Friday, January 15, 2021, 08:51 (GMT+7)
Enhancing the dispatch of young volunteer intellectuals to economic - defence zones

Over the years, the policy on deployment of young volunteer intellectuals to economic - defence zones has been seriously, closely implemented and achieved good results, thus greatly contributing to developing those zones and successfully fulfilling their goal and task.

A tutorial class organised by young volunteer intellectuals

The building of economic - defence zones is a major policy by our Party and State aimed at combining socio-economic development with defence-security consolidation in the strategic, remote, isolated, border, sea, and island areas. To foster the construction and development of economic - defence zones, on January 29th, 2010, the Prime Minister issued the Decision 174/QĐ-TTg on approving the Project entitled “Enhancing the dispatch of young volunteer intellectuals to economic - defence zones in the period of 2010-2020” (hereafter the Project 174) in order to supplement high-quality human resources and improve the efficiency of economic - defence units. Doing so will also help create a favourable condition for young intellectuals to improve themselves and devote their talent and effort to the Homeland construction and protection.

After the approval of the Project 174, the Ministry of National Defence promulgated the Circular 92/2010/TT-BQP, dated July 5th, 2010 on the management and operation of the Project, while cooperating with other ministries and sectors at both central and local levels in implementing the Project via various synchronous measures. At the same time, it established the Project 174 Management Boards at ministerial level, military regions, economic corps, and economic - defence units. In the process, relevant units and localities have worked with one another to close execute the Project. Military regions, economic corps, and economic - defence units have proactively cooperated with local party committees and authorities in their areas and provincial youth unions in conducting the work of propagation, selecting, training and tasking young volunteer intellectuals, and creating a favourable condition for them to play a vanguard role in performing the task at economic - defence zones. Thanks to the sound policy and drastic, synchronous measures, between 2010 and 2020, the Ministry of National Defence have selected and recruited 2,648 out of over 3,500 young volunteer intellectuals to participate in the Project.

After 10 years, the Project 174 has been completed and reached the preset goal. With their vigour, enthusiasm, competence, and scientific knowledge, young volunteer intellectuals have promoted their role and worked with cadres and soldiers of economic - defence zones and locals to boost socio-economic development, build new-style countryside, sustainably reduce poverty, and consolidate national defence and security in the border, sea, island, remote, isolated areas. In socio-economic development, young volunteer intellectuals have actively played a core role in giving technical instructions to the programmes for hunger eradication, poverty reduction, technological transfer, sustainable household economy, and animal and crop husbandry development, thereby gradually improving the people’s life. Many models of hunger eradication and poverty reduction have been formed and multiplied with the practical effectiveness. Young volunteer intellectuals have also actively taken part in national target programmes, movements, and campaigns, such as “the Military joins hands in building new-style countryside,” “the Military joins hands for the poor - no one will be left behind,” and “the entire people unite in building cultural life in residential areas.” Since 2010, young volunteer intellectuals have reclaimed and covered over 26,000 hectares of bare land and hill, planted more than 307 hectares of food, industrial, and herbal trees for locals to visit and draw lessons, organised vocational training courses for over 32,000 people,  given instructions about farming techniques to locals for over 4,000 hectares of rice paddy and 5,000 hectares of hybrid corn paddy, assisted the people in growing many crops of high economic value, such as Shan snow tea, lily, mushroom, fruit tree, taro, onion, and zucchini, provided advice on animal husbandry for more than 186,000 people, immunized over 421,000 cattle and poultry, upgraded and constructed over 90 hectares of fish pond, built and repaired over 438 kilometres of rural road and 25 bridges, upgraded and consolidated 335 kilometres of canal, with tens of thousands of working days. Apparently, young volunteer intellectuals have really made a huge positive change in the remote, isolated areas nationwide.

In addition to economic development, young volunteer intellectuals have actively participated in propagation, cultural and educational development, and social policies. Over the years, young volunteer intellectuals have collaborated with cadres and soldiers of economic - defence units in organising training marches associated with the mass mobilisation work, while working with local sectors and unions to encourage the people to observe the guidelines, policy and law by our Party and State, build the national great unity block, preserve national cultural identity and tradition, remove depraved customs and superstitions, and construct cultural residential areas, villages, and hamlets. Moreover, they have cooperated with local education sectors, party committees, authorities, and organisations in persuading the people to allow their children to go to school, effectively taking part in education universalisation and literacy programmes, implementing social policies and the movement titled “paying debt of gratitude,” providing free medical examination and treatment for locals, and carrying out the work of propagation relating to family planning and epidemic prevention. Between 2010 and 2020, young volunteer intellectuals have disseminated our Party and State’s guidelines, policy and law to over 144,00 people, opening literacy and tutorial courses for over 17,000 locals, provided free medical examination and treatment for about 3,000 people, and constructed 175 houses of charity and great unity, thus making contributions to building a firm “posture of people’s hearts and minds,” cementing the ethnic people’s faith in our Party and State, and consolidating the national great unity block.

Additionally, young volunteer intellectuals have made significant contributions to building strong units and political bases. A majority of young volunteer intellectuals have been self-aware to improve their revolutionary ethics and lifestyle. They have always overcome difficulties, maintained a close-knit bond with local party committees, authorities, and people, and actively performed their assigned tasks. While performing their mission, young volunteer intellectuals have advised local party committees and authorities on consolidating and improving the political system at grass-roots level, mobilising and educating the youth, training and initiating new members into the Party, and raising the quality of local unions and organisations. In the process, young volunteer intellectuals have participated in consolidating 74 party cells and 821 unions, held nearly 2,200 exchange and twinning programmes with youth union branches and schools, and encouraged 2,144 local young people to join the Military, which has been highly appreciated by local party committees, authorities and people.

Those above-mentioned achievements have contributed to improving the task performance of economic - defence units over time, while proving the soundness of our Party and State’s guidelines as well as the role performed by the Ministry of National Defence and other relevant ministries, sectors, offices and especially economic - defence units in grasping and executing the Project 174. Besides, the Project has asserted the important role of young intellectuals in the Party’s revolutionary cause. Typical examples in leadership, direction, coordination with local authorities in effectively executing the Project 174 include the Military Regions 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.

In spite of tireless efforts, localities where economic - defence units are stationed are still in the “most difficult circumstance” compared to others nationwide, with a high rate of poverty and the risks of free migration, deforestation, poppy cultivation, and drug trade, which will have a negative impact on national defence and security. New requirements are being imposed on the building of strategic remote, isolated, border, sea, island areas into solid defensive zones and the implementation of national target programmes for ethnic minorities. Thus, it is necessary to continue building and improving economic - defence zones as an important task. To keep effectively executing the Party’s guidelines, particularly the Prime Minister’s Decision 49/QĐ-TTg, dated June 4th, 2020 on approving the adjustments in the Plan for building and developing economic - defence zones towards 2020, with orientation for 2025, it is essential to enhance all-level party committees and commands’ leadership and direction, complete the system of relevant legal normative documents, and drastically adopt measures to accomplish the goals set by the projects for economic - defence zones in the period of 2021-2025. More young volunteer intellectuals and resources should be supplemented to continue realising the guidelines on adopting new mechanisms and developing human resources at economic - defence zones in the following years. Ministries, central sectors, and local party committees and authorities should closely cooperate with military and economic - defence units in managing and using resources, facilitating the vanguard role of young volunteer intellectuals in local socio-economic development, and step by step improving the people’s life in the stationed areas of economic-defence units. At the same time, due regard should be paid to mobilising more resources for this important task.

Grounded on the outcome of the Project 174, great value should be attached to recommending the Government to allow the resumption of the Project in the following years in order to further supplement high-calibre human resources for economic-defence units and localities, accelerate the building and development of economic-defence zones, foster socio-economic and cultural development, consolidate national defence and security in the strategic border, sea, island areas, and satisfy the requirements set by the Homeland construction and protection.

Maj. Gen. TRAN DINH THANG, Head of the Economics Department, Ministry of National Defence       

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