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Punjab govt changes tack, to tie up with schools for armed forces training

Govt is holding talks with prestigious institutes with hostel facilities such as Yadavindra Public School, Mohali, and Punjab Public School, Nabha, for establishing armed forces preparatory institutes in the state.

punjab Updated: Nov 25, 2017 09:56 IST
Navneet Sharma
Navneet Sharma
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Punjab govt,Armed forces,armed forces training
Students at Maharaja Ranjit Singh preparatory Institute of Armed Forces at Mohali.(Sikander Singh/HT)

With its plan to establish three new academies on the lines of Maharaja Ranjit Singh Armed Forces Preparatory Institute (AFPI) taking time to fructify, the Punjab government is contemplating to collaborate with renowned educational institutes to set up preparatory institutes to train students for induction into armed forces.

The present government, which took the decision to set up three training academies in Malwa, Majha and Doaba regions in the first meeting of the state cabinet on March 18, is holding talks with prestigious institutes with hostel facilities such as Yadavindra Public School, Mohali, and Punjab Public School, Nabha, for establishing armed forces preparatory institutes in the state.

“The educational institutes will take care of academics preparing students for examination with cadet training units to be set up by the AFPI for field tests for induction into armed forces through the National Defence Academy (NDA) entrance test and other examinations. The plan is to begin with at least two institutes from the next academic session (2018-19) and then expand it to a few other prestigious ones,” according to sources.

Talks on with institutes having hostel facilities such as YPS, Mohali, and Punjab Public School, Nabha, for establishing armed forces preparatory institutes.

The move piloted by the employment generation and defence welfare departments is inspired by its hugely successful AFPI in Mohali which imparts specialised two-year training to students for NDA. The department officials have already held meetings with senior functionaries of two institutes to work out the modalities.

“There will be no requirement to create permanent infrastructure. We will be able to run these courses without at much less cost without high recurring expenditure,” said sources.

The state government is facing a financial crisis due to its huge salary pension bill, high debt servicing liabilities and revenue-expenditure gap, besides delay in release of its share in goods and services tax.

The first academy was planned in Amritsar, but the land is still to be finalised. Lt Gen TS Shergill (retd), senior adviser to the chief minister, said there has been no change in the plan to set up academies in Majha, Malwa and Doaba regions.

“These are definitely going to come up. We are trying to work out how to do it better and one model being considered is to create cadet training wings at some prestigious schools and train the students,” he said.

He said the government is also looking at setting up a couple of facilities for training youth for induction through the Combined Defence Services (CDS) exam having more openings. The Congress had, in its poll manifesto, promised to open army recruitment training institutes, stating that existing ones such as Mai Bhago Institute for girls, AFPI Mohali and Army Law College are inadequate.

When it formed the government, the state cabinet also put its stamp on the promise, asking the defence welfare department to pursue it for immediate implementation.

First Published: Nov 25, 2017 09:52 IST