Pune: In a first-of-its-kind initiative in the country, the Department of Sainik Welfare (DSW), Maharashtra, has started a correspondence course for retiring soldiers and ex-servicemen (ESM) to enable them to qualify in the Maharashtra Public Service Commission (MPSC) examinations for recruitment to group C and D posts in the State government.
Though 15 per cent posts are reserved for them, they go unutilised as soldiers fail to qualify in the mandatory written competitive examination.
Lt Gen RN Noronha, Chief of Staff, Pune-headquartered Army’s Southern Command, launched the training programme at a function held at the Maha Sainik Lawn near DSW office on Monday.
“Only two per cent of the vacancies get filled as soldiers fail to clear the mandatory written competitive examination due to a lack of knowledge about the state (Maharashtra) government examinations,” Noronha told the gathering of ESM, war widows and soldiers who are about to retire from the service. He further said, to overcome this problem, Maharashtra Ex-servicemen Corporation (MESCO) has taken an initiative.
It has designed a correspondence course for retiring soldiers and the ESM to help them prepare for the recruitment test conducted by different departments in the State government including MPSC. I am sure a maximum number of retiring JCOs/OR and ESM will certainly benefit to acquire a job in their second innings from this pilot programme,” Noronha added.
After its success in Maharashtra, the course will be replicated in other states also. Recently, a minister from Uttar Pradesh visited the DSW to know about this course. “I have written to all regimental centres, including the Maratha Light Infantry, Armoured Corps, Bombay Engineer Group and Centre, Khadki, etc, where the number of soldiers from Maharashtra is high. We would like to replicate it in other states also. Like Maharashtra, other states should also increase the reservation for ESM. We are getting a very good feedback from organisations where ESMs are employed,” he added.
DSW President Col (Retd) Suhas Jatkar said the course has been started with 200 soldiers and ESM. “The course covers all subjects like IQ, general knowledge, English, Marathi etc. This programme includes the syllabus of government examinations, answering techniques, time management, preparing for exam and stress management and practical mock tests. The books for preparing for the examination have also been made available at concessional rates,” Jatkar said.
The course duration is of a year and exams will be conducted every three months to assess the readiness of soldiers. At the end of one year, a seven-day contact programme will be held at the DSW office, where rigorous coaching will be provided.