On 14th June 2022; Defense Minister Rajnath Singh launched the Agneepath Recruitment Scheme. This scheme is about the recruitment of Indian youth into the Indian Armed Forces. This recruitment process in the armed forces offers jobs below the rank of Officers for a 4-year duty along with training. But without any pension entitlement but a promise of yet-to-be specified assistance in getting post-discharge employment. This new scheme was announced after extensive deliberation over it the last 2 years. Its goal was to deploy fitter and younger troops on the front lines so India can counter the enemy. This scheme would provide Army, Navy, and Air forces a more youthful image. Women are also welcome to join the Armed Forces under the new recruitment scheme.
All the persons who are selected under the Agneepath scheme would be called Agniveers. During the 4 years of the service, Agniveers will be trained by the officers for combat purposes. After the completion of 4 years of service 25% of them, join the armed forces for a longer period. The Rest 75% agniveer have to return home, but it will depend on their performance in the assessment test Selected professionals will then serve for the full term of another 15 years in the army. Agniveers who have been disqualified after the 4 years will be given a lump sum amount of 11-12 lakh as Seva Nidhi.
Vacancy, Salary & Perks: Under the Agneepath Scheme
There will be up to 46,000 soldiers joining the Indian Armed Forces via the Agneepath Scheme this year. The detailed notification regarding the recruitment will be published by the Indian forces soon. In upcoming years, the government is planning to increase it to 1.46 lakh from 46000.
Salary of the Agniveers for the 1st year will be around Rs. 30000/- monthly. Also, the 30% amount will be deducted as a contribution to agniveer crops from their salary. So the In hand salary for the 1st year will 21000/- monthly. From the 2nd year, the Net In-hand salary will be Rs. 23100 per month. They will also be entitled to the Risk and Hardship allowances. The total amount (with interest) to be given will be Rs. 11-12 Lakhs as a Seva Nidhi package after exiting from the service.
Eligibility: Who is Eligible for becoming the Agniveer ?
Men and women both are eligible for this scheme and should have their ages between 17.5 to 23. All the candidates need to enroll themselves at the online registration portal for all three ranks. Which is followed by the physical test at a technical institute. Candidates who passed their 10th and 12th class boards are eligible for becoming the Agniveer.
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Pros of the Agneepath Scheme – Why Indian Government Supporting this Scheme?
- According to Veterans of the Indian armed forces, this scheme will deploy energetic and dynamic troops. And that can be a game-changer in combat situations.
- Every Year the govt has to pay the 30% of the total defense budget as a pension to retired professionals. As agniveer are not given any pesion this will save money which government will use in the modernization of armed forces.
- In times of war, India has trained agniveers who can again turn into soldiers in no time.
- The Agniveers will be given low-interest loans which could help them kick-start their second career.
- Some states already announced that they will give preferences to the Agniveer in State government Jobs.
- The scheme pays a handsome amount of ₹10-11 lakhs to those who are demobilized after the end of their tenure.
- The government of India also announced that after the candidate’s exit, if they wish to work will be given priority in police, CAPFs, and allied forces in several states.
- After serving in Armed Forces for even a short period of time, a person becomes a man of character. They are able to consider any situation properly and are less prone to make wrong choices.
- The Agneepath scheme is the best if an individual just wants to serve the nation for some limited period of time and can’t give his/hers life to the Armed forces.
- The Agniveers will be offered a post by the many educational institutes soon after their exit from the service.
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Cons of Agneepath Scheme: Why Youth is in Oppose of this scheme
However, the scheme as amazing as it sounds has a number of conceptual flaws.
- The main concern of the people is regarding the future of Agniveers. As they have not been given any kind of job security.
- A person will not be getting any pension after retirement. A soldier will have to do at least 20 years of service to get a pension from the service.
- Another main concern is a lack of motivation in the agniveers. Will they be able to perform after knowing that they have to remain jobless after 4 years of service?
- Some people are thinking it is the manipulating policy of the government because they failed in creating jobs. So they are creating jobs for a shorter period of time.
- No facilities will be given to the candidates after the retirement such as medical or other facilities that are given to a permanent commission officer.
- It could also take a mental toll on youths.
- For the past two years, the army recruitment has been delayed on a large scale and dampened the spirits of those who were looking forward to it.
- One of the main concerns with the scheme is the lack of experience. And that can put a lot of lives at risk because in 4 years it is difficult to acquire all the combat skills.
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Facilities provided to the Agniveers
- Under this scheme, Agniveers will serve the country for 4 years.
- Each Agniveer will be given a vacation of 30 days each year.
- The salary for every month will be Rs. 30,000.
- All the Agniveers will be provided the medical facilities.
- After the exit of the Agniveer, they will be given Rs 11-12 lakhs as Seva Nidhi.
- In case of any disability occurred during those 4 years, the pay left for the rest of the tenure will be provided.
- Risk and Hardship allowances will also be provided.
- According to the guidelines of the Air Forces, Honor and gallantry awards will be given to the agniveers.
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Conclusion – Is Agneepath Scheme Good?
So now we come to the question of whether Agneepath’s scheme is good or all the person who questioned this is right. First of all, it is not something that is happening first time in the world many countries like the USA, the UK, and South Korea already have the same kind of structure for armed forces recruitment. So the scheme is not bad but there are many problems related to the career security of the Agniveers and the government needs to focus on that.
The government of India needs to reshape this policy and try to give more importance to the career of agniveer. Because they are going to serve the nation and will put their lives in danger. Also, the people who are protesting need to stop this because violence and harming public property is not acceptable by any mean. There are many ways of protesting but violence is not one of them. Agneepath is a scheme that can change the Indian defense system but the only concern govt needs to solve is regarding the career security of Agniveer. And Government of India is working in that direction.
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