On Tuesday, 14 June the Union Cabinet approved a revolutionary ‘Agneepath Army Scheme’. The aim is to provide opportunities to Indian youth by allowing them to serve in the armed forces. In simpler words, the Agneepath scheme is the recruitment scheme for youth in the armed forces.
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Agneepath Army Scheme- Need of an Hour
The service act by which youth will be recruited to the Indian armed forces for four years is Agneepath Scheme. Undoubtedly, this scheme will attract countless Indian motivated youth to join the armed forces. Further, the government believes that today’s youth is tech-savvy, skilled, focused, talented, and disciplined manpower who will serve the country’s armed forces and allow it to strengthen its youthful profile.
According to the government, the armed forces need to become more technology-oriented. And, this is the best way to boost the younger troops’ profile in the armed forces. Through this scheme, the average age profile of the Army, Navy, and Air force will be modified in the coming years.
Who are Agniveers?
As the name suggests, the Indian patriotic youth who will be recruited through the Agneepath army scheme will be known as Agniveers. These Agniveers will get heavy monthly pay for serving in the armed forces for 4 years. In addition, Risk and Hardship allowances will be given. According to the ministry of defence, 46,000 Agniveers will be recruited within 90 days.
Benefits of Agniveers
After the service of four years, Agniveers will get a one-time ‘SevaNidhi‘ package. It will comprise the contribution and interest as applicable to their amount. Here is the table for a better understanding of Agniveer’s monthly and after-services packages.
to Agniveer Corpus Fund (30%) (In Rs)
corpus fund by Gol
|Total grant to Agniveer after four
|5.02 Lakh||5.02 Lakh|
|After four years||11.71 Lakh as SevaNidhi Package
(Including, interest accumulated on the amount according to the applicable interest rates)
As a result, after the completion of the four years, the ‘Seva Nidhi’ package of INR 11.72 lakh will be provided to Agniveers to let them progress in the civil society. Further, this will enable the eradication of the financial burden on the deprived class after the service. Besides, the candidates who will be selected for enrolment as regular cadres have to serve for an additional minimum of 15 years. And they will be governed by existing terms and conditions.
Agneepath Army Scheme: Eligibility Criteria
‘All India All Class’ is the base for Agniveers enrolment. Moreover, the eligible age has also been specified. So the candidate’s age range should be 17.5 to 21 years. And, candidates will meet the medical eligibility criteria enlisted for enrolment in the armed forces as applicable to their categories.
Further, the educational qualification conditions will differ in various categories. For instance, the educational qualification for General Duty (GD) is 10th Pass.
Terms and Conditions
Under the Agneepath Army Scheme, the youth recruited (Known as Agniveers) through the Forces under respective Service Act for periods of four years. They will form a different rank in the armed forces as compared to other existing ranks. Thereafter, Agniveers will be attributed with the opportunity of permanent enrolment in the armed forces as per the organisational requirements and policies of the armed forces.
However, these applications will be evaluated based on objective criteria which include: Performance during engagement periods. Besides, up to 25% of each Agniveers’ distinct batch shall be selected in the regular cadre of the armed forces. Though, 75% of Agniveers will get the ‘Seva Nidhi’ package and take exit from the four-year engagement period.
Furthermore, the online centralised system for all three services will undertake the enrolment process. Through specialised rallies and campus interviews conducted by technical institutes and National Skills Qualifications Framework and others.
Massive Army Aspirants Protest
According to the sources, after the announcement of the Agneepath Army Scheme, the defence aspirants got furious. Consequently, the protest turned into a huge loss of public properties. Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and other states have observed the protest against it.
Further, the protestors include several armed forces aspirants, military veterans and left-wing leaders. Also, they stated the new recruitment plan will affect the future and spirit of India’s armed forces. They added, that it would result in the militarization of civil society.
Why Are Armed Forces Protesting?
The purposes of protesting against the transformative scheme are as follow:
- They suspect the Agniveers’ future will become insecure after 4 years of service.
- This scheme is providing fewer opportunities to aspirants.
- Further, they believe the bonding between the armed forces will get affected due to a short period of engagement by youth.
- The protestors doubt the safety of the country. Gradually, this scheme will result in militarization.
- Lastly, after four years, the trained Agniveers may become involved in anti-national groups.
On the contrary, the scheme clearly mentions all the benefits of Agniveers and the Agneepath scheme. Here are the advantages of the Agneepath Army Scheme which counter all the suspects of protestors.
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Advantages of Agneepath Army Scheme
- The game-changer plan or recruitment scheme of the armed forces.
- Further, open up the opportunity pool for the youngsters to serve the country. Subsequently, contribute to strengthening the armed forces.
- Also, the average age profile of the army, navy and air force will improve. Following, a more youthful profile.
- Agniveers will get attractive salary packages and even financial support after 4years.
- Plenty of re-employment opportunities after completing the service periods. Moreover, with no financial burden.
- This system is well tested in countries like the USA, France, Russia and others. Therefore, it is considered the best way to boost the youthful profile.
- Agniveers shall get priority if they want a job in state police or CAPFs.
There are many other benefits of the new recruitment policy which make it transformational and radical. Without any doubt, this will make major changes in the country’s armed forces. Also, there is a higher probability of becoming the force more tech-savvy, modern, well-equipped and disciplined through this initiative.
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