Ayush Nautiyal from Baseli Village in Tehri Garhwal hasn’t been so happy in a long time.
For after all Nautiyal is just one of the many young men from the hills who would now be eligible to try their luck in army.
October this year onwards saw the army reduce the minimum height requirement from 166 cm to 163 cm in the western Himalayan region. The western Himalayan region includes Uttarakhand, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab Hills (the area south and west of the interstate border between Himachal Pradesh and Punjab as well as north and east of Mukerian, Hoshiarpur, GarhShankar, Ropar and Chandigarh).
And the move is already showing positive results for many.
According to the official figures of Army’s recruitment drive held in Dehradun last month, rejection rates have reduced drastically from the one which was held earlier this year. While the rejection rate in the previous drive (before the norms were relaxed) was 21%, it dipped to just 8% in the drive held after the new norms came into effect.
Further drives are expected to help get some good candidates from the region. Interestingly joining the army is one of the favourite occupations for men from Uttarakhand.
The Army has different height requirements for separate regions. The eastern Himalayan region (Sikkim, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Tripura, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Assam and hill region of West Bengal) has a minimum height requirement of 160 cm. For western plains region (Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, Rajasthan and Agra as well as Meerut divisions in western Uttar Pradesh) the minimum height required is 170 cm, while it is 169 cm for eastern plains region (eastern Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Orissa).
The height requirement is 168 cm and 166 cm for Central (Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Dadar, Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu) and southern regions (Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka,Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Goa and Puducherry) respectively.