The incentives include a fixed stipend for the 12-month training and making N-YES an “essential qualification” for jobs in Defence, paramilitary forces and police.
In the name of having a “disciplined” and nationalist “force of youth,” the government has discussed a proposal to target 10 lakh young men and women every year with a military training programme, The Indian Express has learnt.
Billed as the National Youth Empowerment Scheme or N-YES, aimed at “optimising the Indian demographic advantage”, it proposes a slew of incentives to students fresh of Class X and XII and, currently, enrolled in college. The incentives include a fixed stipend for the 12-month training and making N-YES an “essential qualification” for jobs in Defence, paramilitary forces and police.
Sources confirmed that a meeting on the proposed scheme was called by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in the last week of June and was attended by representatives of the Defence Ministry, Department of Youth Affairs and Human Resource Development Ministry.
A presentation on the same was made by an officer of Defence Ministry. A senior PMO official did not respond to a message.
Sources added that reservations were said to have been raised by some officers about N-YES during the meeting following which another suggestion was made to strengthen the existing National Cadet Corps or NCC, instead.
According to the proposal, the scheme will instil values of nationalism, discipline and self-esteem into the youth, which, in turn will help make India a “Vishwaguru” (read a universal leader) and achieve Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of New India 2022.
In addition to military training, those enrolled will be taught vocational and IT skills, disaster management and Indian values though yoga, ayurveda and ancient Indian philosophy.
The above is envisioned as a year-long programme targeted specially at youth in rural areas and women. To finance this scheme, it was proposed that the government could use the existing budget meant for NCC and National Service Scheme (NSS), funds available with the Skill Development Ministry and also MNREGA funds.
The military training programme has been proposed at a time the Opposition has launched an attack on the union government for not creating adequate and appropriate job opportunities for the youth.
This, however, isn’t the first time that the PMO has broached the topic of instilling discipline and nationalism in youngsters.
As first reported by The Indian Express on July 21, 2017, the PMO last year advised the department of school education, under the HRD Ministry, to include elements of military schools (Sainik Schools) — aimed at promoting discipline, physical fitness and a patriotic outlook — in regular schools too.
The ministry is learnt to be currently working on introducing Sainik School features in seven Navodaya Vidyalayas on a pilot basis this year.
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