Thursday, June 13, 2013

WHAT IS THE MAIN REASON WHY BRIGHT YOUNG PEOPLE DO NOT WANT TO JOIN THE ARMY NAVY AIR FORCE

WHAT IS THE MAIN REASON WHY BRIGHT YOUNG PEOPLE DO NOT WANT TO JOIN THE ARMY NAVY AIR FORCE
Musings
By
VIKRAM KARVE

Sometime ago, the alumni association of one of the best engineering colleges in Pune invited me to deliver a career guidance lecture on HOW TO SELECT A CAREER 

I was surprised by the size and composition of the audience in the large auditorium. 

It looked like all the students in the entire college had turned up. 

Maybe this encouraging response was because the lecture had been timed just before the campus placement season. 

Or maybe, like they do in the navy, all students had been “detailed” to attend. 

What surprised me even more was the large number of girls (almost 30%) studying engineering.

If you want to get the gist of my lecture or have a look at the ppt presentation, do click on the url links below:

Lecture: SELECTING YOUR CAREER - A VALUE BASED APPROACH

http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/06/selecting-career-guidance-counselling.html

PPT Presentation: YOUR VALUES AND YOUR CAREER

http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/06/lecture-presentation-selecting-your.html

One thing the navy has taught me is public speaking.

My talk was a success and my lecture was well received by the students.

But that is not important.

What is interesting is what happened during the post-lecture informal session over high tea where I got an opportunity to interact with the young budding engineers.

I asked the students, boys and girls, if anyone was was keen on joining the navy, or the defence services.

I thought that there would be at least a few young boys and girls keen on a career in the technical branches of the navy, or maybe in the army or air force.

That is why I was quite shocked to hear that no one wanted to join the defence services. 

Yes, not even a single student, boy or girl, wanted to opt for a career in the army, navy or air force.

As per recent news reports there is a huge shortage of officers in the army, navy and air force (the shortage is around 10,500 in the Army and 1,400 in the Navy and 1,100 in the Air Force): 


ARMY NAVY AIR FORCE - SHORTAGE OF OFFICERS


http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/06/army-faces-shortage-of-officers-hindu.html

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/army-faces-shortage-of-officers/article3949355.ece

Since the students were talking to me in a frank and friendly manner, I decided to delve a bit more and explore the reasons for the unpopularity of a career in the defence services among the smart young people of today. 

During my interaction, I discovered that the students were well-informed about the career prospects and way of life in the defence services, especially about the army, and were fully aware of the pros and cons.

I was also surprised to see that quite a significant number of students were children of defence service officers and personnel, while many others had relatives or friends in the armed forces.

My question as to why no one wanted to join the army, navy or air force evoked the standard responses (which I expected to hear):

Lifetime Employment (you can’t leave once you join – no opportunity to job hop for greener pastures)

Frequent Transfers (unstable family life, problems of long distance marriage in case of a working spouse or for children’s education)

Regimentation (modern youngsters do not like curbs on their lifestyle)

Restrictions (speech, marriage, appearance)

Modest Career Prospects (slow seniority based promotions, no incentives for high achievers, moderate salary, early retirement)

One boy even said that nowadays most girls were career oriented and because of this the marriage prospects of army officers got limited since working girls did not prefer an army boy (and vice versa).

One girl even went on to say that, in order to avoid a long-distance marriage and to have a good family life with her husband, an army wife had only two choices – homemaker or teacher.

There was nothing new in all this. 

I am sure you have heard all these reasons too.

Then, suddenly one smart young boy said something I had not expected to hear.

He said, “Sir, there is no izzat in the defence services any more. Nobody respects defence officers any longer. That is why I don’t want to join the army”

For a moment I was taken aback.

Then, as I thought about it, I realized that the youngster did have a point.

Izzat” was the USP of the defence services.

I cannot define it precisely, but we know what “izzat” means (status, respect, prestige, honour, dignity, power, reputation, …)

I do not know about other places, but at least in Pune, there has certainly been a decline in the high “izzat” that the defence officer once enjoyed in society.

“Sir, there is no izzat in the defence services any more. Nobody respects defence officers any longer…” that’s what the smart youngster said.

Do you agree?

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 2013
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work. 
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

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Copyright © Vikram Karve 2013 all rights reserved

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About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer. Educated at IIT Delhi, IIT (BHU) Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories, creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional research papers in journals and edited in-house journals for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing. Vikram Karve lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

Vikram Karve Academic and Creative Writing Journal: http://karvediat.blogspot.com
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