No immediate plans for compulsory service, conscription: MOS (Def)

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New Delhi, Jan 18 (UNI) The government today denied there were any immediate plans to go in for conscription or compulsory military service and such a step was not even under consideration presently.

''The government has no immediate plans to go for conscription or compulsory military service... the government is not even seized of the issue at the moment,'' Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju said.

Interacting with mediapersons during his visit to the NCC Republic Day Camp, he did acknowledge that there was an acute shortage of students opting for a military career through the NDA or IMA.

Earlier this week, Army Chief Gen Deepak Kapoor had said compulsory military service could be one of the options before the government at a later stage. However, he had also ruled out a solution for the present shortage.

The Minister, who was presented a smart Guard of Honour during his visit and also saw a ceremonial parade and colourful cultural programme, also admitted to a shortage of funds for strengthening the NCC.

''Lack of funds is proving to be a hurdle in raising the NCC's strength from 13 to 15 lakhs,'' he said, adding that the states will be urged to enhance their contributions to the NCC.

Mr Raju also said ex-servicemen would be drafted in for the scheme.


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