Agneepath scheme row: Why Modi govt increased age limit of two years?

Amidst the protests over the Agneepath scheme, the Modi government has announced to increase in the recruitment age by two years for this year. The government on Thursday increased the maximum age limit of candidates under this scheme from 21 years to 23 years. However, this age limit has been increased for this year only.

Till now the age for recruitment was fixed from 17.5 to 21 years. However, due to the Corona epidemic, he could not join the army for two years.

According to The Hindu, the Defense Ministry spokesperson said, “Taking cognizance of the recruitment not being possible during the last two years, the government has decided to give one-time relaxation in the age limit. Under the Agneepath scheme, the upper age limit for the year 2022 has been increased to 23 years.

On Tuesday this week, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh on behalf of the Central Government announced a new scheme of recruitment in the army, Agneepath.

Under this, youth in the age group of 17.5 years to 21 years will get an opportunity to serve in the army for four years. After this, 25% of the youth will be kept. But this plan of the Modi government is being opposed in many states.

At the same time, the government had also issued an official note regarding the ‘myths and facts related to this scheme. According to this note, the myth is that “21-year-olds are immature and unreliable” and at no time will there be more youth than experienced ones in the ranks.

The number of Agniveers that will be taken in the first year will be only three per cent of the army. There will be no change in the regimental system. “The current scheme will create the right mix of 50-50 per cent youth and experienced supervisory ranks in the long run,” the note said.

According to the note, it is a myth that there was “no consultation” with former military officers before the decision was announced. Accordingly, extensive consultations have been held with serving military officers in the last two years.

The note said, “This proposal has been prepared by the Department of Military Officers and this department has been created by this government. Many former officers have recognized and welcomed the benefits of the scheme.

“Such short term recruitment system exists in many countries. So it has already been tested and is considered as best for the young and ready army.

According to the note, there is a myth that “firefighters will be dangerous to society and they will become terrorists”.

It said, “This is an insult to the character and values ​​of the Indian Armed Forces. The youth wearing the uniform for four years will remain committed to the nation for life. Even now there is no such instance. Thousands of skilled soldiers retiring from the security forces.” Joining anti-national forces.

According to the note, this claim is a myth that “the future of firefighters is insecure”. The fact is that those who want to become entrepreneurs will be given financial packages and loans from banks, there will be bridge courses for further studies, and preference will be given to Central Armed Police Forces and State Police. Many opportunities will open up for them in other fields as well.

According to the note, this scheme will not lack opportunities for the youth but will increase opportunities for them. “Recruitment of Agniveers will triple in the coming years.” It is a myth that this will affect the bond between the regiments, but it will be strengthened as the best firefighters will be selected, which will further promote the unity of the unit.

Also Read:  Indian Air Force Agneepath Recruitment 2022: Here is how you can apply

The Ministry of Education has issued a press release saying that the National Institute of Open Schooling, in consultation with the defence authorities, is preparing a special program to enable Agniveers who have passed Class X to pursue their education. They can get the certificate of class XII by developing the relevant curriculum for the service sector.

On one hand, while the opposition is telling the flaws in the Agneepath scheme, the Chief Minister of the BJP government is telling its benefits.

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami said on Thursday that this scheme is a good opportunity for the youth of the state, from where the youth choose the army as a career.

Agneepath Scheme

  • Announcing the move, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said it was a “historic” decision. The heads of the three services (Army, Navy and Air Force) were present at the launch.
  • Under the plan, some 45,000 people between the ages of 17.5 and 21 will be admitted to services for a four-year term. Recruits will start within the next 90 days and the first batch will be ready by July 2023.
  • As for the Armed Forces, it will raise the youth profile of the Armed Forces and provide a new opportunity for ‘Josh’ and ‘Jazba’ while at the same time creating a transformational shift towards a more tech-savvy Armed Forces, which is of made the need of the hour. The average age profile of the Indian armed forces is expected to be reduced by about 4-5 years with the implementation of this scheme.
  • The nation will benefit immensely from the infusion of highly inspired young people with a deeper understanding of self-discipline, diligence, and focus who will be properly trained and able to contribute in other sectors.
  • The dividends of short military service to the nation, society, and the nation’s youth are immense. This includes the instilling of patriotism, teamwork, improved physical fitness, ingrained loyalty to country, and the availability of trained personnel to advance national security in times of external threats, internal threats, and natural disasters.
  • After four years, only 25 percent of these soldiers will stick around and join the regular cadre and go on to serve a full 15 years in non-commissioned ranks.
  • The rest will leave the services with a package between ₹11 lakh – ₹12 lakh, but they will not be eligible for pension benefits. The forces announced that provisions have been made for loss of life or disability due to service injury.
  • Moreover, the ‘Seva Nidhi’ of approximately Rs 11.71 lakh would aid the Agniveer to pursue his/her future dreams without the financial pressure, which is normally the case for young people from the financially deprived strata of society.
  • The scheme will contemplate the incorporation of 46,000 young people aged 17.5 to 21 in the three branches of the Armed Forces (the Army, the Navy and the Air Force) this year and the soldiers recruited under the scheme will be called ‘Agniveer’
  • They will serve for only four years, including a six-month training period instead of 15-19 years. The qualifying criteria for soldiers is to remain the same as before.
  • Soldiers recruited under the scheme will get a monthly salary ranging from 30,000 to 40,000 rupees. They will be given a separate hazard and hardship allowance on par with regular soldiers based on where they are stationed.

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