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Premature retirement in Army not an easy affair now
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 18
Faced with requests for premature retirement from its officers, the Army headquarters, in a confidential move has now decided to be more stringent in agreeing to such requests.

With this, the forces hope to tide over the shortage of officers. On other hand, it will make it tougher for those who want to opt out of the forces and use their experience in other fields.

Officers of the forces are in huge demand in MNCs and also in industries, which require logistics and man management.

A high-level meeting of the Armed Forces was held last week in which the matter came up about officers seeking premature release from the forces even after the Sixth Pay Commission was announced and even after more posts were sanctioned by the Cabinet at the top and middle level. Army Chief-General Deepak Kapoor chaired the meeting that was attended by all Principal Staff Officers, who are in the rank of Let-Gen and head their units.

Sources said it had been decided to informally hold back the applications of those who had applied purely on the basis of having completed the minimum 20 years of service. Completion of this period is a mandatory requirement for officers unless they are retired, killed or declared medically unfit, earlier than this.

The other categories for seeking premature release are: If an officer has been superseded three times in row and missed his promotion boards for ranks of Colonel and above. In case an officer falls into a permanent low medical category and thirdly on compassionate grounds.

Sources said since the other three categories could not be touched, the only option left for the forces was to retain those who were wanting to leave after completing 20 years of service.

Though a formal written order is yet to be issued, verbal instructions have been made to hold back officers, said a senior functionary.

The completion of 20 years of service cannot be treated as a benchmark and it was not the right of an officer to seek release on this basis, is the opinion of the top brass that makes decisions.

Within the Army officers say the government should let such officers go. These are grudging and unwilling workers, who are perpetually chasing their applications for premature release.



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