Agnipath Scheme is a new scheme by the Government of India on 14 June 2022. It is for the recruitment of soldiers below the rank of commissioned officers into the armed forces. The Agnipath Scheme will be the only route for recruitment into the military. All recruits will be hired only for a four-year period. Cadets recruited under this system are to be called Agniveers, which will be a new military rank. The introduction of the scheme has been criticized because of a lack of awareness among people. The scheme is scheduled to be implemented in September 2022.
This scheme will bypass many things including long tenures, pensions, and other benefits which were there in the old system. Opposition parties in India have criticized and expressed concerns about the consequences of the new scheme. They have asked the scheme to be put on hold and that the scheme be discussed in the Parliament.
The scheme once put in motion is going to lower the age profile of the Indian Armed Forces. It also contain the ballooning pension bill. The major chunk of the budget was going into salaries and pensions. Due to this, the long-awaited modernization projects of the armed forces were getting delayed. Young men and women between the age of 17.5 and 21 years will be eligible for the recruitment after clearing all the levels of tests. They will be henceforth known as “Agniveers”. These will be recruited either directly through educational institutions or through recruitment rallies and will serve for a short period of four years and will not get any pension.
The statement of the Cheif General, Indian Army, Manoj Pande on Friday said that “the training of the first Agniveers or the people selected under the Agnipath recruitment scheme would begin in December 2022 and their active service will commence in the middle of 2023.”
Out of the four-year tenure, the first six months of these Agniveers will go into a rigorous training regime and the balance of 3.5 will be in active service. The training for those getting into the Army will be between 10 weeks to up to six months and for the Navy. It will be for almost 16 weeks and they will spend two weeks on sea training.
For the IAF, they have to meet all the medical eligibility conditions as laid down for enrolment, which are applicable to respective categories/trades.
Vice Admiral Biswajit Dasgupta, Flag Officer Commanding in Chief, Eastern Naval Command, has told that the “Agniveer’ program for the Indian Navy will have 16 weeks of basic training. And, two weeks of sea training, and 16 weeks of professional training.”
According to officials as was announced earlier this week, 25 percent of these recruits, if found to be the best performers and are driven, will be absorbed by the Armed Forces for a period of 15 years and they will get all the perks of the regular soldier serving in the forces. The rest of 75 percent will be sent back at the end of four years.
A robust assessment system is in the process of being drafted and this will be used to track the performance of the Agniveers. The government is already in talks with the Ministry of Skill and Development and Entrepreneurship to issue a certificate highlighting the proficiency of the Agniveer is a skill-set.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh while announcing the scheme on Tuesday. He mentioned that “the government is talking with other ministries to ensure on completion of their tenure in service, the Agniveers will get preference in their jobs search. Those who will complete their four years as soldiers, airmen, and sailors will also get preference in Assam Rifles and Paramilitary Forces.”
Under the transformational scheme, sailors, soldiers, and airmen will be recruited and the technical cadre of the medical branch will not be taken. This is open to storekeepers, tradesmen, clerks, nursing assistants, and General Duty.
The news of the protest was firstly heard on June 15th, from Bihar when protestors blocked the National Highways and Railway Tracks. Now, the protest has taken a cruel turn. Several protestors burnt trains, buses, and party offices, and also attacked BJP party workers. On 17 June, protesters attacked the house of the Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar, Renu Devi.
On 19 June, Virendra Kumar, Chief Public relations officer, of East Central Railway, told the media that estimates of the damage to property are still being made, but approximately upwards of Rs 700 crore property has been damaged. He also said that five trains, 60 coaches, and 11 engines have been burnt. Also, the railway is preparing a full report for the damage caused to property. Patna District magistrate said 23 FIRs were registered and 147 arrests were made. Also, he alleged the involvement of 3 coaching centers in the protests.
For some benefit to their vote bank the opposition parties are supporting and encouraging the anti-Agnipath protestors. There are some signs of involvement in violent activities. According to the Hindu: Some protestors were questioned about violent activities. But, the protestor said they are leading the protest but in a peaceful manner. The protestor claimed the involvement of the opposition in the violence. The name of the party as well as of the protestors were not revealed. Because the individual fears of police cases.
Many protestors creating violence are from the various defense coaching centers. The officials of the coaching centers give a provocative statement and boost individuals for the violent protest. Patna District magistrate said 23 FIRs were registered and 147 arrests were made. He alleged the involvement of 3 coaching centers in the protests. (Report: Wikipedia)
The main reason for the protest among youth is the lack of awareness. Most of the young protestors don’t even know about the scheme. They are just protesting because some of their friends or group leaders are against the scheme. There should be positive public debates as well as seminars to create awareness about the scheme.
Navjeevan Defence Academy, Sikar respects the decision from the central authorities for the Agnipath Scheme. The institute asks its students to support the scheme and get benefitted from it. Also, the institute urges students not to protest or not to create unnecessary violence. Navjeevan Defence Academy is starting its new batches for the preparation of Agniveers. The academy is consistently giving great results in defense sectors and is now ready with the new teaching methodology and scheme to again produce the future magnifiers. The institute will soon update about the new dates and batches for the Agnipath scheme.
Also, explore the fee structure of the institute.
The government announced that the salary will be around Rs 40,000 per month by the time the Agniveer reaches his/her the fourth year. Now, the government will add to the corpus fund that will be the severance of around Rs 11.71 lakh when they exit. As announced, the soldiers will aslo be contributing almost 30 percent of their salaries to the corpus and an equal amount will be deposited by the government. These recruits will get help in securing loans for further education, they will be getting incentivized with higher education credits. Also, other bridging courses once they are relieved of their duty.