Despite small size, Goa gave an Army chief…

Despite small size, Goa gave an Army chief, Defence Minister’

Panaji, July 8 (IANS) Despite contributing little by way of manpower to the Indian armed forces, Goa has more than made up by giving an Army hief and a Defence Minister, Manohar Parrikar said on Friday.

“A small state like Goa has given an Army chief in General Sunith Francis Rodrigues. Now, it has also given a Defence Minister. Despite its small population of 15 lakh, Goa has thus filled up its quota in a big way,” Parrikar said at a government function in Margao town in south Goa, 35 km from Panaji.

Rodrigues was Army chief from 1990 to 1993 and also served as Punjab Governor from 2004 to 2010.

Goa was home to around 5,000 ex-servicemen, Parrikar said adding that Goans did not tend to gravitate towards the armed forces because it was not a border state and also due to possible lack of information about the defence forces.

Parrikar, who took over as Defence Minister in November 2014, said his ministry had made lot of efforts to streamline army recruitment rallies which, he said, put candidates through a lot of hardships and the quality of selection suffered in the process.

“Organising recruiting rallies for soldiers is a peril unto itself. (In) Jaipur… Haryana for a recruitment of 1,000 boys, as many as 25,000 to 30,000 people used to turn up. There was rioting, fighting and the tests used to suffer,” Parrikar said.

The minister said technology was being used to streamline recruitment in the defence forces.

“We conducted a study and last year we changed our (recruitment) methodology. From now on, if we hold a recruitment rally, we have an online registration after declaring the venue in advance and call 1,000-odd boys based on names generated by a computerised list,” Parrikar said.

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