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Compulsory recruitment in the army -- your say!
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January 22, 2008

Will you accept compulsory recruitment in the army?

That the Indian Army, widely respected by the people it serves for its professionalism and remarkable courage, has been facing a shortage of officers for some time is well known.

Estimates put the shortage of officers -- the backbone of any force -- at over a mind-numbing 11,000. Nor is there any hope that new recruits can fill the breach - even the premier Indian Military Academy and the National Defence Academy have seen their officers training programme function at way below capacity.

The diagnosis is simple, that the young Indian has turned away from a career in the defence forces, choosing professions where the money and scope for advancement are vast. Serving in the army, in contrast, is not about the money but glory.

The military even tried a media blitz, hoping the power of hype will reverse the situation. Alas, nothing seems to work.

Last week, the Chief of Army, General Deepak Kapoor, proposed that one way of overcoming this personnel shortage would be to introduce conscription, or compulsory army recruitment for youngsters for a limited period. On the face of it, it seems like a grand idea, especially when you consider that India also has a vast pool of qualified but unemployed young. Conscription is practiced by few nations, notable among them being Brazil [Images], China (selective), Germany [Images], Iran, Israel and Russia [Images].

What do you the Get Ahead reader, ie, the young Indian, think of General Kapoor's idea?

Will you be willing to undergo compulsory recruitment in the military? Let us know what you think of it, and why.

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