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Government clears all doubts surrounding Agnipath Scheme

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New Delhi, Jun 17: There have been protests after the government announced the Agnipath Scheme. While it is being made to look like a knee jerk reaction by the government, the fact that this decision was taken after extensive consultations.

All your myths and confusion around ‘Agnipath’ busted in 1,652 words

Here is everything you should know about the Agnipath Recruitment Scheme:

What is Agneepath Yojana and what are its benefits?

  • Agneepath scheme belonging to Indian Armed Forces is a scheme in which selected candidates will be enrolled as Agniveer for a period of four years.
  • On completion of a period of four years, these Agniveers will return to the society to pursue a career in the profession of their choice with the aim of finding employment in other sectors as a disciplined, dynamic, motivated and skilled manpower.
  • These Agniveers will be provided an opportunity to apply for enrolment in the permanent cadre after they have completed their period of engagement as per the organisational requirements and policies announced by the Armed Forces. Out of these, up to 25 per cent Agniveers would be selected to be enrolled in the Armed Forces as a regular cadre.
  • This scheme provides an opportunity to the Indian youth who wish to serve the country to join the armed forces for a short period. This scheme improves the profile of the youth of the Armed Forces.

Benefits:

  • Under this proposal, it is envisaged to provide opportunity to the youth to serve in the army for a short duration.
  • The move will also create a more youthful and technically capable war-fighting force by ensuring a fine balance between youth and experienced personnel in the Armed Forces.

What are the broad objectives of this scheme?

The broad objectives of this scheme are:

  • To enhance the youth image of the Armed Forces so that they are equipped with their best fighting skills at all times with better risk taking ability.
  • To attract young talent from the society to effectively utilize, adopt and utilize the emerging modern technologies equipped with advanced technological frontiers by taking advantage of the technical institutions of the country.
  • To provide opportunities to the youth who want to serve the nation in uniform for a short period of time.
  • To imbibe the zeal, courage, camaraderie, commitment and group spirit of the armed forces among the youth.
  • To equip the youth with abilities and qualities like discipline, enthusiasm, motivation and efficiency so that they prove to be an asset to us.

What are the benefits envisaged to accrue from this scheme?

  • This scheme will prove to be extremely useful for the armed forces, nation, individual and society at large.
  • National integration based on unity in diversity with equal opportunities to youth including women of all walks of life.
  • Nation building through empowered, disciplined and skilled youth with military values ​​in civil society.
  • Better combat preparedness through transformative development with energetic, healthy, diverse, more trained and empowered youth to suit the changing circumstances.
  • Selection of the best talent through a strict and transparent selection process.
  • Youthful image through maximum balance of youth and experience.
  • Efforts to enhance the benefits of Skill India by involving technical institutions.
  • Opportunity to the youth to join the armed forces and fulfill the dream of serving the nation.
  • To imbibe military discipline, motivation, skill and physical fitness.
  • Effortless linkage to society with a variety of skills, certifications and diplomas/higher education/credits.
  • Good financial package makes the youth joining the armed forces more stable than their civil society peers.
  • To create confident and better citizens through military training, team building, values ​​and camaraderie during tenure.
  • Personality of an Agniveer - The introduction will be so unique that he will stand apart in the crowd.

What will be the impact of this plan on the operational preparedness of the Armed Forces?

  • The scheme will enhance the operational effectiveness of the Armed Forces. Equipped with a youthful image, more capable of entering the battlefield with less trepidation, it is expected that these personnel will have a higher risk taking ability. With the incorporation of technology and improvement in training programmes, the Armed Forces will ensure that those covered under the scheme Personnel must possess the skills required to deal with operational challenges. As the training standards in the Armed Forces are clearly defined and monitored by the highest authorities, it will be ensured that Agniveer lives up to the highest professional standards.
  • The scheme envisages a young age image of the armed forces. Is the age-related eligibility criteria for enrolment under this scheme different as compared to the earlier practice?
  • Between 17 and a half years to 21 years of age with other educational, physical and medical criteria candidates who will meet the marks will be extensively enrolled as Agniveer. The objective of this scheme is to promote the initiative of "Skill India" by enrolling eligible candidates holding ITI/Diploma with necessary skills for certain technical professions in future.

Can an Agniveer opt for enrolment in the permanent cadre?

  • All Agniveers will be provided an opportunity to apply for enrolment in the permanent cadre after they complete their period of engagement as per the organisational requirements and policies announced by the Armed Forces.
  • A centralised transparent strict screening system on these applications, which will be done on the merits and will be based on performance, will be considered by Up to 25 per cent of Agniveers will be selected for enrolment in the permanent cadre as per the extant terms and conditions. The selection of Agniveers for further enrolment in the Armed Forces would be within the prerogative of the Government through prescribed policies.

How does this scheme compare with other countries?

The methodology for inducting, retaining and de-serving Armed Forces personnel in these countries was carefully analysed to adopt the best practices being followed in various developed countries. The following facts emerged from this analysis:

Predominantly Volunteer Model: All countries, including countries with compulsory military service, have armed forces with a volunteer nature after the mandatory military service expires.

Procedures for Enrollment: Most countries follow different models of enrollment at different stages of a military career that allow soldiers to voluntarily continue or be released from service.

Predominantly Volunteer Model: All countries, including countries with compulsory military service, have armed forces with a volunteer nature after the mandatory military service expires.

Procedures for enrolment: Most countries follow different models of enrolment at different stages of a military career that allow soldiers to voluntarily continue or be released from service.

Retention in service: All countries, after an initial compulsory service period, retain soldiers in service based on their choice and a meritorious selection process.

Training: The initial training period is short in all countries. After a soldier is selected for long-term service, he is given special training.

Incentives on discharge: These incentives vary from country to country but are generally in the following areas:

  1. Discounts/incentives for pursuing higher education.
  2. Financial package on release of service.
  3. Credits in education qualifications for the type and duration of service rendered.
  4. Preference in recruitment in permanent cadre.
  5. Certain job assurances on release from service.
  6. The Agneepath scheme aims to follow the model adopted in the developed countries and the incentives provided there.

Will the recruitment under this scheme change the system?

We will maintain the regimental system as the scheme envisages selection of the best Agniveers and will ensure the cohesion of the unit only by personnel who prove their mettle. Further, these aspects will be focused and emphasised through the training provided after Agniveer reaches the unit.

Since the period of training is going to be limited, will it be sufficient to meet the operational challenges?

Today's youth eat better food, run faster and longer, are more tech savvy and are able to adapt more easily to the situation. Our aim is to design our training using technology like simulators to ensure an effective training programme.

Harnessing the talents of the present generation. As the basic aptitude and qualities of youth have improved over the years, it gives us an opportunity to restructure the training pattern with more time available for both physical and technical training. This gives us the benefits of our current training.

It also gives an opportunity to review the drafts to make them contemporary, technology based and in line with the needs of the Armed Forces.

Is the Agneepath scheme likely to be opened for women?

It is envisaged that women will be recruited progressively in future under the Agniveer scheme for induction into the armed forces.

How will this scheme ensure recruitment from across the country?

The objective of this scheme is to tap the wide-based talent pool of the nation and select the best talent for a career in the Armed Forces. With the introduction of this scheme the present format of selection in the Armed Forces is not being changed. Changes are being made only to the Terms and Conditions of Service.

As you all know that the three services have well established selection centres across the country. These selection centres have enabled the three services to recruit people from even the most remote parts of the country. Since these Selection Centers will continue to take the responsibility of recruitment of personnel, we expect that the all India representation will not be affected by the introduction of this scheme.

What is the financial package given to Agniveer in the Armed Forces?

  • First year package approximately Rs 4.76 lakh
  • Upgradation to about Rs.6.92 lakh in 4th year allowances
  • Risk and Hardship, Ration, Dress, Traveling Allowance as applicable
  • retirement
  • 30 per cent of the monthly salary will be contributed by the individual
  • Equal amount matching and contribution by the government
  • Interest earned over and above corpus of Rs 10.04 lakh, which is exempt from income tax after four years
  • Compensation in case of death
  • Non-contributory life insurance cover of Rs 48 lakh
  • Additional ex-gratia of Rs 44 lakh on death during service
  • Pay even for the period not served for a period of four years including 'retirement' component
  • Compensation in case of disability
  • Compensation based on the percentage of disability as determined by the medical authorities
  • One-time ex-gratia amount of Rs 44/25/15 lakhs for 100% / 75% / 50% disability respectively

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