Bengaluru: Industrialist Anand Mahindra has backed a proposal by the army to allow civilians, including young working professionals, to join the force for a three-year tenure while stating that the Mahindra Group would be happy to consider for employment those who have served the term. The Indian Army is considering a proposal -- 'Tour of Duty' (ToD) or 'Three Years Short Service' scheme, under which civilians could be allowed to join the force for a three-year tenure as officers and in other ranks for a variety of roles, even frontline fighters.

The proposal aims to tap the "resurgence of nationalism and patriotism" among the youths who do not want to join the Army as a profession but wish to experience the military life for a temporary duration.

"I recently learnt that the Indian Army is considering a novel proposal, the 'Tour of Duty'. The young, fit citizens of India will get an opportunity to gain operational experience in the Army both as soldiers and Officers through this voluntary three year programme," Mahindra, who is the chairman of the Mahindra Group, said in a statement.

He further said, "I definitely think military training will be an added advantage for Tour of Duty Graduates as they enter the workplace. In fact, considering the rigid standards of selection and training in the Indian Army, the Mahindra Group will be happy to consider their candidature."

The army's proposal is a part of broad reforms envisaged for the force. It is expected to be discussed at a conference of top commanders of the Indian Army following which the process would be taken forward.

At present, the Army recruits young people under short service commission for an initial tenure of 10 years which is extendable by another four years.