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Tour of Duty scheme for armed forces in final stages, could be announced shortly

NEW DELHI (PTI):  The armed forces are learnt to have given final touches to the Tour of Duty (ToD) scheme under which soldiers are set to be recruited on a short-term as well as a long-term basis, people familiar with the development have said.

It is learnt that the scheme could be rolled out this week as it has already been given final touches following a series of detailed deliberations among the three service chiefs.

As per the initial proposal, the recruitment of soldiers in the Army is set to be conducted under the new scheme in the immediate future and the duration of service for 50 per cent of the new recruits could be between three to five years while the rest may have a much longer tenure.

The scheme would be known as the Tour of Duty or 'Agneepath'.

As per the original proposal, some soldiers would be released after three years of service while some others would be released after around five years.

The people cited above  on Monday. said some of the soldiers recruited under the scheme could have a longer duration of service.

However, these proposals saw some changes when the scheme was given final touches in the last few weeks, they said.

Currently, the Army recruits young people under the Short Service Commission for an initial tenure of 10 years which is extendable up to 14 years.

Under the new scheme, people to be recruited under the ToD for three years and beyond will be eligible to be deployed as combatants in key forward locations and there will be no restrictions in their roles, the people cited above said.

The proposal, which has been part of broad reforms envisaged for the forces, has been deliberated upon extensively in the last two years.

The scheme will benefit the Army financially, according to the people cited above.

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