Army defers release in premature retirement cases in view of Covid crisis

Vijay Mohan Tribune News Service Chandigarh, April 5 The army on Sunday deferred till June 30 the release of personnel who had opted for premature retirement and were earlier scheduled to hang up their boots in the next two months. "In view...

Army defers release in premature retirement cases in view of Covid crisis

Vijay Mohan

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 5

The army on Sunday deferred till June 30 the release of personnel who had opted for premature retirement and were earlier scheduled to hang up their boots in the next two months.

"In view of the fight against #COVID19, SOS dates for all Pre-Mature Retirement of #IndianArmy officers extended till 30 June 2020. Individual letters to all will be issued after lockdown period," a tweet by the Additional Directorate General Public Relations stated. SOS means 'struck off strength'.

The moves comes in the wake of a nationwide lockdown to combat COVID-19 that has mandated reduced staff strength in government offices so that only essential services are maintained.

Retention of personnel till the situation returns to normal also addresses the issue of manpower requirements in case of any exigency. The Army has come up with a blue print to recall veterans to augment its strength if required.

The Armed Forces personnel are also engaged in combating COVID-19 pandemic. While the Air Force is constantly ferrying critically required medical supplies and emergency equipment to far flung areas, the forces are also running quarantine camps for travellers who have returned from abroad and providing medical teams and support to civilian authorities. The forces are also on the standby to assist civilian administration in maintaining law and order and undertake internal security duties if the need so arises.

Armed Forces personnel can opt for premature retirement if they are superseded or on medical and compassionate grounds if they have completed the minimum required service for grant of pension. A detailed policy and comprehensive instructions exist on the subject. According to sources, about 50,000 personnel have opted for premature retirement in the past five years.