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Def panel recommends raising of retirement age of jawans

NEW DELHI, Jan 8: In a move that is likely to result in saving of thousands of crores rupees apart from addressing the issues related to manpower in the Army, a Defence Ministry committee has recommended that the retirement age of the jawans be increased by two years.

The committee headed by  Lt Gen Shekatkar submitted its report last month to Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. The mandate of the committee was come out with a set of measure to reduce the useless expenditure so that the resources can be used to enhance the operational preparedness of the Army.

The Defence Ministry has held the view for a long time that the jawans are very fit and well trained when they leave the Army and hence the move for a new regime that will make them stay in the Army for longer duration will help the Army to have the trained force for a few years more. At present a sepoy retires after serving for 17 years unless and except promoted and almost 80 percent of them retire only at the level of sepoy without any promotion.

If the Shekatkar Committee’s recommendations are accepted, the move will reduce the cost of training new jawans along with the problem of providing them reemployment, as almost 60,000 soldiers retire every year.

After raising the retirement age, the forces will also be saving on recruitment front as well as training.

A sepoy mostly retires between the age of 35 and 50, depending upon the age at which they join the Army. They are recruited at the age of 17.5 years to 23 years. The committee has also given its recommendations of several other fronts to save the unnecessary expenditure.

It recommended abolishment of military and dairy farms and righsizing of remount corp, which is tasked to look after Army hourses and mules. The committee was of the view that a large number of armymen were engaged in works like cattle rearing and growing vegetables, which is completely unnecessary.

The panel has also commented upon non-combat support arms in the military like supply corps, ordnance and electrical and mechanical engineers who service cars and heavy vehicles. It said the task can be given to private agencies, which provide support even in the remote areas of the country.

The committee said the functions of the supply and ordnance corps may also be reviewed. Supplying rations and clothes to the forces are the roles which can be limited to during war and other critical assignments, it said. (UNI)



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