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With compulsory military service for aspirants of government employment having been recommended by the Parliamentary Standing Committee, it is now being considered as an emergency measure to fill up the shortfall of Officers and Other Ranks in our armed forces. We understand it is being considered by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), a wing of government that reports to the Prime Minister. However, the jury is out on whether this suggestion will eventually be implemented. Another impending human resource welfare issue that has been neglected by successive governments, is that of the released SSC (Short Service Commissioned) Officers. Having served in the Armed Forces for five to ten years, they are then denied any support from the forces, despite having given their best years of their youth in voluntary military service to the nation. They certainly deserve better. There is now a movement sweeping across the nation as they unite on a common platform to take on the Govt by filing cases in our Courts. Meanwhile, the Govt has proposed new norms for the SSC cadre, and this will include allowing them to serve for 20 years, making them eligible for pension and ex-servicemen status. This means the officer will be out of the Army by the age of 40-42 with a pension and ample time for a second career. We await the final policy on a better deal for SSC Officers, which if cleared, will alter the available 'selection pool' above the rank of 'Colonel' in the long run.

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