Tour Of Duty Scheme:
The Department of Military Affairs is moving towards finalising the “Tour of Duty (ToD)” scheme.
- Under this scheme, youngsters will be recruited as soldiers only for three years.
- This is being done in the backdrop of the urgent need to curb the ballooning salary and pension bills that are adversely impacting military modernization.
- Tour of Duty (ToD) scheme was being pushed by the late Chief Of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat.
- It involves recruiting soldiers, which will be called Agniveers, for a fixed period of three years.
- It will be a voluntary engagement.
- It is also known as the Agnipath entry scheme.
- It is for youths who “do not want to make defence services their permanent vocation, but still want to experience the thrill and adventure of military professionalism”.
- The soldiers would be given a payout along with priority in recruitment to certain government jobs, including the central armed police forces.
- An effort is also on to nudge corporate India into hiring such ex-ToD recruits for specific lines of work in the private sector on a priority basis.
- Tour of Duty’, will help not only resolve the issue of shortages of personnel but also reduce the burden of pay rises and pensions.
- As per the original ToD proposal, the “prospective life-term saving” in the cost of engagement of a single jawan who leaves after 17 years of service with pension and other benefits, as compared to a ToD jawan will be Rs 11.5 crore.
- The cumulative money saved in pay and gratuity payouts can consequently be used for the much-needed military modernization.