Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh virtually laid the foundation stone of Sardar Bahadur Amin Chand Soni Armed Forces Preparatory Institute at village Bajwara, Hoshiarpur, to facilitate more youth from the state to take up defence services as a career. This ambitious project will be executed at a cost of Rs 27 crore over an area of 12.75 acres by the PWD (B&R) department and would be completed by the end of 2021. The upcoming institute would impart training to 270 candidates per year.
The Chief Minister said this new armed forces preparatory institute would be instrumental in realizing the dreams of Punjab’s young sons and daughters to join the armed forces. At a time when women pilot officers are flying the Rafale and helicopters, and are actively involved in every field of the armed forces, the day will soon come when girls in India will be part of the fighting force like their counterparts in other countries, he added.
Captain Amarinder thanked Member Parliament Ambika Soni, the President of the Sardar Bahadur Amin Chand Soni Education Trust and Society, for providing land free of cost as a gift to the Employment Generation, Skill Development & Training department to establish the institute. Ambika, on her part, thanked the Captain Amarinder government for its help in setting up the institution that could become a modern training ground for youth from Punjab to join the armed forces.
On the occasion, the Chief Minister lauded the role played by Maharaja Ranjit Singh Armed Forces Preparatory Institute (AFPI), Mohali, in providing defence training to youth, enabling them to secure permanent commission in the Armed Forces through the National Defence Academy or equivalent service academy. The Chief Minister mentioned that out of 144 cadets trained at the academy, 97 joined NDA and 65 were commissioned as officers from April 1, 2017 to December 31, 2020. Since its inception, 156 out of 384 cadets trained at AFPI had joined NDA and 69 were commissioned as officers, he said, adding that from 2% initially, the number of trainees going into the armed forces from this institution had gone up to 45%.
The Chief Minister also referred to the stellar performance of Mai Bhago Armed Forces Preparatory Institute for Girls, Mohali, which imparts training to young girls after class 12 for a career as Commissioned Officers in the Defence Services. The prestigious institute has so far trained 75 cadets, of whom seven were selected for Combined Defence Services Examination (CDSE)/Air Force Central Admission Test (AFCAT) and three were commissioned as officers from April 1, 2017 to December 31, 2020.
Technical education and industrial training minister Charanjit Channi also attended the virtual ceremony, where Secretary Employment Generation, Skill Development & Training Rahul Tiwari disclosed that the upcoming Sardar Bahadur Amin Chand Soni Armed Forces Preparatory Institute would impart training to the aspirants for induction into Armed Forces, keeping the entry at graduate level for CDSE/AFCAT. The institute will run three courses in a year of 3 months duration with intake capacity of 40 candidates, thus imparting training to 120 candidates in a year under its Entrance Exam Training Wing (EETW). Under another Service Selection Board Training Wing (SSBTW), the institute will train those candidates who have received the call letters for appearing in Service Selection Board. The institute will run 5 courses in a year, each of 8 weeks’ duration with course strength of 30 candidates, to impart training to 150 candidates in a year.