National Service Bill Passed by Both the Houses Unanimously

The historic bill has ideals of Universality, Equality and Inclusiveness

09 Nov 2022: Envisioned by His Majesty the King of Bhutan, the Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck, the ‘Gyalsung’ or National Service is mandatory service in plans to be implemented by year 2024. It requires Bhutanese youth attaining 18 years of age or upon completion of high school, to undergo one year of integrated training. It was announced as early as 2019 by His Majesty. It will be institutionalized upon the royal assent after yesterday when both the houses of the parliament passed the National Service bill called the ‘Gyalsung Bill of Kingdom of Bhutan 2022’ unanimously.

The one year training will include three months of basic military training followed by nine months of specialized training in various fields that include life skills, agriculture, computing, etc.

Upon completion of one-year training program, the individual maybe called for duties that could be voluntary or mandatory depending on the nature of the call till age of 35, after which till age of 45 these individuals ‘Gyalsups’ will remain as reservists.

The unanimous support in the parliament – both in the National Assembly of Bhutan (the Lower House) and National Council of Bhutan (the Upper House) is mark of support for the program that is initiated from the throne and for its potential to benefit the country and people. The objectives as outlined by Dasho Sonam Kinga of National Service Steering Committee, is to empower youth of Bhutan with knowledge, skills and values that would benefit themselves as individuals and the nation as a whole.

The whole program will be implemented in the spirit of universality, equality and inclusiveness. Even those exempt from the National Service due to medical and special needs, would have opportunity to train and be of service if they so wish, in their own specialized programs. Only requirement to participate in the National Service is needing to be a Bhutanese national.

(Picture Courtesy: National Council of Bhutan; article by Original Bhutan)

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