12,934 eligible youth registers for Gyalsung Training

12,934 eligible youth registers for Gyalsung Training

A total of 12,934 eligible Bhutanese youth have registered for the first batch of the Gyalsung Training, set to commence in September this year. Of the eligible youth, 6,552 are males and 6,382 females. However, four failed to register for the program.

Additionally, 974 students have registered for early enlistment, with 931 born in 2006 and 43 born in 2007.  There have also been students who have applied for deferment. Those wishing for deferment have time till April 2024.

The Gyalsung headquarters stated that the exact number of deferments cannot be determined accurately at this time, as it may change based on college admissions and students repeating high school.  “Our consideration is that once admissions to colleges are done along with students deciding to repeat their high schools, deferment could change.” Meanwhile, attempts to trace who the four that have not registered are been done.

The first batch of Gyalsung will undergo training from September 1, 2024 to January 15, 2025. For the inaugural Gyalsung batch in 2024, the training program will consist of three months of basic military training and one and half months dedicated to national education, life skills, and the development of teamwork and leadership skills.

From 2025 onwards, the Gyalsung training would be held from March 1, 2025, to January 31 the following year. The eligible youths in 2025 will undergo six-month-long skilling components. It is estimated that by the second year, approximately 13,000 eligible youths will be participating in the program.

Meanwhile, according to the Gyalsung Act of the Kingdom of Bhutan adopted by the Parliament of Bhutan on 11th November 2022, subsequent rules and regulations adopted outline the offenses and penalties.

The Gyalsung Act states that a person who evades Gyalsung Training commits an offense and shall be liable upon conviction for felony of the Fourth degree as per the Penal Code of Bhutan.

“Parents or guardians preventing an eligible person from undergoing Gyalsung Training, would be preventing this eligible person from fulfilling his Constitutional duty, and therefore, will be liable for the same offense and penalty,” according to the Act.

Further, the Act also states that Bhutanese whether living in Bhutan or abroad who fails to register for Gyalsung Training within the stipulated 100 days commits an offense and shall be fined the daily minimum national wage rate up to a maximum of ninety days.

“In the event an eligible youth who has the obligation to undergo Gyalsung Training does not register or having registered did not qualify and avail exemption, as per the Gyalsung Act, they will be charged with the offense of a fourth-degree felony.”

Moreover, in the event an eligible youth who has the obligation to undergo Gyalsung Training does not return, he or she will have been deemed to have defaulted on his or her legal obligations and committed an offense of felony for not fulfilling one of the most important Fundamental Duty of a Bhutanese citizen.

All Bhutanese will be required to enroll, register and enlist for National Service regardless of current place of residence.

Meanwhile, the objectives of Bhutan’s National Service (NS) are to endow the youth of Bhutan with the knowledge, skills, and values to actualize their potential in this rapidly changing world. This will enable them to contribute to national goals and aspirations. The training aims to empower the youth with the capabilities and attributes needed to succeed academically and professionally, enhance their awareness of the challenges that the country faces, and meaningfully engage them in finding and implementing collective solutions.

It also aims to encourage volunteerism among citizens to foster the spirit of selfless service in enhancing the well-being of people and prepare future generations to fully shoulder their sacred responsibilities of upholding and promoting the unity, peace, security, and sovereignty of the nation for all times to come.

The Gyalsung Act was adopted by the Parliament on November 11, 2022, and as envisioned by His Majesty the King, will provide the opportunity to each and every Bhutanese youth to actualize their innate potential and become productive and worthy citizens in the service of the Tsa-Wa-Sum.

By Nidup Lhamo from Thimphu