Govt addresses concerns on ‘Agnipath’ scheme
   Date :17-Jun-2022

Agnipath scheme 
AS VIOLENT protests against the new recruitment scheme ‘Agnipath’ raged across several States, the Government on Thursday issued a clarification, asserting that not only the new model will bring in new capabilities to the Armed Forces but will also open up avenues for youth in the private sector as well as help them in becoming entrepreneurs with the aid of the financial package.
Apart from issuing a ‘Myth vs Facts’ document to address the concerns raised on the scheme, the Government’s information dissemination arm issued a series of social media posts, saying in the coming years, recruitment of ‘Agniveers’ will be around triple the current recruitment in Armed Forces and ruled out any change to the regimental system.
“The scheme will bring in new dynamism to the Armed Forces. It will help the forces bring in new capabilities and take advantage of the technical skills and fresh thinking of the youths... It will allow the youths to serve the nation,” the Press Information Bureau said in a Facebook post.
Referring to the financial package of around Rs 11.71 lakh to be given to each of the recruits at the end of the four-year tenure from the ‘Seva Nidhi Package’, it said it will provide financial independence to the youths and even help them to venture into entrepreneurship.
The clarification came in the wake of protests in several States, including Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Haryana. Trains were set afire, window panes of buses smashed and passersby, including a ruling BJP MLA, pelted with stones in Bihar by Army job aspirants whose protest against the Central scheme continued for the second consecutive day.
The Government on Tuesday unveiled the scheme for the recruitment of soldiers in the Army, Navy and the Air Force largely on a four-year short-term contractual basis, in a major overhaul of the decades-old selection process. Under the scheme, youths between the ages of 17 and a half and 21 years will be inducted into the three services. After completion of the four-year tenure, the scheme provides for retaining 25 per cent of the recruits for regular service.
After the scheme was rolled out, the Army said it would ensure an enhanced youthful profile of the force and result in a “reduction in the average age from 32 to 26 years over a period of time.
“For those wishing to be entrepreneurs -- they will get a financial package and bank loan scheme. For those wishing to study further -- they will be given a 12 class equivalent certificate and bridging course for further studies,” said the official.
There were apprehensions that the ‘Agnipath’ scheme would change the composition of several regiments that recruit youths from specific regions as well as castes such as Rajputs, Jats and Sikhs.