In a significant initiative aimed at supporting and empowering ex-servicemen, the Ministry of Defence has partnered with Kotak Mahindra Life Insurance Company Ltd. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Directorate General Resettlement (DGR), an arm of the Ministry of Defence, and Kotak Mahindra Life Insurance Company Ltd. This collaboration seeks to create employment opportunities for veterans, enabling them to have a dignified second career in the corporate sector. The partnership aims to enhance the visibility of ex-servicemen in industries and facilitate the utilization of their skills and experience.
Enhancing Visibility and Skill Utilization:
Major General Sharad Kapur, Director General (Resettlement), expressed his optimism about the partnership, highlighting its potential to bring more visibility to ex-servicemen within the industry and corporate sectors. By forging this alliance, the Ministry of Defence aims to achieve its objectives of providing skilled manpower and offering a dignified second career to veterans who have served the nation with dedication and commitment.
Welfare and Rehabilitation Schemes:
The Kendriya Sainik Boards (KSB) and the Directorate General of Resettlement (DGR) serve as the implementing agencies for various welfare and rehabilitation schemes for ex-servicemen. These schemes include provisions for girl marriage grants, penury grants, and disabled children grants. The government annually allocates funds to support these initiatives. In the previous financial years of 2021-22 and 2020-21, the expenditure incurred by KSBs amounted to ₹234 crore and ₹420 crore, respectively. For the financial year 2022-23, a budget allocation of ₹150 crore was made. Similarly, the DGR’s financial year-wise figures for the previous years were ₹6.58 crore and ₹6.7 crore, with a budget allocation of ₹20 crore for the last financial year.
Challenges and Employment Opportunities:
A significant number of soldiers retire from active duty between the ages of 35 and 40, seeking to retain their youthful energy. The government strives to assist them in finding post-retirement employment and self-employment opportunities. While the government has reserved 10 percent of Group C jobs and 20 percent of Group D posts for ex-servicemen in the public sector, these vacancies often remain unfilled. In defense Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) alone, the re-employment rate of veterans has been relatively low. As of 2021, only 3.45 percent and 2.71 percent of veterans were employed in Group C and Group D positions, respectively.
Defence Minister’s Appeal:
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had previously appealed to corporates to support and assist veterans who make significant contributions to the country’s security. This collaboration between the Ministry of Defence and Kotak Mahindra Life Insurance serves as a positive step towards fulfilling this vision. By leveraging the expertise and resources of the corporate sector, ex-servicemen can be effectively integrated into the workforce, enabling them to contribute their skills and experiences to the nation’s development.