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Tour of Duty (ToD): An opportunity to serve your nation

Tour of Duty or ToD scheme has proposed to arrange a tour of duty for youths of the nations. Under this scheme, the youths will be hired in the armed forces for a short span of 3-5 years. Firstly floated as an idea in 2020, the Department of Military Affairs has finally prepared & proposed the plan. Also known as the ‘Agnipath Entry Scheme’, the idea was a brainchild of the late Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat.

Significance of this move:

  • Not only it will generate employment but the youths will also get an opportunity to experience military life like never before.
  • First and foremost, this proposal promises to address the shortages of defence personnel in the army.
  • Moreover, 50% of soldiers released at the end of their term will be included in the National Pension Scheme. In addition to this, such soldiers can derive medical benefits, applicable to Armed Forces Veterans, for a fixed period.
  • Additionally, the soldiers will get a priority in recruitment to certain government jobs. Namely, the central armed police forces.
  • With this in mind, the defense pensions and revenue expenditure will also experience a fall. Consequently, saving some money with the government for other military uses.
  • Last but not the least, this move would eventually attract the best talent of the nation for the armed forces. As a result, technological up-gradation will follow.

Without a doubt, out of the three armed forces, the Indian Army will be the first to recruit some soldiers for a fixed period of 3-5 years. Hence, the army has come up with 2 different models for recruitment in the future:

  1. Firstly, the voluntary engagement plan where the youth can voluntarily serve the army for a temporary period of 3 years. ‘Tour of Duty’ refers to this model of recruitment only.
  2. ‘Inverse Induction’: Under this method, the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPSs) receive training & posting in the army for about 7 years. Later on, they are transferred back to their respective duties.

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