“The youth of India have great respect for the armed forces . Also they get attracted to the passion of the armed forces. The Agneepath is a great option for them”. This was the statement by the government of India. But the youth of India is protesting against this Ageepath recruitment scheme. And in many regions, the protest is getting violent, including stone-pelting, and even public vehicles were set on Fire.
So let us discuss what is Agneepath Recruitment Scheme. This Article will majorly focus on Agneepath not on the protests or violence and all about that you should know related to Agneepath Scheme.
What is Agneepath?
A few days ago, on Tuesday our defense minister Rajnath Singh uncovered the “Agneepath” recruitment scheme. The objective of this scheme is to transform the armed forces. With the Agneepath scheme, Indian youth will be able to serve in the armed forces and they will be called “Agniveer“. The Minister also added, “This recruitment scheme brought to strengthen India’s security”.
What will it have?
The People who will as Agnibveer, get a good pay package and an exit retirement package. When they complete their four years of service. The Defence Minister said, “Our effort is to provide the youthful profile to armed forces through the rollout of Agneepath recruitment scheme”. This means that when Agniveer after four years of service will step into a new career. Then he/she will have a separate advancement and portfolio as compared to the others. Also, this will create a satisfactory respectful emotion towards the nation.
According to the experts and army officers, there is a big concern with this scheme that will adversely impact military ethos. Because we all know that the armed forces are not only a job it’s an emotion for many Indians. There are many families who are serving the country for generations.
There are many chances that it will also impact professionalism. And the fighting spirit of the over 14-lakh strong armed forces.
Lieutenant General Anil Puri said, “Agniveers would be a part of the Future-ready soldiers”. Lt Gen elaborated that the Agniveers would be India’s young protectors. Agniveer’s resume and the biodata will be unique and strong after serving in the Armed forces for four years. General added, “Agniveer will stand out in the crowd with his attitude, his skills, and the time he would stand with us”.
How will it all happen?
This recruitment scheme will be a pan India merit-based recruitment scheme. This scheme will enroll students in Army, Navy, and Air forces as well. It will provide an opportunity for the youth to serve in the regular cadre of the armed forces. Agniveers will be recruited in the age limit of 17.5 to 21 years age gap.
As I discussed earlier, the enrollment duration will be four years. This period of four years will also include training. After four years only 25% of the Agniveers will be retained in the regular cadre. This extension will only be provided on the basis of merit, willingness, and medical fitness. If done, then the Agniveer can serve for a full term of another fifteen years.
Will there be any pension?
The four-year Agneepath scheme will be served under a contract. So the Agniveer who will complete its contract. And will not continue will not be taken into consideration for fixation of the final pensionary benefits.
But those Agniveers who do not continue after the contract. Will be demobilized, with an exit or “Seva Nidhi”. The package of Seva Nidhi will be 11-12 Lakh. That will be partly funded by their monthly distributions. They will also get skill certificates and bank loans for help in their second career.
All the Agniveers can apply on a Volunteer basis to enroll in the regular cadre. But in that, they will not get salary benefits.
4.76 lakh is the starting package for the Agnivers. And it will increase by 2.16 Lakh in the last year of the contract. Agniveers will be given a monthly salary of 30,000. They will also get a Risk/hardship allowance and Income tax exemption. If any of the Agniveer who achieve martyrdom will be given full payment of unserved services years, to the family.
Agniveers will also entitle to awards, medals, and insurance covers like a regular cadre of Army, Navy, and Air Force.
The Scheme also includes death compensation. There will be a non-contributory life insurance cover of Rs 48 Lakhs. In addition Ex Gratia of Rs44 Lakks for death attributable to service. It will also pay for the unserved portions of up to four including the ‘Seva Nidhi’ component.
In our defense system, we all need modernization. If it is not done yet then we can face a massive challenge in the future. It’s not true that India is not focusing on military modernization but currently. Our biggest challenge is the defense budget. For many years a big part of the Budget was invested in manpower and that creates a backfoot on modernization.
In 2020-2021, about 38 billion dollars were taken by Army. Only about 7 billion dollars were provided for the capital expenditures for modernization. And According to the government with the Agneepath Scheme, they can save a lot of amount for the betterment of the Armed forces. As they will have smart cutoffs towards salary and the pension procedures.
Like every case, there are also two faces one who is in favor of Agneepath and the other who is against it. In many provinces of the nation students who are preparing for the armed forces are protesting. In most areas now the protest is getting violent. We will also discuss the whole Violence in detail in the next article.