The army may resume recruitment after a two-year freeze.

While the recruiting calendar is still being finalised, officials expect recruitment rallies to be held around the country from August to December.

The Indian Army is likely to resume recruitment after a two-year hiatus caused by Covid-19 restrictions, while a new recruitment policy known as “tour of duty” to induct soldiers for short-term service is being finalised, and officials are familiar with the matter said on Friday, asking not to be identified.

While the recruiting calendar is still being finalised, officials expect recruitment rallies to be held around the country from August to December.

The army was feeling the burden of a manpower deficit caused by the recruiting freeze, even though authorities insisted the scarcity had not hampered the army’s operational readiness and units were working adequately.

According to one of the authorities stated above, necessary recruiting preparations are being undertaken in anticipation of the upcoming publication of the new recruitment policy. According to authorities, the “tour of duty” model calls for the enlistment of troops below the level of officer (PBOR) for four years, including six months of training.

It is expected that these troops would be granted a severance payment of several lakhs when they are released. Some of them may be maintained in service after four years of service following another round of screening, but the specifics remain unknown.

Soldiers recruited through the standard method serve for around 20 years before retiring with a pension in their late 30s.

The army presently lacks around 125,000 troops in the PBOR cadre, with the shortage expanding at a pace of more than 5,000 personnel every month. It is authorised to have 1.2 million soldiers.

According to former Northern Army commander Lieutenant General DS Hooda, it is fortunate that the army would resume recruitment soon because a lack of people was harming the operational preparedness of troops, particularly those deployed in forwarding regions (retd). “As far as the “tour of duty” approach is concerned, I believe it needs a bit more consideration before adoption,” Hooda remarked.