Applying for govt job? May have to first serve 5 yrs in Army: Facts to know

Army soldiers
In case you are applying for a government job either with the state or the central government, take note. Irrespective of your job profile, you might have to serve in the armed forces for the first five years. This has been recommended to the government by the Parliamentary Standing Committee. The Committee while recommending five years compulsory military service to such aspirants wanting directly to join central and state government gazetted services have taken into account the fact that there are perennial and alarming shortages of officers and men in the Armed Forces, which needs to correct, a recently tabled report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee observed. The Parliamentary Committee has also asked the Ministry of Defence to push with the DoPT with more vigour and earnestness. Apparently, the Ministry of Defence has not taken up the matter with due seriousness.

1. Here's why the Parliamentary committee made the suggestion personnel in the armed forces

Compulsory military service for those who want a subsequent employment with the government is being considered to make-up for the shortage of :

Acute shortage in the Indian Army:  The armed forces are facing a shortage of nearly 60,000 personnel with the Army topping the list with over 27,000 vacant posts, the government said in December 2017.

According to the details provided by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Lok Sabha, the total shortage of officers in the Army, Navy and the Indian Air Force is 9,259 while the number for below officer rank is 50,363.

The total strength of the Army as on July 1 is 12.37 lakh personnel against the authorised strength of 12.64 lakh and the total shortage is 27,864. The current strength of the Navy is 67,228 personnel and the number of vacant positions is 16,255. She said the Indian Air Force is facing a shortage of 15,503 personnel against the authorised strength of 1.55 lakh.

The vacancies excluding personnel in dental and medical streams come to 59,622. "The recruitment in the armed forces is a continuous process. The government has taken a number of measures to reduce the shortages," she said.

2. Indian Army - a voluntary force

Indian Army is the world’s largest voluntary force. But a Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence has advised the government to make the five-year service with armed forces mandatory for those who seek government jobs. 

3. Army recruits officers through NDA, CDS exam

The forces get officer recruits though National Defence Academy (NDA) and Combined Defence Services (CDS) exam. Both the exams are conducted twice a year by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).  Roughly 3-4 lakh people take the exam for 300 odd posts in all three services. 

4. Government employees

The central government alone has about 30 lakh employees with the Indian Railways, while the state governments employ about another two crore people.

5. Indian officials struggle to sift through millions of applicants for government jobs

6. India is disproportionately young: half of the population is under the age of 25. The country will add up to 300 million people - the equivalent of almost the entire population of the United States - to its workforce over the next two decades.

This so-called demographic dividend is one reason that some economists predict India will enjoy higher levels of growth than rivals, such as China, as they cope with ageing populations. However, unless jobs can be found for this vast workforce then this prized asset could turn into a crippling burden.

7. Compulsory military service for those who want a subsequent employment with the government is being considered by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT)- a wing of government that reports to the Prime Minister. The wing is tasked with administering and making policy for all government servants.

8. 10 million jobs promised by Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised 10 million jobs annually in his election campaign four years ago. Given that India is home to over 18 million unemployed people, this electoral promise played a big role in getting him into the Prime Minister's Office in May 2014.  But only about 823,000 jobs had been created in the country till October last year and, according to the International Labour Organization, most of it classified as vulnerable employment.

9. 1.3 million jobs needed per month

India needs to create over 1.3 million jobs per month for the next 15 years so as not to have its much-lauded demographic dividend turn into a nightmare and we are a long way away from meeting this target.

10. Government sitting on over 400,000 vacancies

There are about 412,752 vacant posts as of March 2016 in various government departments, the Indian parliament was told on Feb. 07. That’s 11% of the around 3.6 million workforce of the various central government departments.

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