Tour of Duty Recruitment: Release all recruits after 4 years, re-enlist 25% of them after a month

Some drastic changes to the new enlistment system have been proposed in the three services – Army, Navy and Air Force – under the service round/Agnepath scheme where 100 percent of enlisted soldiers would be demobilized after four years and then 25 percent re-enlisted for full service.

High-level sources have reported that there has been a lot of discussion about the final look of the Tour of Duty and that some new proposals have been proposed and are likely to be accepted as the new recruitment plan is expected to be announced any day now.

Against the initial proposal that a certain percentage of recruits would be released after three years of service, including training, and that more would be released after five years of contract service while retaining about 25 percent for the full term, the new proposal envisages the release of 100 percent of the Enlisted in the new system after four years. However, with a period of approximately 30 days after these soldiers are released after four years of contract service, 25 percent of them will be called up and re-enlisted as soldiers with a new entry date. The past four years of their contractual service will not count toward their full service for salary and pension stabilization. It is expected that a large amount of money will be saved in this way.

Sources say that there will be some exceptions for some professions of soldiers in the three services where they may be retained after contractual service for a period of four years due to the technical nature of their jobs. These may also include personnel serving in the Army Medical Corps.

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There has also been a suggestion that technically trained manpower should be recruited directly from industrial training institutes so as not to spend much time on their technical training. The Military Training Command commissioned a study in this regard, the results of which are not yet known.

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With no conscription taking place for nearly two years now in the army, there was great concern among the youth in those regions proving the solid foundation of traditional conscription. There have been protests in Haryana as well as Punjab over the delay in conscription, with many young people fearing they will turn to increases by the time the government decides to reopen conscription. There have also been cases of young people dying by suicide in Haryana out of frustration at not being able to join the army and increasing age.

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