DNA Exclusive: Analysis of ‘agnipariksha’ of the ‘Agnipath’ recruitment scheme

New Delhi: The Union Cabinet on Tuesday approved the Agneepath Recruitment Scheme for Indian youth to serve in the Armed Forces on a temporary basis. This scheme sparked outrage among students across the nation, including Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, where the protests turned violent and protesters resorted to vandalism. In Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana, the agitating students set ablaze four empty trains, vandalised more than 8 trains and blocked various rail tracks. This led to a pertinent question of whether this is the right way to register the outrage and how can those who are demanding to serve in the armed forces be an element of threat to the country’s internal peace and property?

In today’s DNA, Zee Media Editor-in-chief Sudhir Chaudhary makes an analysis of why any new policy and positive change in the system always gets a violent response from a certain class of citizens and whether or not those wanting to join the defence forces can be a cause of chaos inside the country and damage the public property. He also discussed how the new ‘Agnipath Scheme’ will benefit Indian youth and is in sync with the defence policy in developed nations like the US and UK.

How is the Agneepath Recruitment scheme different from the previous policy?

Before this, the central government used to release vacancies every year to fill the Non-Commissioned Rank posts and the candidate who got in were recruited for a tenure of 15 to 24 years. Now under the Agneepath Scheme, the candidates will only be recruited for a period of 4 years.

Apart from this, there was a rule that the soldiers who completed 15 years of their service in the armed forces became eligible to get a pension from the government, now the candidates will not receive any pension.

How is the Agneepath scheme beneficial for candidates?

Opportunity to serve the country

Under the Agneepath recruitment scheme, the upper age limit for a candidate will be 26. This will give more and more youth an opportunity to defend the country and will create a force of young soldiers, That is, after 50 years from today, when the population of the country is getting old fast, our army will still be young.

25% of recruited candidates will be retained

Out of that recruitment for four years, the government will retain 25 per cent, which means they will continue to serve in the armed forces. While the others will be given preference in other recruitment programmes like state police.

Experience and savings

Under the rigorous training and discipline, the officers who will retire at 26 will be stronger than their normal counterparts, both financially and mentally. Additionally, to cater to their immediate financial need, the officers will be given 11 lakh 71 thousand rupees by the government as a service fund package experience of working for four years in the Indian armed forces. A special certificate will be given to the soldier who has Agniveer Kaushal. The certificate is named and these Agniveers are included in the police and allied forces of the police of the state governments.

According to a survey conducted in 2013, less than 2 per cent of youth in India are able to collect deposits of Rs 12 lakh by the age of 25. But these Agniveers will be finacnially capable and skilled at the age of 25.

Atul Tiwari

Atul Tiwari

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