Seeking recruitment of about 1300 youths from Odisha in Indian Army during the current calendar year, the Odisha government yesterday demanded setting up of a recruitment office at Koraput and a Brigade headquarters at Amarda Road in Balasore district.
The state government put forth the demands during a liaison conference between civil and Army administration at the state secretariat in Bhubaneswar. Seven senior Army officers led by Major General DVS Rana participated in the conference, while Chief Secretary A P Padhi and Home Secretary Asit Tripathy represented the state.
“Our main demand is that Army should recruit more people from Odisha. They should focus on hiring youths from left wing extremism-hit southern and western Odisha districts. Besides, the standards should be relaxed for tribal youths as in the case of Gurkhas. We had also urged them to set up an Army Brigade Headquarters at Amarda Road in Balasore district,” Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi said.
“Despite being an important state, Odisha does not have any operational base of the Army. We have demanded setting up of a brigade at Amarda Road, which was used as an airstrip during World War II. The Army has agreed to it,” he added.
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The proposed site has a historical significance as the British Army developed an airstrip during World War II after the Japanese army invaded Burma. The 900-acre airstrip was abandoned after the war.