In an attempt to instil ‘discipline and ‘nationalism’, the Centre is planning to introduce a scheme under which 10 lakh young men and women will be given military training every year, reported The Indian Express.
According to the report, the programme – named National Youth Empowerment Scheme or N-YES – will target students of Class 10, 12, and the ones enrolled in a college program with the objective of “optimising the Indian demographic advantage” and creating a “disciplined” and nationalist “force of youth”.
Apart from extending a slew of incentives to students like a fixed stipend for the 12-month training, the BJP-led NDA government also plans to make N-YES an essential qualification for jobs in defence, paramilitary forces and police.
Promoted as a part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘New India 2022’, the scheme aims to make India “Vishwaguru” (a universal leader) by teaching vocational and information technology skills, disaster management, Indian values through yoga, Ayurveda, and Indian philosophy.
The meeting called by the Prime Minister’s Office last month to discuss the proposal was attended by representatives of the Defence Ministry, Department of Youth Affairs and Human Resource Development Ministry, said the report.
The news of the proposed military training programme comes at a time when the Opposition has launched scathing attacks on the BJP and Prime Minister for not creating adequate jobs for the youth.
The report received mixed reactions from people. While many appreciated the Modi government for creating 10 lakh jobs annually, many criticized the government for channelising its resources in the wrong direction.
On one hand, the move gives out a message that those who do not undergo the military training are not disciplined and lack nationalism. On the other hand, with the combined strength of 4,207,250 active and reserve personnel in Indian military, it is still unclear how these newly-trained cadets will be absorbed into defence jobs.
Calling it a PR exercise to deflect attention from the Government’s inability to create jobs, Congress National Spokesperson Manish Tewari tweeted:
1/2 B) looks to be a poorly subterfuged PR excersize to deflect attention from Government’s inability to create jobs.C) Has NCC/NSS outlived it’s utility that it’s budgets would be cannibalised?D)Purpose of MNREGA is not to create half trained vigilantes who may become a menece
— Manish Tewari (@ManishTewari) July 17, 2018
This is the second time the Modi government had advised in favour of military training to instil discipline and nationalism among the youth. In 2017, PMO had advised HRD Ministry to include military training in regular schools to promote discipline, physical fitness and a patriotic outlook.
However, reacting to the reports, the government on Tuesday denied the claims and said that the meeting talked about in the above report only pertained to strengthening the NSS and the NCC. “Attention is drawn to the report in a leading newspaper of 17th July 2018 claiming Government Military Training Plan to mobilize disciplined 10 lakh force of youth. This is an unfortunate and deliberate attempt to create a wrong impression as if Government is working for military training of 10 lakh youths annually,” asserted the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.