Second Career for Soldiers

Harcharan Singh
Armed Forces of a country are entrusted to safe guard and ensure territorial integrity. The man behind the machine is the most valuable asset, as a lot of time and expertise goes into training of a soldier. Majority of these soldiers retire generally in the age group of 35-45 years, so that young profile of Armed Forces is maintained. After retirement at a young age, these Ex serviceman (ESM) have to settle down their family responsibilities and also, have obligation to settle their children. There is an essential requirement to make provision for a Second Career for those soldiers, who retire early, in the interest of the Nation. A number of steps have been taken by Centre and State Govt to provide job opportunities to ESM. Details concerning resettlement schemes of the ESM in Govt jobs and give details of certain entrepreneur schemes, sponsored by Central/State Govt are being disseminated through this write up. Any ESM who fulfills the conditions of domicile shall be eligible for various welfare schemes of J&K, discussed in this article, as per J&K Govt Notification SO 166 dated 18 May 2020, as amended from time to time.
Number of avenues are available with DGR (Director General Resettlement) to provide job opportunities to ESM as given out in DGR website Reservation details in the Central Govt jobs are given out in this article subsequently.
ESM Must Register with AWPO
Army Welfare Placement Organization (AWPO) is a welfare organizations of the Indian Army which helps ESM/widows/dependents of serving / retired soldiers, to find suitable jobs in public/private sector. A minimum registration fee is charged. Relevant details are available on
Avenues with Central Agencies
Age Relaxation. To determine age of ESM, when applying for govt jobs in Gp B/C/D posts in Central Govt, the period of military service is deducted from actual age of ESM. Another allowance of 3 yrs is permitted to satisfy the age limit prescribed for the post.
Reservation- Central Govt Jobs. Reservations policy is given in DOPT, office memorandum dated 04 Oct 2012. ESM Reservations are catered in rules, ranging from 10 to 24.5 % in various jobs in CAPF, Central Public Sector Enterprises and Nationalized Banks. Reservation for disabled ESM/Dependents of service personnel (killed in action) is also catered, for in group C&D posts.
ESM from Army/Navy/Air Force can join DSC, within 2 years from date of discharge. Information can be taken from email of DSC Directorate
There are provision for jobs in BSF/CISF/SSB/CRPF for ESM. Vacancies are advertized in Rozgar Samachar or can be seen in
Jobs in Govt of J&K
SRO 294, amended by SO 127 dated 20 Apr 20 makes provision for 6 % Horizontal reservation for ESM. All Govt jobs are advertized. Online applications for these posts advertized by Service Selection Board can be filled on the website As per SRO 43, govt jobs is offered to NOK of soldiers killed in action in J&K, in terrorism related actions.
Govt Jobs are limited. Many employment generation options have been created by the Govt in agriculture based fields or other industries. Most of our soldiers come from village background. The agriculture and allied skills come very natural to them. A number of incentives are given by the Govt to generate employment opportunities through establishment of micro enterprises in rural as well as urban areas. More benefits can be taken by formation of cooperative/ societies. All local skills/industries could be chosen for this purpose, with guidance from District Development Commissioners. Some of the areas identified can be Organic Farming, Dairy, Fishery, Floriculture and Horticulture. Agriculture Deptt has a readymade data base for crops, which can be easily grown in specified tehsil/District. Diversion to such entrepreneur areas, related to local industries and agriculture will ensure, competition to capture limited Govt posts is reduced and ESM take benefit of Govt incentives.
J&K Agrarian Reform Act 1976
Land can be made available by the govt as per provision of J&K Agrarian Reform Act 1976. As per Section 15(3), person serving in defence forces are eligible for allotment of surplus land. Such land could be utilized by Co-Operatives formed by ESM, for building of infrastructure and for manufacturing/agriculture based products units. SWD can play a major role to take details of local volunteers ESM from a village/tehsils, who would like to form Co-Operative/Society. Surplus land could be asked by such Co-Operative/Societies from the Govt. Already, a lead has been taken by Army in this field, by helping ESM in, identification of Industry, Documentation and Establishing contact with Deptt of Industries and Commerce.
Micro, small and Medium Enterprises (MSME). For setting up industries 5 % industrial plots are reserved for ESM, any calendar year, as per Industries and Commerce Deptt order No 255GR(Ind) of 1986 dt 07-12-1986. ESM are required to refer to Industrial policy 2016 for details. Office of Director, Industries and Commerce(Jammu/Kashmir) be contacted for details.
Community efforts- Need of the Hour
The ministry of agriculture (Govt of India) has identified Farmer Producer Organization (FPO) as the most suitable institutions, around which farmers can be mobilized to increase the yield and gain through efficient marketing. Various Govt agencies would support FPOs with finances, training in farming, trading and participation in development programmes in agriculture field. The aim of forming FPO is to help farmers with small land holding and to improve production/income. Generally, 1000 members can form FPO. The benefits which will accrue from such system will include easy loans for crops, supply of low cast quality seeds to member, direct selling of product without middleman, direct access to market to reduce price, beneficial insurance of crop/life, training in latest farming process etc.
Again SWD can carry out survey of volunteers ESM who would like to join FPOs. The collective farming would be done for crops specific to that area. For example such FPO could be formed for Apple growers and Saffron farmers in Kashmir Valley.
Involvement of Corporate
There is a requirement to grow crops utilizing the best scientific techniques and guaranteed marketing methods. The govt agencies would ensure availability of expertise from established corporate companies to help the entrepreneurs. These companies would help the ESM in establishing the FPO through training and guidance. There would be a guarantee of assured marketing for farm products on competitive rates, through these companies. Other related issues related to training, cultivation, harvesting etc will be fully supported by experts. Director Agriculture can give all details on these issues including provisions of funds including Kisan Credit Card provisions.
Various Govt Schemes are available to support the members of FPO. Prime Ministry Employment Generator Program (PMEGP) helps generate employment opportunity through establishment of micro enterprises in rural/urban areas. Certain category of people to include ESM/residents of Border area, get a subsidy of 35% for each project related to Agriculture. Rs 25 Lakh is admissible as loan to each individual. Details are available at website and, for these schemes, J&K Khadi and Village Industries Board is closely associated for training & marketing of products.
It is seen that training in Armed Forces inculcates strong discipline and sense of responsibility in the soldiers. Most of the ESM are not aware about the benefits being extended by the Government in various fields. As govt jobs are limited in number, Central/State Govts have made provisions to provide help and guidance for entrepreneurs to start their own business. ESM can participate in community based Co-Operative Societies/Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs). Most of our ESM are from rural areas, where ESM could invest in agriculture based and traditional skill based employment schemes, without having to move out from their villages. Co-Operative Societies would enable the ESM to get loans, quality seeds, training, market access etc, leading to better and assured price for the produce.
It is strongly recommended that like neighboring states, the Govt job reservation of ESM should be increased to 15 % where, the ESM and their children both could be eligible. Similarly, for Martyr families, one assured job for NOK should be reserved in Cl A to D posts, as per qualification. The age restriction of 28 years for Police job should be modified as no ESM can apply for Police, as on date. Similar reservation and relaxations are required to be made in other Govt Jobs, on the lines of Central Govt Rules.
ESM can start their own enterprises, which are sponsored by various Govt schemes. Correct guidelines and procedure to get allotment of industrial plot can be taken from the offices of Director Industries and Commerce and from official website launched by this office. Army can play a major role in sensitive state of J&K, to provide guidelines to ESM and provide opportunities for single window clearance, for setting up industries, in conjunction with Deptt of Industries and Commerce
The author is Brigadier (Retd) who joined Govt of J&K as Director Sainik Welfare Deptt.