‘Ex-servicemen in State remain a neglected lot’

Every year Kerala contributes a large number of soldiers to the defence forces. However, despite having the skills and experience, post-retirement they are the most underutilised trained manpower thanks to the absence of proper resettlement and re-employment plans and a uniform reservation system.

A research by Kannur University on ‘Manpower Utilisation of Ex-Servicemen in Kerala’, which is one of the first such studies undertaken in the State, reveals that ex-servicemen (ESM) are mostly underutilised, especially in their most productive ages, as they are not being properly managed by the Centre and the State.

“Jawans and junior ranks of the Army in the general duty cadre mostly face long gaps of 20 to 27 years of unemployment from ages 33 to 60, which is the national age requirement,” said A.K .Sudha, who conducted the study and earned a doctorate in the subject from Kannur University. Kerala has the most number of ESM among southern States. The State is fifth in the country with 6.78% ESM, while Uttar Pradesh tops with 14%, she added.

The research was conducted on the basis of primary data collected from Alappuzha, Thiruvananthapuram, Pathanamthitta, Kollam and Kannur districts and those garnered from secondary and tertiary sources. According to Ms. Sudha, ESM get quality training, but society does not tap their skills once they retire. Even re-employment of ESM is not in tandem with their ranks, qualifications, and experience, she said.

Data collected from as many as 770 ESM in the five districts revealed that only 279 had been re-employed, and that a majority of them were working as security guards, while rest were unemployed, she said, adding that of the employed lot, only 27% have permanent jobs.

While many States offer reservation to ESM in government jobs, there is no such provision for A,B,C and D categories in Bihar, Jharkhand, Kerala, and Meghalaya. Even in States that offer reservations, 63.5% posts remain unfilled, she said, adding that studies on ESM in Kerala were scanty.

She said ESM in Kerala had the maximum presence in Central government departments, Central Public Sector Units and State Public Sector undertakings, but it is quite low in State government departments, private sector, and banks. Even in Central government departments, Central Public Sector Units, banks and Central paramilitary forces, posting of ESM in reserved vacancies is poor.

Every year, around 70,000 personnel retire from the defence forces. Nearly 89% of them retire between ages 30 and 50, whereas civilians retire at 55 or 60, she added.

The analysis shows that 67% of ESM are unemployed, and their population is rapidly rising, Ms. Sudha said.

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Printable version | Jul 26, 2021 8:34:28 PM |

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