Armed forces recruitment rules in India are still in flux, with the army still not allowing people to apply for a Reserve rank, even if they are qualified.
But a senior official in the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has said the army is “open for” all candidates.
Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat, who is the top military officer, is set to take over the defence ministry as defence minister from the BJP-led NDA government in the coming weeks.
His predecessor, A.K. Antony, is expected to take a similar role as defence secretary, a senior defence ministry official said.
But with the country still grappling with a massive and long-running shortage of manpower, the Army’s rules for reservists are still open for interpretation.
To be eligible for the Reserve ranks, applicants must have completed a minimum of two years of rigorous training.
In addition, they must have at least a B rank and an overall rank of Major.
The military has said reservists should not be considered candidates for a rank in the Reserve.
The Reserve rank is also given to those who have served in a reserve component of the Armed Forces or in other roles of specialised service, including the police, special forces and paramilitary forces.
“The Army has made the decision to allow people to submit their applications for the reserve ranks without having to have been an active member of the army,” the official said, requesting anonymity.
“The army is open for all people, regardless of rank, regardless if they have served for a long period of time, whether they have a B-rank or a higher rank.”