Revised pay scales attracting youth to Army Tribune News Service Ludhiana, August 1 Attractive revised pay packages of the Indian Army and a dearth of jobs due to the ongoing recession is making youths in Punjab turn to the defence forces for employment as nearly 9,000 candidates have reported for recruitment this year, breaking last year's record. This was stated today by Brig KD Malhotra, Deputy Director, Recruiting, Punjab and J&K, who added that during a rally at Moga last year not more than 5,000 youths had turned up. This time the turnout was very encouraging. Brigadier Malhotra said the Punjabi youth were known for their passion to serve the country. There is no dearth of food in this part of the state and they have better opportunities. But the response increased manifold after the introduction of new pay scales. The salary of a soldier has touched Rs 15,000, besides perks including residence, transportation, medical facilities and post-retiral benefits. Nearly 9,000 youths have tried their luck during the eight-day-long recruitment rally under way at Guru Nanak Stadium here, out of which 1,176 have cleared the physical fitness test. “Though this comes out to be 12.5 per cent, we are satisfied with the number. We will be able to meet the targets for the region. We want the best of the lot,” said Brigadier Malhotra. The DDG said the Army had witnessed a similar enthusiastic response from youths in the terrorism-torn J&K region. “We were glad that youths there, too, wanted to be a part of the country's defence force. Punjabis, too, have not lagged behind now,” he said. He said after catching hold of some persons trying to intrude into the armed forces on the basis of false documents, the Army was now overcautious. With the help of the civil administration, the Army was ensuring that nobody was able to hoodwink the authorities.