NEW DELHI: The Army has given its approval to extend the services of soldiers by two years and began a study to work out another phase-wise, formula to retain trained manpower for a longer period. “We have given an across the board approval to raise the minimum tenure of retirement for all the soldiers by two years. The file has been sent to the government for final consent,” a senior Army officer said.
On an average, jawans enter service at 19-20 years and goes on to serve for 33-35 years in case they do not get a promotion. Now on, soldiers will serve a minimum tenure of 17 years. “Also, an all-encompassing study has been launched to identify arms and services in which soldiers can be retained for a longer period,” the officer said.
The Army has a holding strength of 11,85,146 soldiers and faces a shortage of 38,235 soldiers, according to MoS Defence Shripad Naik in July. Approximately 60,000 soldiers retire every year to keep the fighting arms of the Army young and battle-ready. “It takes a minimum of three years to train a soldier. We allow him to leave once he achieves proficiency in his stream. The aim is to retain trained manpower,” the
Also, the study is looking to identify branches and trades within the Army to initially fix the service up till 50 years and raise, in phases, up to 54 years. “It will be done in three phases with minimum disturbance to intake and training quality thereafter,” the officer said. The age limit will be kept 50 years for four-five years and then will be raised to 52. It will be then raised to 54 after another pause of four-five years.
The study has been forwarded to the Army Commanders and the Director Generals of various services and directorates for gathering their comments. The ambit of the study was expanded as the feedbacks received from the Army’s seven commands were not found convincing, the officer told this newspaper.