Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Compulsory Military Service - What says Parliamentary Standing Committee 40th Report?


Compulsory Military Service - What says Parliamentary Standing Committee 40th Report?

Compulsory Military Service to Government Servants - Matter is with DOPT

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence has recommended five years Compulsory Military Service to Government Servants to be made mandatory and it was informed that the matter is now with DOPT

The Standing Committee on Defence, headed by Maj Gen B C Khanduri, AVSM (Retd) has submitted its 40th Report on ‘Demands for Grants (2018-19)’ to the Central Government this month.
The Committee, taking into the account of acute shortage of manpower in Officers Rank in Armed forces, has recommended five Years Compulsory Military Service should be Made mandatory for Government Officers on their initial appointment to address this issue. When the Committee asked the Ministry of Defence about the status of this recommendation, the Ministry has said that the matter has been taken up with DOPT and response of the Department is awaited

The Committee has taken serious view over the functioning of Bureaucrats in respect of addressing the issue of Shortage of Manpower in Armed Forces. The standing Committee is not satisfied with the Ministry's reply and made the following observations and recommendations in the Report.
The observation and Recommendation of the Committee as follows …

Shortage of manpower in the forces
"From the data furnished by the Ministry, the Committee note 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 directly join Central and State Government Gazetted services. 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 overcome 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 due seriousness with the DOP&T. The Committee, while recommending five years of compulsory military service to such aspirants wanting to directly join Central and State Government Gazetted services, have taken into account the fact that there is a perennial and alarming shortage of Officers and PBOR in the Armed Forces, which needs to be corrected. The Committee, once again express their desire that the issue of shortage of officers needs to be given priority for being addressed."

In the same report the Committee fired the Ministry of Defence on another issue with the following comments

"The Committee found the reply as bureaucratic in nature and not conveying anything about specific actions taken or proposed"

So it appears that the Standing Committee on Defence is very serious in addressing the issue of Shortage of Manpower in Armed Forces by enforcing Five Years Compulsory Military Service to such aspirants wanting to directly join Central and State Government Gazetted services .

As the matter is now with DOPT, it is believed that the Central Government may accepts this recommendation though it had earlier rejected the Proposals submitted in Parliament for implementation of Compulsory Military Training for Youths and Citizens.

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