India's top defence personnel are all set put on the caps of top management executives as the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, following in the footsteps of its counterparts elsewhere in the country, is in the final stages of talks with the Directorate-General of Resettlement, ministry of defence, to provide management training to ex-servicemen of the armed forces.
Speaking on the sidelines of a seminar on resettlement of ex-servicemen organised by the Bengal National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Shivaji Samaddar, director of eastern zone, directorate of settlement, informed members of the press about this latest development.
"We are in talks with IIM, Calcutta, to introduce a middle management course for ex-servicemen of the rank of officers. The institute has almost agreed to introduce a six-month certificate course from the next academic year. However, since this is going to be a full-time residential course, there are problems with providing accommodation. We are trying to work out something so that students can be provided with accommodation outside the campus," explained Samaddar.
While the general age of retirement of officers of the armed forces is 54 years, this course is aimed at those retiring voluntarily at an earlier age or within five years of retirement.
The target age-group for this management programme would be between 30 and 35 with an intake of 50 to 60 candidates per batch.
Samaddar indicated that if the project materialised, the directorate planned to follow the fee structure that was applicable for similar courses conducted by IIM, Ahmedabad and IIM, Lucknow, which was Rs 1.4 lakh.
While 60 per cent of the course fee would be sponsored by the ministry of defence, the officers themselves would have to bear the remaining cost of education, Samaddar informed.
When contacted, Anindya Sen, dean of programme initiatives at IIM, Calcutta confirmed that talks were on between the parties concerned for such a development.
However, the development was not yet at its final stage. He cited accommodation as a stumbling block for smooth progress of the project.
The directorate of resettlement is also in talks with the Netaji Subhash Open University to facilitate ex-servicemen to undergo an English language course that would enhance their communication skills and make them suitable for recruitment to BPOs.
"There are about 600 to 700 rehabilitation courses available for servicemen all over India. There are 19 lakh ex-servicemen in the country and one lakh in the eastern region alone. Nearly 50,000 servicemen retire from the armed forces every year and our target is to make at least 10,000 of them undergo free resettlement programmes before they retire," said Samaddar.