Anand Mahindra says army’s ‘tour of duty’ model good for youth
Industrialist Anand Mahindra has supported an army proposal that seeks to allow the country’s youth to serve the military for three years under a new “tour of duty” (ToD) model and said that the exposure would give them an “added advantage” in the next workplace they choose, people familiar with the matter said on Saturday.
The ToD model is similar to the short-service commission that allows officers to serve the armed forces for 10 to 14 years.
In an e-mail to the Indian Army, Mahindra said his group would be happy to consider the candidature of ToD optees for corporate jobs.
The email read, “I recently learnt that the Indian Army is considering a novel proposal, the ‘Tour of Duty’. The young, fit citizens of India will get an opportunity to gain operational experience in the Army both as soldiers and officers through this voluntary three year-programme.”
If the proposal is accepted, the army could implement the ToD model - essentially an internship after military training - on trial basis for both officers and other ranks in a limited number of vacancies.
“I definitely think military training will be an added advantage for Tour of Duty Graduates as they enter the workplace. In fact, considering the rigid standards of selection and training in the Indian Army, the Mahindra Group will be happy to consider their candidature,” Mahindra wrote in an e-mail.
The ToD proposal, reviewed by Hindustan Times, stressed that the internship model would result in savings for the organisation. It said it will also brighten the prospects of the ToD optees in the corporate world.
“The cumulative cost of pre-commission training, pay/allowances, proposed severance packages, leave encashment and other costs is nearly Rs 5.12 crore and Rs 6.83 crore for short-service commissioned (SSC) officers released after 10 and 14 years of service. However, similar costs for those released after three years will be just Rs 80 to Rs 85 lakh,” the proposal stated. It said the ToD model would eventually result in significant reduction in salary and pension budgets, too.
The proposal cites a survey that has indicated that corporate houses would prefer employing individuals who have been trained by the military and join them at the age of 26-27 after a three-year ToD rather than college graduates.