Here’s All You Should Know about the Agnipath Scheme

Abhishek Kumar Singh
Abhishek Kumar Singh Jul 01 2022 - 5 min read
Here’s All You Should Know about the Agnipath Scheme
The Army plans to recruit 40,000 Agniveers in the first batch and is planning to select 25,000 Agniveers by the first half of December and the remaining by the first half of February 2023.To do the same, 83 rallies are planned across the country covering all states.

Getting selected for the army is a dream that almost everyone has seen once in his or her lifetime. Becoming army personnel is like boiling the ocean, as you need to cross a long selection process, and the job itself is very hard in terms of physical and mental pressure. Still a big number of boys and girls, from both rural and urban areas of the country, prepare for the army. Before knowing more about how candidates are selected and how long they are needed to serve, first know what all India’s Defence sector combines. 

India’s Defence Sector

India’s Defence sector comprises Armed Forces, Navy and Air Forces. It is one of the fastest-growing sectors, due to the increased allocation of the Defence budget and the rapidly growing population of the country. Other factors that force the country to spend a big chunk on national security are the geographical and topographical diversity, especially the 15,000 km long border which India shares with seven neighbouring countries. Currently, India has over 1.4 million military personnel. There are various types of selection processes like examinations, physical tests and interviews. After that, the candidates are trained and deployed as needed. 

The Plan in Detail

On 14 June 2022, the Government of India announced a new scheme for recruiting new soldiers in the Army, Navy and Air Force. The scheme, called Agnipath, was a new selection process for individuals below the officer rank. It introduced a new type of merit-based selection process and shrank the service period to four years.

The Army plans to recruit 40,000 Agniveers in the first batch and is planning to select 25,000 Agniveers by the first half of December and the remaining by the first half of February 2023.To do the same, 83 rallies are planned across the country covering all states.

Government also mentioned that intake of Agniveers would be increased according to the need in the upcoming years. Intake of recruits under Agnipath will be increased from 46,000 annually in the first four years, to 90,000 in the fifth year to 125,000 from the sixth year.

This means the soldiers once selected under the Agneepath scheme would be in service only for four years. However, one-fourth of the Agniveers (those who served under the Agnipath scheme) will be selected based on their service, the rest will be sent back to society. 

The age requirement for the scheme is from 17.5 to 21 years and six months of training will be included in the four-year training period. Salary benifits for the candidates is decided to be kept around INR 4.76 lacs per annum which are upgradable to INR 6.92 Lacs in the fourth year. Other allowances like Ration, Dress, Travel, Risk and Hardship, and Travel allowance will be given to them as applicable. Moreover, there are rules for Death and Disability compensations in case of any mishap on the job. 

Why Agnipath Was Necessary?

The government has been trying to make aspirants understand these measures have been taken for increasing the youth power in the army. The scheme is said to have positive effects as having a youthful profile in the army will make them keener to fight in the best way possible at all times with increased risk-taking ability. It will also attract young talent from society to effectively exploit, adopt and use emerging modern technologies. 

The scheme is seen as an opportunity for the youth who may be keen to serve the nation in uniform albeit for a short period of time. It will use the immense power of youth for nationwide development by imbibing the Armed Forces ethos, courage, camaraderie, commitment and teamwork in them.

What Are the Possible Avenues for Agniveers?

Soon after the scheme was rolled out, a question came to everyone’s mind about what Agniveers will do once they retire from this four-year service in the army. As there would be a big number of lay off from the army, counting a straight three-fourth of the servicemen from any respective batch, there will be a big number of people left unemployed. 

Seeing the number of people who will be joining, and then retiring from the army, the government announced that Agniveers will be offered employment in the Ministry of Defence, Indian Coast Guard, and Public Secor Units like Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) Bharat Electronics( BEL) etc. The Home Ministry also announced a straight 10 per cent reservation in Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) and Assam Rifles, along with a three-year relaxation preference for recruitment in state police forces. 

Government credit schemes like MUDRA & Stand up India will be leveraged to extend credit support to Agniveers to set up businesses after their stint. The Department of Telecom will provide employment opportunities in areas of Optical Fibre Maintenance, Fibre to Home (FTTH), Customer Interface, etc.

The Directorate General of Shipping under the ministry of ports shipping and waterways (MoPSW) along with the Indian Navy has announced a system for the smooth induction of the Agniveers into the Merchant Navy.

Accordingly, the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways(MoPSW) presented enticing service opportunities for Agnives in a variety of Merchant Navy positions after their time in the Navy.

How Industries Are Willing to Absorb Agniveers 

Not just ministries but companies from various industries have come up trying to solve this issue by offering jobs to Agniveers. Let’s know about some of them. Major Industrialist and Chairman of Mahindra Group, Anand Mahindra, used his Twitter to announce the job offer for Agniveers. 

On June 20, 2022, he tweeted, “Saddened by the violence around the #Agneepath program. When the scheme was mooted last year I stated-& I repeat-the discipline & skills Agniveers gain will make them eminently employable. The Mahindra Group welcomes the opportunity to recruit such trained, capable young people” 

Soon after that, Harsh Goenka, Chairman of The RPG group shared his thoughts on the Agnipath scheme saying, "The RPG Group too welcomed the opportunity to employ the gniveers. I do hope other corporates will also join us to take this pledge and assure our youths of a future."

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