New Delhi, Feb 9: The armed forces seems to be 'unattractive career' options for the country's youth, hence steps are being taken to counter that image, opined Indian army chief, General Deepak Kapoor.
When asked about the army's plans to fill up the 11,000 vacancies in the officer cadre in Army, Kapoor said "It does worry the army chief....Very much."
It can be noted that number of youth wanting to join the armed forces has dwindled. "The armed forces have, after a study, come to the conclusion that the army is not too attractive as a career for a young man, who is looking for employment...For good productive life," Kapoor said.
To attract youth towards armed forces, army has proposed to make the Short Service Commission (SSC) an attractive option for the youth by encouraging them to go for additional qualification such as Doctorate or an MBA to enhance opportunities in the private sector when they leave the force.
It had also moved another proposal to send the SSC officers for higher command courses to enable them to continue as permanent officers. These courses were hitherto offered only to regular officers.
Plans to provide the SSC officers 'gratuity' for the 14 year service in the army would be made. This would make some funds available to them as a buffer when they left the service. Speaking about the priorities of the youth, Kapoor said, "Patriotism as a motivation for the youth was not so strong today as it was soon after the country's independence".
"Post-independence, youth would forego much higher paying job opportunities to serve in the military. In England, the Queen's sons and grandsons have all been in the Service. So that is not for money. But some of those ethos have perhaps undergone a bit of a change," he said.
"That is why the army is trying to ensure that its culture, ethos and that respect and dignity that the Indian public accords to the the army is maintained," he said. He also assured to set right the anomalies in the pay commission report.
Gen Kapoor said the armed forces implemented the Ajai Vikram Singh Committee report on cadre restructuring to improve the promotion avenues of officers, though the Services "may still not be able to match the bureaucracy or the foreign service."
OneIndia News (With inputs from Agencies)