From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : ToD Scheme
Mains level : Need for restructure of the armed forces
The Indian Army has planned to take civilians on a three-year “Tour of Duty” (ToD) or short service” on a trial basis to serve as officers and in other ranks initially for a limited number of vacancies which will be expanded later.
Practice question for mains:
Q. The “Tour of Duty” (ToD) Scheme is a significant move to free up funds for the Army’s modernization. Comment.
Tour of Duty Scheme
- Indian Army is thinking to induct youngsters for three-year “Tour of Duty (ToD) tenure as both officers and jawans.
- The ToD scheme, in case approved, will initially be launched with around 100 vacancies for officers and 1,000 for jawans.
- As per Army, a ToD officer will earn Rs 80,000-90,000 per month. After ToD tenure, youngsters can find lucrative private and public sector jobs.
- The Army says it will restructure the cadre and help modernize the force.
Advantages of ToD Scheme
- ToD is expected to result in a significant reduction in the expenditure on pay and pensions and free up funds for the Army’s modernization.
- The overall purpose of the ToD concept is ‘internship/temporary experience’.
- There will be no requirement of attractive severance packages, resettlement courses, professional encashment training leave, ex-servicemen status, ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme for ToD officers and other ranks.
- Analysing the cost of training incurred on each personnel compared with the limited employment of the manpower for three years, the proposal calculates that it will indeed have a positive benefit.
The cost factor
- The approximate cost incurred is nearly ₹5.12 crore and ₹6.83 crores for a Short Service Commission (SSC) officer if he or she is released from service after 10 and 14 years, respectively.
- The costs for those released after a three-year ToD is just ₹80-85 lakh.
- Similarly, estimates for a jawan with 17 years of service as compared to a ToD recruit with three years’ service shows that the prospective lifetime savings of just one jawan are ₹11.5 crores.
- Thus, savings for only 1,000 jawans could be ₹11,000 crores, which could be used for the much-needed modernization of the Army.
- This scheme is for those who did not want a full career in the Army but still wanted to put on the uniform.
- Individuals who opted for ToD would get a much higher salary than their peers in the corporate sector.
- They would also have an edge after leaving the service and going to the corporate sector.
- The Army hoped that this would attract individuals from the best colleges, including the Indian Institutes of Technology.
Back2Basics: Permanent Commission (PC) Vs. Short Service Commission (SSC)
- SSC means an officer’s career will be of a limited period in the Indian Armed Forces whereas a PC means they shall continue to serve in the Indian Armed Forces, till they retire.
- The officers inducted through the SSC usually serve for a period of 14 years. At the end of 10 years, the officers have three options.
- A PC entitles an officer to serve in the Navy till he/she retires unlike SSC, which is currently for 10 years and can be extended by four more years, or a total of 14 years.
- They can either select for a PC or opt-out or have the option of a 4-years extension. They can resign at any time during this period of 4 years extension.