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Old 11th January 2012, 15:07   #91
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Default Re: Joining The Armed Forces

I am enjoying Rohan's posts and of course the points he makes are valid. The average serviceman's smug self-righteousness is something that has turned me off from a very young age. It was always: Hey my Dad works hard, pays his taxes, makes a contribution to society...why should XYZ be held in higher esteem just because they are in the services?

I guess with age came some maturity, and the opportunity to interact with some servicemen who displayed greater wisdom and perspective than the loudmouths I'd met as a kid!

One thing that struck me in Rohan's posts is the fact that he is quick to generalise on what the "younger generation" wants or does not want. If that is indeed the case- that the armed forces are losing appeal as a career option or our talented youth- then this thread makes a lot of sense. It was never a serious option for me, for a variety of reasons, but I do have friends who would probably have been served well with some friendly advice and support in their younger years: and as such, this thread deserves kudos, not condemnation.

About why the armed forces are a more honorable profession than most, well...my advice is watch that clip Samurai-san posted or better still rent the video of A Few Good Men (not that ghastly ripoff Shaurya, mind you). It is a Hollywood potboiler as you will get, but the characters are so brilliantly sketched out that you can't but help emerge with a better sense of what honour means, in a military context. I have long suspected that the makers of that movie intended even Jack Nicholson's character to be counted in the "few good men".

I can't speak for everyone but here are a few reasons why I personally hold a serviceman's career in higher esteem than a civilians:
  • They keep us safe. Is there any denying that?
  • With the exception of the Adarsh scam and some other cases, the Armed Forces are respected for their integrity.
  • The richness of experiences encountered by a serving member are in my opinion unmatched. I do know of civilians who have led exciting lives as well but they are the exception rather than the norm
  • From my experience, armed forces officers are by and large great people to know: brave, strong, fit and progressive. Like I said earlier, there are always exceptions.
  • Almost all the law-enforcement agencies in the country today have lost credibility to varying degrees. The Armed Forces still stands head and shoulders above the rest on this count. Is it any surprise that we heave a sigh of relief when the Army is called in for everything from quelling a riot to helping during floods?

I am not much in favour of influencing ANYbody's choice of career to be honest: that's just not me. In fact, just at lunch today I was narrating an incident where my 5 year old proudly announced to me that she wanted to be a doctor and my instinctive lighthearted reaction was, Whoa! That's a lot of studying you need to do. Why don't you go to Oxford and study Literature instead? I'll join you after I retire and we can live in a little cottage in the English countryside!
She just gives me a withering look and says firmly, Doctor. And I nod meekly!

The point is: if tomorrow she announces that she wants to be an Air Force pilot or an Army General, I would be delighted o have someone like Captain Nandu or Fauji advise and counsel her.
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Old 11th January 2012, 15:26   #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeemmee View Post
"A Carrer in the Armed Forces is not JOB for money or worse. It is A WAY OF LIFE , quite unmatched anywhere"

Any ideas on how to join the armed forces Engineering division, Am interested to know about Engineering projects & administration - construction related stuff. Jai Hind!
zeemmee, yours is the first query in relevance to this thread. I would request you to provide a bit more information about your acedemic background. The members would be happy to assist once they have the basic info, I guess.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammer & Anvil View Post
All said and done, its about as good a profession as any, and like Latheesh's signature- if you are passionate, join it.
Hammer

Glorifying or isolating one profession is/was not the moto in this discussion. And your quote above reflects the same. I still maintain my words, every coin has two sides. As little as they be, there are always some grey areas in all fields. Don't we see these cases in other govt. professions or among the corporates?

As Spike as pointed out, first hand experienced guys from the profession may shed some light on it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rohan_iitr View Post
I maintain my stand that all professions in the society are important. People from a particular profession should not pretend as if they are elite members of the society.
Rohan

If you feel like the offerings are not sufficient for you, thats your take about it. I think they are quite good for a secured Govt. job.

Nandu, Fauji and Neel, can we have some insight about approx. figures on in-hand salaries please?

- There are some distinguished and elite students in each stream, getting a very good start. I will hold my comments on what kind of start average freshers get! Better than the package being offered by Armed Forces, I highly doubt it.

If I may ask, which areas do you think your life seems more superior to those in Armed Forces? Do not take my question in negative way, I am genuinely looking forward to it because I didn't get any answer on your preferred "quality of life" parameters.

I think I have said it many times and I will not repeat it again. Armed Forces are not superior to any other profession; yet they deserve and get more respect than the others.

You did bring some statements from Indian Army web page; however did not show the rest of the ones? Why, just because you are convinced on them?

I am not steering away from those statements that you have posted, however I would say Indian Army is promoting their points, just like everyone else does. Though it may not be an appropriate comparision for everyone's taste.
I do not see any superiority complex in those thoughts, but I do see a deep sense of glory and pride.

And IMO Indian Army deserve the pride and glory in every way.

Overall, I feel our discussion has been quite fruitful, even though I still miss the answers to my asked questions. As I have said it earlier, yours are valid points, however they hardly reflect your rant on negative points about Armed Forces.

Quote:
Originally Posted by selfdrive View Post
From what little I do understand about humour, it should be funny (or at least acceptable) to both parties involved. When it becomes offensive to one, the other should stop thinking its a joke. Well thats what a gentleman would do, wouldnt he? In this case, what Rohan says about a superiority complex could be true too.
Yeah, sometimes this humourous punch line is just taken a bit too far; but I do bring my buddies on the ground during my talks. In my case, this Civilian Vs Armyman debate ends at humour and some chuckles.

What I can say is, their lives are not 100% rant-free. But hey, thats the case with everyone out there and we all know that, don't we!
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Old 11th January 2012, 15:34   #93
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Default Re: Joining The Armed Forces

A lot of water has flown under the bridge since my first post on Page 1.

Some general pointers from my side:

1. Youth today are not interested in the Armed Forces. True and that is why there is a thread to guide people. In my opinion, people who have seen that side of life are more interested than the ones who haven't. I come from a school that has a record of sending atleast one guy every year to the Army. We do boast a couple of top generals and Award winners as our alumni. Every student there has at one point of time considered this option. However, when I came to Delhi, people just din't know this option existed. Awareness problem, definitely!

2. On the point of Army men considering themselves superior, its true about every profession/ institution. We have IIT written on twitter/tbhp handles, and Harvard/ Columbia/ Mayo/ Semite/ Sherwoodian/ Sanawar stickers on our cars. Why is it tough to accept that some people consider something as a superior point in their CV. I for one may feel proud about my school (and any1 who has been a witness to old school rivalries in the past will vouch for it.)

3. Armymen choose a life of hardship. Yes they do and you need to respect that. All the hoopla about the IT/ etc boom will vanish the day we are weak militarily. Economic might survives only till the point no1 else has access to it. We need to respect that these men protect us and thereby allow us to carry on working on the economic might (which goes back into the military btw- its a mutual cycle).

4. Boys- Men. Its more about an attitude of responsibility above anything else. In civilian life, a person of 22 will probably be reckless/ careless because he can afford to. In the army, a young Lt. (21-22) will be commanding a troop of at least 30 men who will do anything on his orders. He is responsible for their lives. Broadly, he is responsible for the country's safety.

This comes from someone who studied management at an elite school, got through a Day0 organisation with a fat pay packet (left the Army after qualifying the CDS, and still count that as my biggest mistake). Two years later, I was disgruntled with my job, where the only challange was a new project, that essentially could be worked on the very same way as the last one (its strategy consulting we are talking about). So I left it, and joined an organisation that works towards the betterment of policy making in India by encouraging an informed debate amongst the lawmakers. Took a 75% salary cut, and am happy making a contribution in this field.

Cheers,
Tapish
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Old 11th January 2012, 15:55   #94
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Default Re: Joining The Armed Forces

@ BBR_SHR & Ace F355

Your reply was very near, However let me elaborate, I am an Interior Architect, & I currently work with Abu Dhabi govt , for Project management,Design,supervision, execution, specification. OF course we have a big team, & I do my part.
For projects like Govt hospitals for police/ Army, Police stations, Army Base camps, Ports, Schools, Prisons, Ministerial offices,(some secret projects) etc.
Working here many a times made me wonder how would they do it Back home?
Also I have tried searching for "Bureau Of Indian Standards" to find something which I can contribute to but nothing there.
Love to do it for our country,

Edit: Added stuff

Last edited by zeemmee : 11th January 2012 at 15:57. Reason: Added stuff
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Old 11th January 2012, 16:07   #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeemmee View Post
@ BBR_SHR & Ace F355

Your reply was very near, However let me elaborate, I am an Interior Architect, & I currently work with Abu Dhabi govt , for Project management,Design,supervision, execution, specification. OF course we have a big team, & I do my part.
For projects like Govt hospitals for police/ Army, Police stations, Army Base camps, Ports, Schools, Prisons, Ministerial offices,(some secret projects) etc.
Working here many a times made me wonder how would they do it Back home?
Also I have tried searching for "Bureau Of Indian Standards" to find something which I can contribute to but nothing there.
Love to do it for our country,

Edit: Added stuff
This will fall under the purview of the MES. They have an entrance exam. Please refer www.mes.gov.in

Quoting from their website "[COLOR=#000033]Military Engineer Services (MES) is one of the largest Government construction agency in India and provides works cover to Army, Navy and Air Force. Besides works of the Armed Forces, MES also undertake civil works of Defence Research and Development Organization, Coast Guard, Kendriya Vidyalaya Sanghathan, and other government organizations"[/COLOR]
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Old 11th January 2012, 16:09   #96
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Default Re: Joining The Armed Forces

Spot on bro,thanks for the info, & so begins the research....
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Old 11th January 2012, 16:15   #97
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Default Re: Joining The Armed Forces

Thanks Tapish for a quick review and BBR_SHR for answering the query. I was about to post the same answer.

Nandu and others: Guys, the thread will continue in the right direction if we have more inputs from the real deals. Please hop in whenever and wherever necessary.

@ Mods: I would request to put on the some useful links in previous posts (#53 and #78) of mine to be included in the opening post. It will help in improving the opening post's importance. Thanks.

Last edited by Ace F355 : 11th January 2012 at 16:17.
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Old 11th January 2012, 16:17   #98
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Default Re: Joining The Armed Forces

I admit, I havent yet read the entire thread, but reading 5 pages was enough to make my point.

Rohan, by your posts, I can draw one conclusion here. According to you, pay package, responsibilities at work, expected decorum (in office) etc is of more importance than a "certain way of life". Well, so be it. To each his own. I wont go on to debate that.

However, making a point like "Armed Forces dont need to command more respect than any otehr profession" is utterly wrong. Of all the professions we have, tell me, which one is willing to give up his life to save ours? Would a banker/govt servant etc etc ever do that?

When you say that they are suficiently compensated, you speak like a true corporate manager! Its not about the compensation my friend. Its the pride in giving up your life to save the nation. Its the knowledge in knowing that we (civilians) can sleep peacefully, while a bunch of soldiers stand in inhuman conditions to guard us.

About todays youth not being foolish in knowing- well, my friend, have a look at the current recruitment that the AF conducts. The figures might just surprise you in knowing how many youth's ARE actually foolish .

Its not about how much you earn, or what position you hold in a company. As most of the AF guys have mentioned here, its really difficult to explain as to what they feel.

Oh, I am also one of those IT guys who dreamt of making it to the AF, but that aint the reality. But do I respect the AF? Hell yeah! Every living moment.

Yes, A Few good men is one of my favorite movie too. I do love Jack Nicholson trying to make his point.

Oh yeah, next time ask one of those freshers, if they are willing to stand in Siachin or Jaisalmer and see the response.

Nandu sir: What an absolute treat this thread has been. We need to talk more on this when we meet.
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Old 11th January 2012, 16:31   #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ace F355 View Post
Glorifying or isolating one profession is/was not the moto in this discussion.
If that is not the case, then why does every alternate post contain words like pride, honour, respect, courage, patriotism ?

Is there no pride, honour, respect, courage and patriotism in other professions ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ace F355 View Post
If I may ask, which areas do you think your life seems more superior to those in Armed Forces? Do not take my question in negative way, I am genuinely looking forward to it because I didn't get any answer on your preferred "quality of life" parameters.
My parameters for quality of life are:
1. Safe and hygenic work environment
2. Being there for my family when they need me
3. Money
4. Comfort

I never said that my life was superior to anyone else's. I decided to take the proven approach (engineering followed by job) and I am satisfied with a safe and secure job in an air-conditioned office with a decent pay package and sufficient time to devote to my family. It may not sound like much to Defence Personnel who live a lavish and exciting life, but I am satisfied with my life.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ace F355 View Post
You did bring some statements from Indian Army web page; however did not show the rest of the ones? Why, just because you are convinced on them?

I am not steering away from those statements that you have posted, however I would say Indian Army is promoting their points, just like everyone else does. Though it may not be an appropriate comparision for everyone's taste.
I do not see any superiority complex in those thoughts, but I do see a deep sense of glory and pride.
I posted the statements which I found offensive.

I am of the opinion that a gentleman doesn't blow his own trumpet. And I was told that Army Personnel are gentlemen. Obviously one of these 2 statements is not correct.

Army has no business ridiculing other professions. Army would be useless if they didn't have the support of other professions like engineers, doctors, lawyers etc.

Like I mentioned, all tanks, aircrafts, ships, missiles and other weapons are made by engineers. Without these, there would be no "Armed" in the Armed Forces. Still, engineers are humble and don't say that they are elite members of the society.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tapish View Post
2. On the point of Army men considering themselves superior, its true about every profession/ institution. We have IIT written on twitter/tbhp handles, and Harvard/ Columbia/ Mayo/ Semite/ Sherwoodian/ Sanawar stickers on our cars. Why is it tough to accept that some people consider something as a superior point in their CV. I for one may feel proud about my school (and any1 who has been a witness to old school rivalries in the past will vouch for it.)
I don't think that IIT website discreetly prints that IITians are elite members of the society. IITians have earned this reputation by making significant contributions in their respective fields. IITians never say "I am an IITian, so I command extra respect".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tapish View Post
4. Boys- Men. Its more about an attitude of responsibility above anything else. In civilian life, a person of 22 will probably be reckless/ careless because he can afford to. In the army, a young Lt. (21-22) will be commanding a troop of at least 30 men who will do anything on his orders. He is responsible for their lives. Broadly, he is responsible for the country's safety.
When I was 22 years old, I was single-handedly designing complex electronic circuits, which are currently installed in Indian Navy warships. The command, control and communication of the entire ship is governed by the circuits designed by me (and my team). I think I can safely say that this is a bigger responsibility that commanding a troop of 30 men.

Would you say I was man enough at 22 ?

Please don't defame civilians by saying that they are reckless/careless.

Rohan
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Old 11th January 2012, 16:51   #100
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Too much water has flown under the bridge since i read the first post, good initiative to increase awareness.

I tried getting into IAF as it was my dream to be a pilot (effect of Top Gun i believe). Went through NDA entrance, but did not make it through. Even though i was confident i would make it through in the physical others in the family felt otherwise as i was wearing spectacles.

Lets see what my daughter chooses as her career, when we went to the defense museum in Leh, she was very interested in solders serving in Siachin (what they eat, what they wear and the likes). Later when we came back home she had a full 101 session on Siachin with me and mom.
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Old 11th January 2012, 16:52   #101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rohan_iitr View Post
If that is not the case, then why does every alternate post contain words like pride, honour, respect, courage, patriotism ?

Is there no pride, honour, respect, courage and patriotism in other professions ?
Sure there is! Why get defensive about it?
The armed forces are ALWAYS about "serving". Serving your motherland, your unit, your corp, and doing so with pride, courage, honour, respect and patriotism. I am as mindnumbingly "civvy" as it goes but I do recognise the need to invoke all of those when you talk about the armed forces. To a lot of us, it is less of a career and more of a calling.
Nandu has only talked of the positve aspects of serving: what about the hostile terrain and dodging enemy bullets, inhuman weather conditions and toes/finger falling off, weeks and months spent away from family and friends and most of all, that sword dangling above your head all the time that you could lose your life and are expected to do so willingly?
Not everyone can choose that: I for one admit that I cannot. And it is the recognition that someone else can, and WILL, step up and say, let me be that man whom the enemy shoots at first, that allows me to honour and respect that man.
Does that make me a bad person or unpatriotic or not worthy of respect and honour? Certainly not. That is dictated purely by my own actions in my chosen field.
Like it or not, concepts like pride and honour are entrenched in the armed forces psyche. They are absolutely ESSENTIAL to motivate the men and women who serve- far more so than sixth pay commissions and plush low-rent accomodation and free education for the kids. I can only assume Captain Nandu and the rest didn't harp on that aspect of it because (a). It seems obvious; (b). Those are not the talking points that would engage the young.
Personally I didn't find anything offensive in the content you posted from the Army website. Amusing and somewhat condescending perhaps. But even assuming you did find that offensive, why take it out on the people who started and are contributing to this thread? They certainly didn't put up that content!

Last edited by noopster : 11th January 2012 at 16:55.
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Old 11th January 2012, 17:02   #102
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rohan_iitr View Post
If that is not the case, then why does every alternate post contain words like pride, honour, respect, courage, patriotism ?

Is there no pride, honour, respect, courage and patriotism in other professions ?
I think Swanand Inamdar's post above has your question's answer. If that is not an answer to your question, sorry I think I am beating a dead snake.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rohan_iitr View Post
My parameters for quality of life are:
1. Safe and hygenic work environment
2. Being there for my family when they need me
3. Money
4. Comfort

I never said that my life was superior to anyone else's. I decided to take the proven approach (engineering followed by job) and I am satisfied with a safe and secure job in an air-conditioned office with a decent pay package and sufficient time to devote to my family. It may not sound like much to Defence Personnel who live a lavish and exciting life, but I am satisfied with my life.
Your so called Safe and hygenic work environment is there because there is someone who is making it safe for people like you.

These soldiers too have the family and you know why there are not with their family and not in their comfort zone a lot of times? Because they are safeguarding rest of us. Does this responsibility make them a bigger men. A DEFINITIVE YES in my books.

Money earning will be on par with most above average civilian jobs. I can bet on that!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rohan_iitr View Post
When I was 22 years old, I was single-handedly designing complex electronic circuits, which are currently installed in Indian Navy warships. The command, control and communication of the entire ship is governed by the circuits designed by me (and my team). I think I can safely say that this is a bigger responsibility that commanding a troop of 30 men.
Who did you do all that for? For your country, for the society? If you did serve for something groundbreaking good for society, my deepest apologies and serious respect to you.

From where I see it, you were designing the complex circuits for a corporate brand (small or large, doesn't matter) who in return was paying you for your job. You feel proud about your job, I am happy about it.

But comparing it to those who are facing so many difficulties (including death) for all rest of us, completely unfair I say.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rohan_iitr View Post
Would you say I was man enough at 22 ?
In a way, yes depending upon responsibility upon your shoulders!

Your valid points have come to an end in my humble opinion.

To each his own!
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Old 11th January 2012, 17:09   #103
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rohan_iitr View Post
I don't think that IIT website discreetly prints that IITians are elite members of the society. IITians have earned this reputation by making significant contributions in their respective fields. IITians never say "I am an IITian, so I command extra respect".


When I was 22 years old, I was single-handedly designing complex electronic circuits, which are currently installed in Indian Navy warships. The command, control and communication of the entire ship is governed by the circuits designed by me (and my team). I think I can safely say that this is a bigger responsibility that commanding a troop of 30 men.

Would you say I was man enough at 22 ?

Please don't defame civilians by saying that they are reckless/careless.

Rohan
Rohan,
I respect what you have to say, and what you have accomplished.
but please make it a point to understand what is being put across.

1. I never said IIT/ any other college proclaims something. I just said that people take pride in their accomplishments, rightfully so. If you have decided to wear the IITR badge on a forum like TBhp, it shows your pride in that badge. Allow an Armyman the pride of his badge.

2. Sure you designed complex circuits. Good deed. For that you have been recognised as a technical expert. If someone can vouch for the life of 30 men, he is called a gentleman. No one is demeaning your achievements.
And commanding is one thing being responsible for someone's life is an altogether different responsibility.

3. Im not saying civilians are careless/ reckless. Read it carefully- I said a 22 year old civilian probably can be careless because he can afford to. I am a civilian, and if one day, i reach my office late by 3 hours because of a jam, or if I take a day off because I am ill - it will not really be an issue (Not even counting people still in colleges who dont flutter before bunking an entire day). An armyman posted at the international border does not have that luxury.

PEace my dear friend.

You have earned a place for yourself, someone has earned his. Its just luck that your achievements can be counted in dollars, and his in medals.

PS. It is very necessary to inculcate the feeling of pride and honour in the forces because if honour is taken out of the forces, noone will fight, leave aside lay their life for the benefit of others.
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Old 11th January 2012, 17:11   #104
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Originally Posted by Ace F355 View Post
But comparing it to those who are facing so many difficulties (including death) for all rest of us, completely unfair I say.
Try driving to work in any of the metro cities here. You'll realise we also face life threatening situations

But on a serious note, can not deny the fact that life in the army gives you a sense of purpose higher than ordinary jobs. Letting that get to your head kind of takes away some amount of respect. But still, I will not let actions of a few individuals dictate my opinion about an entire profession that is more noble than many.
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Old 11th January 2012, 17:25   #105
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I am surprised here about how one can think about army vs engineer,
have no words to argue nor wish to waste time over it.
[ note, i am also an engineer]

@nandu sir and rest,
please continue the fruitful cause this thread initiated.

Last edited by ASHISHPALLOD : 11th January 2012 at 17:41.
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