EghtesadOnline: A trial run of a government project is being conducted as per an agreement introduced jointly by the Vice Presidential Office for Science and Technology and the office of the General Staff of the Armed Forces which enables skilled individuals working as key members of knowledge-based firms to spend their compulsory military service at their respective companies.
During a press conference titled Military Service Incentives for Knowledge-Based Company Employees held in Tehran on Sunday, Vice President for Science and Technology Sorena Sattari discussed the scheme in detail, reported ISNA.
Sattari says human capital is the principal pillar of knowledge-based firms, and as Iran is striving to curb its reliance on oil industries through boosting knowledge-based companies, the government is moving ahead with a plan to provide employees of such enterprises with further incentives, Financial Tribune reported.
Pointing to earlier agreements signed between the government and the office of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, he said, “Every year one thousand educated men are introduced by Iran’s National Elites Foundation to the Armed Forces, and spend their military service carrying out scientific projects.”
The latest scheme expands the number of the people eligible to make use of their military service to utilize their intellectual capacity.
The agreement was concluded back in January, under which those subject to compulsory military service can apply for work and training (as part of the conscription period) at knowledge-based companies.
Sattari says the scheme is an efficient way of taking advantage of human assets across the country.
The conference was also attended by General Mousa Kamali, head of the Human Resources of the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran and General Mehdi Farahi, chief of the Skill Training Base.
Elaborating on the scheme, Kamali said officials are aiming to tap into the vast potential of the gifted students in the country and further boost knowledge-based companies.
According to Kamali, the scheme has currently enlisted 500 people in its pilot phase. If successful, they will expand the program to assign 2,000 soldiers to knowledge-based firms.
Those with a master’s degree or higher can apply to spend part of their military service at knowledge-based companies operating in relevance to the person’s academic credentials.
Last year it was announced that soldiers can spend six months to one year of their military service out of 21 months at such firms.
One of the surprising aspects of the conference was the announcement made by Kamali who said they are mulling ways to use the potential of Iranians living abroad who are eligible for the mandatory military service as well. Sattari and Kamali refused to elaborate.
Time is Gold
The scheme to allow more men to spend their military services learning skills and working outside military bases has been eagerly welcomed by young men who complain that conscription is a waste of two years of their lives.
As per the law, all Iranian males reaching the age of 18 must serve in the armed forces for 21 months to be eligible for employment or leave the country.
Many are hopeful that such programs will usher in a new era in which the youth can spend the period honing their skills, acquiring new capabilities and carving out job positions.
Applicants can visit the website sina.bmn.ir to submit their information, and if approved, have their time in the military service modified. There are more than 3,000 knowledge-based companies around the country.