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Mumbai: The Indian Army has invited applications from religious teachers in an all-India recruitment drive. The recruitment is for the post of “Pandit, Padre and Bodh Monk as Junior Commissioned Officers [Religious Teachers] RRT-66 Course,” a Defence press release said on Monday.
“The troops are religiously [inclined]. Mandir parades or prayer assemblies and all-religion prayers take place routinely in the Army. Earlier, the battalions were from specific communities — for example the Rajput [regiment] — but now we have mixed battalions. Therefore, we recruit religious teachers from other religions as well. In major cantonment areas all religions co-exist. This [recruitment] is a routine procedure and more tradition-oriented,” Wing Commander Sundeep Mehta, public relations officer, Ministry of Defence, told The Hindu by telephone.
The presence of religious teachers is aimed at providing inspiration and moral support to the soldiers. It is also necessitated by the arduous conditions the troops have to endure.
There are 27 vacancies for the post of Pandit, 10 for Padre and three for Bodh Monk, the recruitment office in Nagpur told The Hindu. “Civilian candidates should be in the age group of 27 to 34 years and re-mustered candidates in the age group of 25 to 34 years as on May 9, 2011.”
Graduates in any discipline, having a Madhyama in Sanskrit or Bhushan in Hindi or an equivalent in any regional language, are accepted. Those with B.A., with Sanskrit/Hindi as main subject, but have not done Madhyama in Sanskrit or Bhushan in Hindi are also eligible for the post of Pandit. Graduation from a recognised university in addition to ordained priesthood for Padre and Ordained Buddhist Monk/Buddhist Priest by the appropriate authority for Bodh Monk is required.
Interested applicants have to apply to their respective Headquarters Recruiting Zones. For Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Puducherry, the Zonal centre is in Chennai. The last date of receiving application forms is April 9.
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