For the purpose of recruiting personnel for the Indian defence forces’ three branches, a new programme has been introduced. This programme, known as Agneepath, will recruit soldiers for 4 years who will be given the name Agniveer. The Indian Army’s recruitment procedure has undergone a significant transformation as a result of this initiative, which aims to enrol young people. Under this plan, recruitment for positions below officer rank will take place. Most of the youth will have four-year appointments. There won’t be any ordinary army recruitment at this level during the Agniveers’ recruitment period. The average age of the Indian Army is anticipated to decrease from 32 to 26 years with the implementation of this plan.
The Central Government ministers and the Chief of the Three Armies are hailing this innovative idea after it received approval from the Union Cabinet. The opposition, on the other hand, is posing queries. In certain locations, students have also walked the streets in protest. Therefore, this idea has not been well received by all defence specialists. In this context, it becomes important for us to know about this scheme.
What is Agneepath Scheme?
Such a programme, in which soldiers would be recruited for a brief period of time, has been introduced for the first time in the Indian force. About 40–45 thousand young people will be enlisted in the army annually under this plan. These young people will range in age from 17 and a half to 21.
These hiring decisions will be based on a medical exam and merit. The soldiers will receive six months of basic military training throughout the course of these four years.
Along with other advantages, a monthly salary of Rs. 30–40,000 will be provided. Thirty thousand in the first year, thirty three thousand in the second, three thousand six hundred in the third, and forty thousand in the fourth.
All of these Agniveers’ terms of service will expire after four years, at which point fresh hires will be made. When Agniveers complete their service, 25% of them will be hired into the permanent cadre.
What are the concerns?
The opposition parties assert hat these recruitments may have an impact on the army’s capacity and efficiency. Another concern is about what will happen to the young people who were recruited through this programme after their four-year service contract is over. Randeep Surjewala questioned how these young people, who ranged in age from 22 to 25, would secure their futures without a higher education. Surjewala argued that it is untrue that when regular soldiers, who have served for 15 years, return, the majority of them get hired as bank guards or security guards. What will happen to these young people who were hired on a contract in such a situation.