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Data: How many ex-servicemen get government jobs after retirement?

Statistics show that after 14 years of service in the army, the recruitment of ex-servicemen in government departments is negligible.

By Pallav Jain
New Update
Agniveer job after retirement

There is considerable uproar in the country regarding the government's decision to enlist soldiers for a limited four-year term under the Agniveer scheme. Concerned citizens and aspiring candidates, who had long envisioned a career in the Army, are now raising questions about their prospects beyond the initial four-year period. They are wondering if there are employment opportunities for ex-servicemen post-retirement.

When the issue of unemployment arose, the government assured that Agniveers would be granted prioritized opportunities in all government departments.

Several BJP-ruled states have made assurances of prioritizing employment opportunities for Agniveers. However, concerns have been raised regarding the validity of these promises as data on ex-servicemen's employment contradicts such claims. Statistics reveal that the recruitment of retired soldiers in government departments remains minimal even after 14 years of dedicated service in the army.

Note: If you are an ex-serviceman fill out this questionnaire to help us get a more accurate picture of this issue, English version, Hindi Version

What government said about this in the parliament?

Data presented by the Centre in the Lok Sabha on Friday shows a significant decline in the number of servicemen transitioning from armed forces to central government jobs, dropping from 10,982 in 2015 to 2,983 in 2021.

  • In 2014, 2,322 former servicemen were recruited into central government jobs. The number increased to 10,982 in 2015 but gradually declined over the next five years.
  • In 2016, 9,086 retired armed forces officials were recruited in central government jobs, which decreased to 5,638 in 2017, 4,175 in 2018, 2,968 in 2019, and 2,584 in 2020.
  • In 2021, the number increased to 2,983, according to government data.

What DGR data says?

The Directorate General Resettlement (DGR) report, dated June 30, 2021, reveals that the Central Government Department reserves 10 percent of Group C and 20 percent of Group D posts for Ex-Servicemen. However, the report highlights a significant disparity in the employment of ex-servicemen across government departments. Out of the 77 departments surveyed, only 1.29 percent of Group C and 2.66 percent of Group D positions are currently filled by ex-servicemen.

That is, out of 10,84,705 employees in Group C, 13,976 are ex-servicemen and out of 3,25,265 in Group D, only 8,642 are ex-servicemen.

The government has announced that it will allocate 10 percent of positions in security units like CRPF, RPF, BSF, and ITBP for Agniveers who will retire after a minimum of 4 years. However, recent data indicates that even after dedicating 14 years to serving in the army, soldiers do not receive priority in any department upon retirement, leading them to take up menial jobs.

Now let's look at the posts reserved for ex-servicemen in different government departments and the figures of ex-servicemen working on them.

97,000 posts vacant in Indian Army, Then why they are not filling them?

How many ex-servicemen got jobs?

0.47% in Group C
0.87% in Group B
2.20% in Group A

Paramilitary Force (CRPF, RPF, ITBP, BSF)

Public Sector Units (PSUs)
14.5% in Group C and 24.5% in Group D for Fixed Quota Ex-Servicemen
working only
Group C 1.15%
Group D 0.3%

Public sector bank
14.5% in Group C and 24.5% in Group D for Fixed Quota Ex-Servicemen
working only
Group C 9.10%
Group D 21.34%

There are 251 posts reserved in Coal India for ex-servicemen but not a single post filled by Army men.

Indian Railway
Indian Railways, which is the biggest source of employment, only 1.4 percent posts filled with retired Army men here.

Now, let's focus on State Governments. It is worth noting that Bihar, UP, Punjab, and Haryana contribute to a significant 80 percent of the country's soldiers. Surprisingly, only 1.5 percent of positions are filled by ex-servicemen in these states, despite the fact that over 2 lakh ex-soldiers have applied for employment opportunities here.

Why jobs of ex-servicemen lying vacant in government offices?

State Sainik Board officials say that "posts are reserved for ex-servicemen in these states, but they do not recognize the graduation certificate given by the army."

Three individuals, an Army man, an Airman, and a Sailor, enlist in the military following their completion of 10th grade. After serving for 15 years, the army awards them with graduation certificates. However, numerous states either do not recognize these certificates or if they do, these former servicemen encounter challenges in successfully passing competitive exams due to the higher level of education required.

The lack of necessary skills among ex-servicemen is believed to be the reason why they often struggle to secure government jobs, resulting in numerous vacant reserved posts. Consequently, there has been a growing demand to provide ex-servicemen with the essential skills required for these positions.

According to DGR, these government posts remain vacant because either the ex-service men do not apply for the post or they do not have the qualification to work in them.

Sainik Board officials say that ex-servicemen are not been able to clear the entrance exams.

The Department of Personnel & Training has appealed many times to PSUs and other government departments that ex-servicemen should get relaxation in standards. But these departments are not yet ready to relax the rules for ex-servicemen.

Let's acknowledge the necessity of skilled labor in banks and PSUs. However, why are ex-servicemen not recruited into other armed forces? There seems to be a belief that paramilitary soldiers are uncomfortable working alongside ex-servicemen.

As of June 2021, there are a total of 26,39,020 Ex-Servicemen in the country, with 22,93,378 from the Army, 1,38,108 from the Navy, and 2,07,534 from the Air Force.

After dedicating 14 years to serving in the military, soldiers often encounter challenges when it comes to preparing for competitive exams and resuming their studies. However, Agniveers are fortunate enough to not face these difficulties, as they can embark on their educational journey once again at the age of 25.

Read More on Agnipath Scheme

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