While registration deadline is extended till Feb 15, those failing to do so will be penalized
From a total of 12,305 youth who are eligible as per census statistics, a total of 9,899 youths have signed up for the Gyalsung Programme. Out of these, only 8,911 have successfully registered as of January 15, 2024.
The Gyalsung Headquarters has issued a final registration notice, extending the registration deadline for the remaining youth until February 15, 2024. “The final registration for Gyalsung was closed on January 17. However, we have issued another final registration notice, and failure to register by this date will result in fines due to the program’s mandatory nature,” an official from Gyalsung Headquarters said.
For the 2024 intake, those wishing to pursue further studies, or if the student wishes to repeat Class XII, have been granted exemption from the 2024 Gyalsung Programme. The official said that, however, all the eligible youths must first register for the Gyalsung courses, and then they can apply for exemption if they plan to pursue further studies. “These students who apply for deferment must provide proof of admission to obtain the one-time exemption and shall be required to report for Gyalsung training the following year.”
While the exemption for the inaugural batch is a one-time application only to the Gyalsung 2024 intake, the Gyalsung Governing Council has announced that from 2025 onwards, all eligible youths will be obligated to undergo one year of Gyalsung training, regardless of their education status or place of residence, upon reaching the age of 18 or upon completion of Class 12, if they are still in school.
Regarding deferments, the officials said that all deferments are granted on a yearly basis. The usual length of deferment is one year. “However, if the circumstances that led to the deferment remain valid, it can be renewed annually upon re-application by the eligible individuals. Students seeking deferment must fulfill the necessary requirements and provide supporting documents for their application.”
The application process for the deferment began in October 2023 and will continue until April 2024. Those individuals who wish to apply for the deferment must kindly follow the link that contains the process for deferment and students need to provide documents that support their deferment application.
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.
However, an official from the Gyalsung Headquarters said that due to the ongoing registration process and exemptions being granted to those pursuing further education or engaged in spiritual pursuits, it is difficult to estimate the expected enrollment for the first batch in each of the five centers.
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.
Nidup Lhamo from Thimphu