New Delhi: A Congress member of parliament has sought parity between the armed forces and civil services with the demand that trainees at defence academies be paid full salaries as with central services academies. He claims such discrimination allows the private sector to wean away young men from government services.
The MP from Maharajganj, Harshvardhan, has written to defence minister AK Antony asking that defence forces and bureaucracy be brought at par on this issue.
He said youth from rural areas and humble backgrounds, also the "would-be sole bread earner" for their families, were joining defence academies.
"In many cases, these capable youth opt out for private sector jobs just to fulfil the financial obligation to their families. This happens at the cost of entry to the defence forces," he wrote.
Harshvardhan's fresh demand came after the defence ministry rejected an earlier plea. The ministry had replied that "obtaining commission is culmination of training and should be the criteria of grant of pay".
Himself a sainik school alumnus, the MP has said in his communication that the stand adopted by the defence ministry is at variance with the practise with the other branches of the government, both at the central and state levels.
"This is not the case with any of the central services academies, national academies or even state-level academies," he has said in his communication to the MoD.