The government has confirmed that it is now examining a radical proposal to directly transfer Army officers to para-military organisations like the BSF and the CRPF after five to seven years of service.
The proposal aims at reducing the age profile of the Indian Army and giving and alternate career option to Army officers.
If approved, it could change the very nature of India’s defence structure.
A captain’s dilemma
He has the charm of a professional hotelier, chatting up diners in his popular South Delhi restaurant.
However, just two years ago, Capt Aseem Grover was fighting terrorists in the jungles of Kupwara. It wasn’t the jungles that scared him, but the limited career options and so he quit the Army.
The government is considering this new proposal to stop people like him from leaving.
“At the age of 26-27, you realise you are only trained for one thing and that is of no use in the civil street. So this proposal will give people like us many more options and is welcome,” says Captain Grover.
The government has confirmed that the proposal to transfer jawans has now been forwarded to the Law Ministry for its approval.
A separate proposal for Army officers is still pending with the Defence Ministry.
If approved, it would not only give Army officers some job mobility, it will also help in making the Army younger.
The average battalion commander in the Indian Army is 42-years old, while the average Pakistani battalion commander is 37.
It’s an age difference that seriously affects our fighting potential and the Army wants younger men as commanders.
This new proposal aims to change this, giving older men a way out and creating more vacancies.
“If an IAS officer can serve in the IPS and if an IFS officer can serve in the Home Ministry, why cant an army officer serve in other places?” asks General Shankar Ray Chowdhary, former Army chief.
And it is now up to the country’s top bureaucracy to help the Army re-invent itself.