On the 14th of June 2022, the Union Cabinet approved a recruitment scheme for the youth of India offering them services in the armed forces. Called the Agnipath scheme, the youth selected under this will be called Agniveers. The scheme allows feasibility for patriotic youth to serve in the Armed forces for a duration of 4 years. Designed in a manner so as to facilitate a more youth-centric profile, it targets to provide an opportunity to youngsters who may be willing to take up this esteemed service to the nation, employing their skills, motivation as well as discipline for the welfare of the country. The Government of India stated that this short stint by way of military service will not only provide benefits to the country but the society as well as the individuals who are a part of this service.
Who is an Agniveer? Terms and conditions explained
- The youngsters joining the Armed forces under the Agnipath scheme will be referred to as Agniveer.
- Aimed at bringing about a transformation and a change towards a more youth-oriented Armed force, the average working-age profile under this scheme is expected to be coming down by around 4-5 years.
- The selection falls under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Armed Forces, the initial plan stands at recruiting 46000 Agnvieers this year.
- With the enrolment being based on an ‘All India All Class’ basis, the eligible age will range from 17.5 to 21 years of age.
- The enrolment will take place through an online centralized system for all the 3 services by means of campus interviews from recognized technical institutes such as Industrial Training Institutes and the National Skills Qualifications Framework.
- The educational qualification for Agniveers will be as is in vogue for enrolment in the various categories, as is deemed fit beforehand.
- As far as the medical requirements are concerned, again the Agniveers will meet the requirements as laid down per se aka by the Armed forces in each category as applicable and put down via the pre-set conditions for enrolment.
- After the completion of the 4 years of service, based on organizational requirements and policies of the Armed Forces as may be in vogue at that point of time, they will also be offered an opportunity to apply for permanent enrolment.
- Post this stint, they will be inducted into the civil society where Agniveers will be in a position to contribute greatly towards the nation-building process. The skills gained by them will be recognized as a certificate which will be added to their resumes.
During this period, the Agniveers will be imparted various military skills and experience, fitness training, leadership and discipline as well as courage.
The Pay Packages for the Agniveers under the Agneepath scheme:
They will be given attractive customized monthly packages along with Risk and Hardship allowances as applicable in the 3 services. After the completion of the 4-year period, they will be paid a one-time Seva Nidhi package which shall include accrued interest as well as a matching contribution from the Government equal to the accumulated amount of the contribution including interest. Following is the detailed chart for the same:
|YEAR 70%||Monthly Packages (in INR) Monthly||In-Hand (in INR)|
Total contribution in Agniveer corpus Fund after 4 years INR 11.71 Lakh as Seva Nidhi package to be paid on exit after 4 years including interest accumulated on the amount paid.
In case of death during the tenure, a payout of Rs 1 crore has been proposed along with the payment of the contribution amount for the unserved tenure as well,
Also, the Seva Nidhi shall be exempt from Income tax. Albeit there shall be no gratuity or pension benefits. Although, these youngsters shall be provided with a non-contributory Life Insurance cover of INR 48 Lakhs for the tenure of their engagement period in the Armed forces.
So, Then what is the hitch?
- Well, firstly the Armed forces have not increased the total quantum of recruitment. Of course, we cannot expect them to act as an employment guarantee centre. But as the Government has promised a radical change and the hype surrounding it is too high, it is natural that the expectations of the jobless, especially those from the rural backgrounds increase. Thus, quantitatively speaking, Agneepath scheme does not rise to these expectations.
- The second point of concern here is what about 75% of recruits who will choose to exit after 4 years without any rank, further service and most importantly pension? Unemployment seems to be hanging loose and large upon the future on these.
- In response to this the argument stands that these aspirants might still be young enough to continue their education and look for jobs But, one cannot deny that in rural India whenever a youngster gets selected to be a part of the Army, the entire village rejoices. There might be possible reverse psychology affecting out in the form of humiliation when these Agniveers come back after 4 years without any further service.
- With contractual employment being in vogue now, this service kind of adds up to the ever-growing list where the 75 per cent discontinuing Agniveers will somehow have to keep hunting for their next pursuits. The entire general attitude will suffer and drop as regards the perception of this, thanks to the instability of this option.
Since, the time the decision has come, it has met with controversy, violence and protests across the country, citing serious flaws in this scheme, its working module as well as implementation.
It is actually sad to note that there is a lack of trust and an early, premature kind of reaction emanating from the people across the nation. I am not taking sides or being a judge here but it is important to give the government some time, a head starts as far as the execution of such decisions goes. Remember, how in 2016, demonetization was looked down upon, and the Modi-led government has faced flak for it? Although, years after I’d say it was a wise step, taken to actually keep us more future-ready. Let us not forget that Modiji’s decisions even if they might not appeal to us at that point in time, have always proved to be the best in the long run. Let us give them some time to execute what they are planning, allow them to elucidate what they transpire to get executed and then pass a judgement. Till then, anyways violence never was and will never be a reasonable answer to protest against any qualm we may have against our acting Government and its authorities. Peace works wonders whereas violence only leads to destruction in the long run.
Hope you guys resonate with my views on the Agneepath scheme dispersion. Let me know in the comments below what other ideas would you like me to share with you.
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Tag: Agneepath Scheme, Agnipath Scheme, Agnipath Controversy, The Agnipath Scheme, Agnipath