As part of measures to reduce the mounting pension burden of the Army, efforts are on to make the Short Service Commission (SSC) more attractive, Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Bipin Rawat said on Thursday.
“We are looking at making the SSC more attractive. Looking at a year’s training [course] while exiting after 14 years. We are also looking at other courses and options,” Gen. Rawat told a small group of journalists. Other incentives include a lumpsum amount and medical facilities under the Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme.
The courses can be professional or technical courses such as MBA or M.Tech. to give the skills for a second employment as a civilian.
Currently, the SSC is for 10 years, which can be extended by up to four years. At the end of 14 years, there is an option for permanent commission (PC).
Gen. Rawat said about 25%-30% of the SSC officers would be granted PC so that they are kept motivated. “So the SSC officers will compete to get PC. The rest can leave,” he said.
The Army’s pay and pension bill has been increasing over the years, accounting for 60% of its budgetary allocation. During the last five years, though the growth in the defence budget has been 68% and the growth in salaries 75%, the pensions have increased by a staggering 146%.