Tour of Duty - Indian Army, Eligibility, Salary, Selection Process

By Dhruv Kumar|Updated : July 1st, 2022

Tour of Duty or Agnipath Scheme was launched by the Union Government on 14 June 2022. The Union Cabinet approved an appealing recruitment scheme for the Indian youth to serve in the armed forces. The programme AGNIPATH is also known as Tour of Duty, and the youth who participate in it are known as Agniveers. Under the Tour of Duty Army scheme, soldiers get released after 4 years of service, and only 25 per cent of soldiers will be offered a full-time permanent job based on their performance and merit.

What is the Tour of Duty Scheme?

Tour of Duty was promoted by the late Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Bipin Rawat. Tour of Duty is a new recruitment model in which civilians can be recruited into three services of the armed forces for four years.

  • Soldiers, sailors and airmen will be enrolled through the Tour of Duty Scheme. It is a pan India merit-based recruitment.
  • The Tour of Duty model was considered with the goal of recruiting approximately 46,000 personnel below officer rank in the three services each year via a biannual exercise with a six-month gap.
  • Soldiers will be recruited for four years under the system.
  • Applicants will start with a salary of Rs 30,000 which will increase to Rs 40,000 by the end of the fourth year.
  • Under the Seva Nidhi scheme, approximately 30% of the salary will be set aside for savings, with the govt. contributing an equal amount each month.
  • After four years, up to 25% of Agniveers will be selected as regular cadres based on a central, transparent, and rigorous system.

Latest Updates: TOD Army, Navy & Indian Air Force

  • Tour of Duty Indian Army and Navy online registration begins from 01 July onwards.
  • The TOD Air Force apply online process has been started on 24 June 2022. The last day to submit the application forms is 05 July.
  • Under the Tour of Duty (TOD), also known as the Agneepath Scheme, the upper age limit for this year is increased to 23 years.
  • Detailed notifications regarding the recruitment under the TOD scheme have been released by the Indian Army and Air Force. Indian Navy will soon release the notification for Tour of Duty recruitment.

TOD Army

TOD Indian Army notification has been released on 20 June 2022 on the official site. It contains the complete schedule of recruitment including syllabus, exam pattern, eligibility, salary, etc. In the following table, we are sharing important dates and official notification of the TOD Army.

Important Dates

TOD Indian Army

Notification Release: June 2022

Online Registration Date: 01 July 2022

Examination Start Date: From August 2022

TOD Indian Army Notification PDF

Eligibility Criteria for Tour of Duty (ToD)

Candidates of age between 17 and a half to 21 years can apply for the Tour of Duty recruitment. The educational requirements for the Tour of Duty will remain the same as they are now for enrollment in multiple categories. As an example:

The educational requirement for entry as a General Duty (GD) soldier is 10th class. In the following table, we are sharing the education qualification, age criteria, and marital status required to apply for the Tour of Duty scheme.

Tour of Duty Eligibility

Details

Educational Qualification

Minimum 10th class pass

Tour of Duty Age Limit

17.5 - 21 years.

Who can Apply? 

Both Male & Female candidates

Marital Status

The candidate's marital status must be unmarried.

How to Apply for Tour of Duty?

For all three military forces, enrolment will be done through an online centralized system. Candidates must meet the medical eligibility requirements in order to enrol. Further details will soon be shared by the officials on the official website of the Government of India.

Tour of Duty Medical Standards

Candidates will have to meet the medical eligibility conditions laid out for the enrolment in the armed forces as applicable to respective categories or trades.

Tour of Duty (ToD) Salary

Tour of Duty cadets will be given an appealing customized monthly package, as well as Risk & Hardship allowances for each of the three services. Tour of Duty cadets will be paid a one-time 'SevaNidhi' package upon completion of the four-year engagement period, which will include their contribution plus accrued interest as well as a matching contribution from the govt. equal to the accumulated amount of their contribution plus interest, as shown below:

Year

Customized Package (Monthly)

In-Hand (70%)

Contribution to Agniveers Corpus Funds (30%)

Contribution to the corpus fund by the Govt. of India

All figures in INR (monthly contribution)

1st Year

30000

21000

9000

9000

2nd Year

33000

23100

9900

9900

3rd Year

36500

25580

10950

10950

4th Year

40000

28000

12000

12000

Total contribution in the Agniveer Corpus Fund after 4 yrs.

 --

-- 

5.02 Lakhs

5.02 Lakhs

Exit after four year

INR 11.71 Lakh as SevaNidhi Package

(In addition, interest accrued on the above amount at the applicable interest rates would be paid.)

Pay, Perks & Allowances of Tour of Duty Scheme

In the following table, we are sharing Pay, Perks & Allowances which will be given to cadets of the Tour of Duty scheme.

Tour of Duty Pay, Perks & Allowances

Details

Annual Package

1st year package approx. INR 4.76 Lakhs.

Upgradation up to approx. INR 6.92 Lakhs in the fourth year.

Allowances

Risk & Hardship, Ration, Dress, Travel allowances as applicable.

Seva Nidhi

30 per cent of monthly emoluments to be contributed by the individuals.

Equal amount matched & contributed by the govt.

Corpus of approx. INR 11.71 Lakhs after four years, exempted from the Income Tax

Death Compensation

1st year package approx. INR 4.76 Lakhs.

Upgradation up to approx. INR 6.92 Lakhs in the fourth year.

Disability Compensation

Compensation is based on per cent of disability laid down by the medical authorities.

One-time Ex Gratia of INR 44/25/15 Lakhs for 100 per cent/75 per cent/50 per cent disability respectively.

Post Retirement Opportunities for Tour of Duty Cadets

  • Candidates who will retire after 4 years of service in Tour of Duty will be given priority in CAPF and Assam rifles recruitment.
  • As per the criteria, the Indian Armed Forces will try to give a class 12 certificate to a class 10 student who joins as an Agniveer.
  • Remaining Agniveers will get assistance from the armed forces for further employment avenues.

Tour of Duty Recruitment Advantages and Disadvantages

Read in detail the advantages and concerns regarding the Tour of Duty recruitment scheme.

To Defence

  • The move is likely to address a number of issues concerning the Armed Forces.
  • The model will aid in filling open positions in the defence sector.
  • Due to the COIVD-19 pandemic, there has been almost no recruitment of soldiers for the three services over the last two years.
  • As per the data shared by the Defence Ministry in Parliament on 28th March, the Army has over 1 lakh vacant positions for Junior Commissioned Officers of other ranks.
  • It will also benefit thousands of young people who want to join the Army, Navy, or Air Force.
  • Soldiers on tour will ensure that a significant portion of the workforce is dedicated and skilled, increasing government and private sector output.

To Government

  • Tour of Duty (ToD) will address the issue of personnel shortages while also reducing the burden of pay raises as well as pensions.
  •  It will also result in a reduction in the average age of soldiers in units.
  • ToD will aid in the reduction of pension payments made to retired soldiers. In the current fiscal year, the government has allocated nearly Rs 1.2 lakh Cr. for pensions to the Defence Ministry and in the Armed Forces, which is roughly a quarter of the total defence budget.
  • According to one of the numerous projections included in the plan, comparing the costs incurred by the govt. for one soldier under the existing and proposed systems would result in a lifetime savings of Rs 11.5 Cr.
  • The money saved on pay & bonuses can be used to fund much-needed military modernization.

Tour of Duty Scheme Concerns

  • Experts are also concerned about the implementation of the Tour of Duty because most soldiers will now serve only for four years without a pension, as opposed to nearly 20 years with a pension under the current system.
  • Concerns have also been raised about whether training, as well as tenure, will be adequate for some of the operations that these soldiers may be required to carry out.
  • According to an initial Army proposal, it was planned to open up recruiting to the young people who didn't want to make the military their permanent career and yet still wanted to experience the adventure of military professionalism, without relaxing the entry criteria.

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FAQs on Tour of Duty

  • The Army has branded the Tour of Duty (ToD) as an opportunity for India's youth to undergo military life experience without having to commit to long-term service in the armed forces (i.e. Indian Army, Navy, and Air Force).

  • Under the Tour of Duty scheme, 17.5 to 21 yrs old will be recruited as Agniveers for four years and will be eligible to join the regular cadre at the end of this time. The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) recently approved the game-changing Tour on Duty (ToD) scheme known as 'Agnipath.'

  • Yes both female & male candidates are eligible for the Tour of Duty recruitment scheme.

  • Here we are sharing the minimum age criteria for the Tour of Duty scheme which is 17 and a half years to 21 years. However, as per the latest update, the upper age limit for TOD Army, Air Force, and Navy for 2022-23 recruitment has been increased to 23 years.

  • In the first year of tour of duty, the customised monthly salary package will be INR 30,000, with INR 9,000 deducted as a contribution to the 'Agniveer' corpus. Following their service, the troops will most likely receive a severance package worth more than INR 11 lakh.

  • Currently, the Army has approximately 1.3 lakh vacancies (as reported) due to a lack of recruitment as a result of COVID-19. It implies that there are approximately 65000 vacancies per year in Tour of Duty.

  • The TOD Indian Army notification has been released based on which the application process is most likely to begin from 01 July onwards. The online exam will be conducted in August.

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