Indian Army | Representational image | PTI
Indian Army (representational image) | PTI
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New Delhi: The Indian Army is discussing a proposal to directly enrol Junior Commissioned Officers (JCOs) in all arms of the service to address the shortage of nearly 14,000 officers.

JCOs — a link between the officers and other ranks in the Indian Army — are currently enrolled as jawans and few of them get promoted to officers over a period of time based on their performance and on their ability to clear promotion examinations.

Currently, a few JCOs are directly enrolled as religious teachers and in certain technical arms such as the Corps of Engineers.

However, fighting arms of the Indian Army do not have any provision for direct enrollment of JCOs. The Army has been promoting JCOs to officers from among their own ranks.

What the proposal states

According to the proposal, the Indian Army will directly induct JCOs who have cleared the Services Selection Board (SSB) interview. The UPSC will conduct an entrance examination, which would be followed by an SSB interview and a medical examination.

Selected candidates would then be trained for one and a half year before joining the units as JCOs. Subsequently, they would be promoted to officers up to the rank of Colonels based on their length of service and qualifications.

The proposal states that four direct entry JCOs will be authorised to a unit having 14 officers, five to those with upto 19, and six to units with 20 or more officers.

The proposal is likely to be presented during the Army Commanders Conference which is likely to be held later this month.

Also read: Army to equip all infantry battalions, not just frontline troops, with US Sig Sauer rifles

‘Will not impact current promotion prospects’

A senior Army officer told ThePrint that the JCOs enrolled directly will be offset against officer vacancies in units and not impact the existing promotion prospects of other ranks.

Though select JCOs and other ranks have an opportunity to get promoted as officers, the numbers are inadequate, primarily due to lack of necessary qualifications, because of which many get rejected at the SSB interview conducted for aspirants.

The new proposal looks at directly enrolling JCOs who will subsequently be promoted to officers in a shorter time frame, thereby addressing the problem of shortage of officers to a large extent.

A second senior Army officer said that, at present, jawans usually are promoted to JCOs upto the rank of Subedar, with a select few being promoted to the rank of Subedar Major.

“The new proposal will not not impact these vacancies or the promotion prospects for jawans,” the officer said.

“The proposed direct entry JCOs would be inducted against entry level vacancies of the officer cadre,” the officer added.

The vacancies of promotion of jawans were also increased during the last Cadre review, when the number of authorised JCOs in all arms were enhanced, the officer said.

Also read: Probe in Army recruitment scam finds candidates in defence academy who paid ‘bribes’ to get in


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  1. Is this still under consideration in Delhi? When will the official notification come out and when can I apply for this? What will be eligibility criteria?

  2. If the direct entry JCO after their induction in Indian Army later assume the rank of young commissioned officer to fulfill the efficiency of officers. In that case the JCOs those who are already serving in the Army has to loose their superiority and obey to work directly under the newly commissioned officers. Why should this chance given to young JCO those who are already serving in Indian Army and physically and mentally fit and having the high morale of the Army? We should also give apprutinunities to even to serving JCOs.

  3. It is better to select JCOs within NCOs who are qualified and have the vast experience of service, But they may have certain criteria as the new JCO require, As the 3 rd cadre review, it enhanced the number of JCOs but in my opinion this is the best option,

  4. And there’s a ready-made pool of candidates for the same, albeit quite conveniently: the RSS cadre! Another brilliant idea from Modi-Shah.

  5. You should know one thing for sure we require qualities,not quantities to carry out .You cannot convert a donkey into a horse.

  6. This is STUPIDITY. Durin my NCC days, I met thousands and thousands of cadets like me who had set their heart out on becoming a commissioned officer in the Army. How come they face a shortage of officers? Because I dont know WHAT criteria they use in the Services Selection Board. ( SSB. ). Also known as rejection board. I have seen my own eyes, hatte khatte mushdande fut fut ke rote hue, because they got rejected in SSB. I too was very very keen, specially on the short service commission, for 5 years. Perfectly suited for me.
    I dont have leadership quualities? In my civilian career, I was front line sales manager, I used to have a waiting list of salesmen from other divisions, who wanted to work under me. I was successful.
    This I read about Israel only recently, . There it is compulsory military training. Those who are physically and mentally fit, go to line infantry. Those little unfit, go to armoureed corps. Unfitter than that go to artillery regiments. Those totally nerdy types are sent to army ordanance corps. It infuriates me, wasnt I even capable of counting ammunition in ordanance corps?

    • The Board that you just called a “rejection board” recruits thousands of cadets every year. I too am a NCC cadet, but as far as I know of the army it’s not only the leadership that plays a vital role rather it’s more of a part of it. Anybody who fulfils their criteria goes in and it’s as simple as that. Many of the “aspirants ” you are talking about might have lacked a few and hence rejected. Just cause the house of fire you cant throw kerosene in it. You need water. Verified water.

  7. Instead of that why don’t they give unemployed graduates employment in army. We are in a bad need of job

  8. Better not to tinker with the armed forces
    Allow them to function as they are
    Present system should be functioning well
    Direct entry of JCO cadre perhaps could be good in the technical branches.But in the infantry the soldiers and officers grow side by side and creation of a new arrangement should be done after sufficient thought.

  9. Sir meri ek Problem h mere army ke regitretion me date of galat ho gyi h to eske liye kya kre please sir help me

  10. Short-sighted idea! Better to focus on Sainik, Military and Navodaya schools and quality of training there. Also, use NCC cadets and train/guide them appropriately to clear SSB.

  11. Havildar promoted as jco at least more than 10 years service in good pen picture ACRs in Unit, Regt,battalion. It’s race to Other ranks. But now directly enrolled without experience what duties,which level they are discharge best experiences comparison with trained soldier. I think enrollment time as havildar enrolled, after complete required trg, then posted to unit, and completed tenure of 5 years service, then suitable persons promote as JCO. Minimum 5 years take he understood all requirements in the unit and familarisation with others. Pl workout what is best. Jai hind.

  12. The Army has to start at least two more Officers Training Academies and recruit young qualified engineers to commission them in combat arms as short service officers.

    With increasing automation, advance technologies are being applied for surveillance, target acquisition. Computerisation for logistics, inventory control and data communications.

    Maintenance knowledge and skills are need for increasing infantry mechanisation and vehicles for enhanced mobility,

    Officers for equipnent intensive army has to be technology proficient leaders, rather than JCOs with relatively lower levels of education.

  13. The Army has to start at least two more Officers Training Academies and recruit young qualified engineers to commision them in combat arms as short service officers.
    With increasing automation, advanced technologies applications for surveillance and target acquisition. Computerisation for logistics and data communications. Mechanisation and vehicles for enhanced mobility the army officer has to be technology proficient leaders, rather than JCOs with relatively lower levels
    of education.

    Are there views in the military officer can be less educated.

    As qualified engineers, the short service officers will have lesser difficulty in finding jobs in the industry after their seven years military career.
    Another innovation, which the Government can consider that all Class 1 officers who are physically fit for the military can serve for three years in the Army, for which they would get one year seniority benefit as incentive over their peers. This will also improve civil-military relations in the Districts and in the border States.

  14. Hope ruling political leaders will take a few decade to privatise armed forces to cool down and cover the real issues faced.
    God Bless Us

  15. Why the Govt not enrol as Officer into Army to fulfill 14,000 deficiency? Still now, Govt not given even a JCO Mess, they are telling JCOs Club.

  16. JCO are not trained in training school, They are the power house of experience which they have gained by grinding themselves. ,It will reduce the no of JCO promoted, and hence will cause inferiority for not getting promoted.
    If only few will become JCO who would like to serve more
    Bullshit idea.

  17. if u ask ms branch to post in any normal army units/establishment not in ncc they give excuse we don’t have vacancies…on other hand they say we are short of officers

  18. As always Modi meddles in what he knows not: This is a disaster in the making. The role of of a Subehdar is that of a family elder. As much to young officers as to sepoys. The JCOs hold the Paltan together with CO with whom they have grown.

  19. The only permanence is change. Yet, we have to be aware that change for change’s sake or if the expected result of the change is not commensurate with the implementation of the change, there is a problem. I have an issue with the aim to induct JCOs directly to overcome the shortfall of officers. The aim may have to be restated like “… improve the efficiency of the fighting machine..” or some such.

    Induction of qualified persons as JCOs directly, of course after prescribed military training, in technical arms like Engineers, Signals and services like EME (maintenance engineers again), Services Corps (supply chain management), Education, Judiciary etc. makes immense sense as it means adoption of latest technologies and methods in the respective areas faster.

    Direct induction of JCOs into Infantry, Armoured Corps etc. may not get us the desired results.

    Tailpiece: May also examine whether there exists a requirement to restate the role of officers in the Army.

    • Sir when will be open online application form for the direct JCO entry.please reply respected sir.

    • Engineers performs the dual role of acting as infantry post completion of their own works. So IF having direct entry JCOs in engineers makes sense, then it should also be having the same sense for infantry.

    • Rightly said. In the Leadership of Profession of Arms, is highly motivated, competent, demanding and challenging.

      So, it’s should be done with thorough care and concern about this.

      Jai Hind

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