New Delhi: Recession has suddenly made the Indian Armed Forces an attractive opportunity. Only till recently, the armed forces had lost its sheen as a career option. Now training academies find their offices flooded with applications.
Sweating it out in the heat and dust, shouting slogans like “Commando,” “Jai Ho,” and “Vande Mataram,” youngsters are preparing to give the Defence Services Selection Board or SSB their best shot.
Having dreamt of taking up engineering and business options, many of these aspiring officers changed plans mid way, especially as recession suddenly took the shine away from many professions and the Sixth Pay Commission added sparkle to the armed forces.
One such candidate, Arshpreet Dhillon said, “I can work at a desk from eight in the morning to six in the evening but if I have another option, if I want to live my life, be an adventurous person. The Indian Army gives me the options, challenges which I think I can perform and pick up.”
The timing is perfect for the forces, coping with a shortage of nearly 13,000 officers.
Col Ashokan of the Olive Greens Training Academy in Chandigarh said, “We have detected a quantum increase in the number of candidates who want to come to the armed forces very recently, especially after the global recession, since the situation outside is quite gloomy. What I feel is there is lot of insecurity in the corporate sector and definitely the Sixth Pay Commission has helped a lot. With the kind of pay and perks and the life style which the Army has got, there is definitely a turn around in the mind of candidates.”
But the hike is not just in quantity. Intense competition has seen a better quality of aspirants coming to the training institutes.
Arvind Noel of the Young Mens Christian Association (YMCA) in Chandigarh said, “We find the last eight months or so, the quality of people has definitely improved. We are getting a better quality of people who want to get into the armed forces.”
The economy's loss might just be the nation’s gain with many more talented youngsters now aspiring to join the armed forces and these recession years might just help the Defence authorities fill up the huge number of vacancies in the forces.
(With inputs from Jasbir Singh)