New Delhi: The government does not favour compulsory military training to youths because it could militarise an entire nation, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley said on Friday.
"Military training to all the youth of the country may also lead to militarisation of an entire nation," the minister told the Lok Sabha in a written reply.
"With our socio-political and economic conditions, it is highly undesirable, lest some of the unemployed youth trained in military skills join the ranks of the undesirable elements," he added.
The minister also said that India was a democratic republic and the constitution did not provide for compulsory military training.
"In our democratic set-up, people are free to choose their professions. Compulsion in respect of military training, it is felt, would go against the democratic ethos," he said.
Jaitley added that the Indian armed forces had a large number of volunteers to draw upon and there was no problem in getting adequate numbers of volunteer recruits.
"All the youth of the country, therefore, do not compulsorily need to be given military training.
"Training all the youth would require establishment of a very large number of training centres, with the necessary wherewithal, all over the country and would involve huge expenditure in their maintenance and upkeep.
"The likely benefits of imparting military training to all the youth will not be commensurate with the expenditure involved in such an effort.
"This would translate into an unmanageable figure and will also be a big drain on limited resources of a developing country," he said.