Benefits and Surrounding concerns of Agnipath Scheme

Benefits and Surrounding concerns of Agnipath Scheme 2022

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On Tuesday, the government of India has announced a radical and far-reaching ‘Agnipath Scheme’ to recruit ‘Agniveers’ in the defence services- Army, Navy and Air Force respectively. Let’s have a look at how it will work and what sort of things it is concerned with.

What is ‘Agnipath’ scheme?

The scheme is a recruitment scheme that depends on the principle of “All India, All Class”, making the same more inclusive in nature. Under it, the government decided to recruit annually around 45,000 to 50,000 individuals below the rank officer in various defence services. However, it is quite different from other recruitments held by the government as the previous processes include ‘regiment-based’ recruitment but Agnipath is indifferent to caste & region.

Why it is made for?

The primary objective of the scheme is to provide youngsters in the services which would be helpful on many fronts, young minds and bucket of strength would cement the nation’s security dealings.

Also, it would empower the youth of the country with discipline and specific military skills, ethos and would lead them to better battle preparedness.

Are you eligible?

Any individual between the age ranges 17.5 years to 21 years can apply or eligible for the same. The scheme is only applicable to personnel below the officer rank.

How does recruitment take place?

All three services will be enrolled through a centralized online system, with specific rallies and campus interviews conducted by recognized technical colleges such as Industrial Training Institutes and the National Skills Qualifications Framework, among others.

Recruitment would be conducted twice a year through rallies and aftermath the training period would be of 6 months. Also, officers would recruit annually for only 4 years of time span.

Highlights of the scheme :-

Aspirants would have a service period of 4 years {short term}, because of its temporary nature it is called ‘Tour of Duty Model’.

At the end of 4 years, only 25% of soldiers would be allowed to serve 15 years of permanent commission. Recruits will start getting a salary of 30,000 initially with additional benefits and it will rise as much as 40,000 at the end of the service. During this, recruits will set aside 30% of their salary in Seva Nidhi programme and on the other side, the government would contribute the same amount every month. At the end of four years, the lump sum amount of 11.71 lakh will be given to the soldiers, which will be tax-free.

The 25% of soldiers would not be given any pension or health insurance benefit after their retirement.

What benefits it entails?

It will make the armed forces much leaner and younger.

It will reduce the defence pension bill – The government has paid or allocated Rs. 3.3 lakh crore in defence pension since 2020. As per Army calculations, the savings for the government in this ‘Tour of Duty Model’ of recruitment from one just sepoy would be around 11.5 cr. The scheme would contribute in making the future ready soldiers.

The training which the sepoys gain during the 4 years of service would further help them in getting employment in other fields. The central government would likely give ‘Agniveer’ special preferences in regular employment after their 4 years stint.

  • Surrounding concerns

There is no security of job, as mentioned earlier the service period would be of 4 years only. Also, there would be no retirement benefits available to them.

The training period which is short as much as 6 months created doubt about the efficiency of new sepoys as compared to the current troops who has undergone through a long training period.

It would also witness the stances of erosion of loyalty, the soldier holds for its regiment.

Apart from it, the nation witnessing violent protests and demonstrations in every nook and corner, especially the regions consisting Bihar, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh has violent and aggressive opposition towards the scheme.

At this time, when the country stands at the middle of two front wars, nation needs to tighten its military capabilities. The changing global order is full of uncertainties one needs a strong military base and defence techniques to perform well. Every scheme before its formulation demands strong introspection and a gruelling, comprehensive planning. The nature of the scheme must comprise a perfect amalgamation of rigidity and flexibility so that as per the changing needs and conditions, changes can be done in the listed provisions. Also, it needs to be as rigid as no one even the governing bodies itself cannot modify it for their ulterior motives.

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