Antony Asks States to open up more Avenues for Ex-Servicemen

Defence Minister Shri AK Antony has called for opening up more avenues for Ex-Servicemen. Presiding over the 29th Meeting of the Kendriya Sainik Board, the apex body of the Central Government and States/UTs for Ex-Servicemen Welfare (ESW), here today, Shri Antony said the nation cannot afford to waste this vast reservoir of disciplined workforce bearing skills in a wide range of trades.

“Sometime back I had written to Chief Ministers of all states to provide more avenues of employment for Ex-Servicemen. You must devise ways and means to open up more fields of economic activity where the rich and practical experience of Ex-Servicemen can best be utilized. I also urge all the State Governments to take steps to ensure that the provision for reservation in jobs for Ex-Servicemen provide tangible employment opportunities on the ground for Ex-Servicemen,” Shri Antony said.

Pointing out that about 50 to 60 thousand defence personnel either retire or are released from service every year, the Defence Minister said that most of them are in the productive age group.

“They possess hands-on work experience in about 300 trades and are a young, disciplined workforce that can be of immense benefit for the society and the nation. We cannot afford to waste such a young and vastly trained reservoir of wokforce,” Shri Antony said.

The Defence Minister also expressed concern on jobs earmarked for Ex-Servicemen lying vacant for long in the central and state governments.

“I wish to exhort all the Ministries and Departments under the Central Government to do their best to fill all the existing vacancies earmarked for Ex-Servicemen. Of late I find, instead of filling vacancies, they are rather taking away the (Ex-Servicemen) vacancies on one plea or the other,” Shri Antony said. “This must not be encouraged,” he remarked tersely.

Calling upon the public and private sector to provide maximum opportunities to the Ex-Servicemen, the Defence Minister observed that the benefits of reemployment were not percolating to the lowest ranks.

“The corporate and industrial sector has provided employment to several Ex-Servicemen. However, while most of these reemployed personnel are from the Officer level, it has come to our notice that there are not enough jobs for PBORs (Personnel Below Officer Rank). I am sure that the corporate and the private sector leaders will devote their energies to this aspect too,” Shri Antony said.

The Defence Minister announced that the Central Government has hiked its share of contribution to the functioning of Rajya and Zila Sainik Boards.

“…I strongly appeal to the Chief Ministers to extend their full cooperation by filling up vacant posts in Rajya Sainik Boards and Zila Sainik Boards. On its own part, Central Government has enhanced its contribution for office expenditure and salaries at Rajya and Zila Sainik Boards. The enhancement from the existing ratio of 50:50 to 75:25 in case of special category of states and 60:40 in cases of other states will be operational soon,” Shri Antony said.

Reiterating that the Government is committed to setting up another 199 polyclinics across the country and also in Nepal under the second phase of the Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS), as approved by the Union Cabinet, Shri Antony called upon the states to provide the land for purpose at the earliest.

“Money is not the problem; process of land acquisition and construction needs to be done. I have no doubt that the State Governments will provide all the necessary assistance in removing all obstacles and making these polyclinics functional at the very earliest,” Shri Antony said.

Addressing the gathering, the Minister of State for Defence Shri MM Pallam Raju announced that an IT-enabled Grievance Redressal Mechanism for the Ex-Servicemen is in the process of being set up that would make efforts to resolve their problems right up to the district level.

The Governor of Punjab, Shri Shivraj Patil, Chief Minister of Haryana, Shri Bhupinder Hooda and Chief Minister of Delhi, Smt. Shiela Dikshit, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal PV Naik and Chief of Army Staff General VK Singh, besides several state ministers and top officials took part in the deliberations.


In India recruitment process is mostly focused on to urban areas. Even though Indian government has various plans for rural employment such as Jawahar Rozgaar Yojna, implementation of which is merely on paper.

Problems faced by Recruitment Industry
Our population has grown to over 100 million, but the employable youth population is merely 30 % of net population. Various job portals and also employment exchanges across our vast country have databases of these employable and educated youths. There are few questions being faced by recruitment industry that poses a serious threat in finding suitable and employable youths.

  • But how many of these are really being placed in some work places of their respective sectors – that is a BIG question in recruitment industry.
  • Of these 30 % employable youths, how many are really being registered in job portals, employment exchanges, etc.
    On an average, 1/3rd of these are registered in these portals or even
    employment exchanges – i.e. 10 million employable job-seeker.
  • These 10 million youths are registered in almost all job portals – duplicated. Even half of them are registered with respective district employment exchanges. Are they (job portals)
    really effective in finding suitable jobs for these aspiring candidates?
  • How many of these registered job-seekers do have skill-sets required by various job sectors?
  • A majority of these (80%) registered job-seekers are filtered out as junks. Do recruitment industries try to find out why they are not skilled and how to make them employable?
  • In Govt. sector jobs, these employable youths are filtered out on the basis of caste, religion and minority segment. They are not interested to find skilled personnel in general
    categories, because they are bound by so called RESERVATIONS – unwanted ones.
  • Where do the rest filtered out candidates go to find out a suitable job for them?
  • Moreover, do right candidates get right jobs to their education, skill sets and necessity? Most companies try to fit non-suitable candidates for a different job. Like, an engineering candidate is put for marketing job or a call center job. Thereby, he/she do the job without much interest, resulting in productivity level going down in a company.
  • Companies should get right candidates best suited for their job requirements. It is a Herculean task.

Solutions best matched for both Job-seekers and Employers:

In view of the above, we can have a long term solutions to both employers and job-seekers alike. Instead of seeking job-seekers from same old portals time and again, we can hit rural areas and tier II and tier III cities for potential job-seekers. They do not have some
essential skill set required by the employment industry, like
communication skills.

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