is also no information about whether the applicants will have to appear for the Service Selection Board (SSB) interview or any written exam for the same. There is also no information on Tour of Duty age limit i.e. what is the minimum age to apply for this vacancy. The maximum age to apply for SSB however is 35 years of age.