Currently, the Indian army is facing a shortage of officers close to 24 percent of its authorised strength.
Due to steep pyramid-like hierarchical structure, the only solution lies in making SSC attractive. Presently, insecurity about future prospects deters many youth from applying for SSC. They fear that failure to get Permanent Commission will make them jobless in the prime of their lives with full family responsibilities to boot.
As financial remunerations and hand-shake packages can never compensate for uncertain future, the youth have to be assured of a life time career to be motivated to opt for SSC. Lateral shift to ISF will provide a highly attractive avenue. It would also help keep the age profile of the defence forces young.
Approximately 40,000 young, well trained and physically fit soldiers are released from the defence forces every year. This highly disciplined and trained pool of manpower is lost to the country without being put to any productive use. ISF will get trained manpower with rich experience in anti-terrorist and counterinsurgency duties. Further, as the trained manpower of the defence forces will remain engaged in a life time employment, no subversive elements will be able to misguide them for anti-social activities.
The pension bill of the Government will get significantly curtailed as pension will be due to the retiring servicemen only after 30/33 years of service as against 17 years of service at present. Additionally, ISF would save on recruitment and training costs of personnel. SPC had also recommended similar lateral movement to CPO.
During times of war, ISF units could be put under army formations to control internal situation and secure lines of communications. Thus, India`s war effort would get augmented.
Image: Indian paramilitary troopers carry an iron barricade to block roads during a curfew in Srinagar. Picture copyright Associated press. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited
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