Make Military Service Of Five Years Mandatory For Government Job Aspirants: Parliamentary Committee
March 15th, 2018
Amidst the debates on Defence Budget cut, a parliamentary committee chaired by B.C Khanduri, submitted a report which has recommended five years of compulsory military service to aspirants wanting to join Central and State Government Gazetted services directly. The committee has come up with the Assertions to face the alarming shortage of Officers and PBOR in the Armed Forces, which needs to be corrected.
The parliamentary committee submitted a report on ‘Priority to deal with the issue of shortage of manpower in the Services-emphasized’. It says “From the data furnished by the Ministry, the Committee has noted that there is a shortage of 7679 Officers and 20,185 JCOs/ORs in Army, 1434 Officers and 14,730 Sailors in Navy, 146 Officers and 15,357 Airmen in Air Force.
While examining the Demands for Grants 2017-18, the Committee pondered on this issue and recommended for providing five years of compulsory military service to such aspirants wanting to join Central and State Government Gazetted services directly.
The Ministry, in its Action Taken Reply on the matter has stated that the recommendation regarding providing five years compulsory military service to such aspirants wanting to directly join Central and State Government services, with a view to overcoming shortage of officers in Armed Forces, has been taken up with Department of Personnel and Training (DoP&T). The response of the Department is awaited. Apparently, the Ministry of Defence has not taken up the matter with the due seriousness with the DOP&T.”.
The findings of the committee have sparked another debate on the shortage of manpower as there has been outrage in the last few days on vacancies not filled by various other civil departments in the government.
Report on Defence Budget cut
The parliamentary committee in its report revealed that “for the Budget Estimates 2018-19, the Army projected an amount of Rs.1,51,814.73 crores under the Revenue Head but has been allocated only Rs.1,27,059.51 crores. Under the Capital Head, the projected amount is Rs.44,572.63 crores but only Rs.26,815.71 crores has been allocated, which amounts approximately to just 60 percent of the projected requirement. Again, for the current year 2018-19, while the Navy projected a requirement of Rs.20,188.25 crores, the allocated amount has been only Rs.16,618.88 crore under the Revenue Head. Under the Capital Head, while the
Navy projected an amount of Rs.35,695.41 crores; the allocated amount is only Rs.20,003.71 crore, which amounts to approximately 56 percent of the projected requirement. The case with the Air Force is also no different. While an amount of Rs.35260.79 crores has been projected as the requirement under the Revenue Head, only Rs.28,821.27 crore has been provided.
Under the Capital Head, while the Air Force projected a requirement of Rs.77,694.74 crore, the allocation has been only Rs.35,770.17 crore, which is less than half of the projected requirement. Also, quite shockingly, the Joint Staff has got an allocation of just Rs.844.45 crore under the Capital Head, while the projection was for Rs.2237.03 crore. The amount was reduced approximately to a third of the projected requirement”.
On the issue of defence preparedness, the Committee notes the information furnished by the Ministry of Defence, which states: ‘Government is fully seized of the security needs of the country and it regularly reviews the threat perception to secure our borders and protect the national interest. Appropriate measures are taken through the development of infrastructure as well as accretion and modernisation and deployment of defence forces to safeguard the sovereignty, territorial integrity and security of India.
Military capacity enhancement and modernisation of armed forces including armament and ammunition is a dynamic and continuous process and is done in consonance with our threat perception. To meet the requirement of arms and other equipment required by armed forces to have the desired level of defence preparedness, the necessary armaments, aircraft, missiles, ships, tanks and other equipment etc. are procured as per Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) and Defence Procurement Manual (DPM) applicable for Capital and Revenue Procurements, respectively”.
The parliamentary committee also mentioned in its report that “The Committee understood and appreciated that a nation should look after its veterans well and provide all the facilities and financial benefits due to them but at the same time they also desire that the Government should seriously think of ways of reducing this burgeoning pension bill by introducing some other pension schemes or assured jobs after early retirement so as to reduce the pension obligations.”
Chief of Defence Staff
The Committee had, in their earlier reports, recommended creation of the post of Chief of Defence Staff for enabling better coordination among the Services. The Committee has taken up the matter in the current year as well.