- The nature of warfare has completely changed in the times we live in. India is threatened by artificial intelligence, the internet of military things, and cybertechnology in addition to challenges from the land, the sea, and the sky.
- Therefore, a better-equipped and better-prepared military is required. The Agnipath Scheme was developed by the government to meet the demand for young, well-equipped armed troops.
- The military will soon start the crucial process of enlisting India’s Agniveers, who will serve as the core of our fighting divisions. Let’s examine the Agnipath Scheme’s core in this context.
What’s the purpose of the Agnipath Scheme?
- The Agnipath programme has been announced by the government to recruit soldiers for all three services (Army, Navy and Airforce).
- It enables determined and patriotic young people to spend four years in the armed forces.
- Agniveer is the name given to recruits to the military. For a period of 4 years, young people may be enlisted in the army.
- However, only 25% of the batch will be hired back into their respective services after four years, for a total of 15 years.
- Only employees below officer grades who do not join the forces as commissioned officers are eligible.
- In the Indian armed services, commissioned officers are the only members of that rank. They frequently serve on a commission under the president’s authority and are mandated by law to defend the nation.
- Candidates must be between the ages of 17.5 and 23 to be eligible.
Benefits for Agniveers:
- After completing the required four years of service, Agniveers will get a one-time “Seva Nidhi” package worth 11.71 lakhs, which will also include any interest that has accrued.
- Additionally, they will receive a four-year, 48 lakh life insurance policy.
- The payout in the event of death will exceed 1 crore, including remuneration for the unused tenure.
- Soldiers who leave the military after four years will receive rehabilitation assistance from the government. They will receive bridge courses and skill certificates.
Why was such a plan necessary?
- Reduce the Median Age: Reducing the median age of our workforce is one of the goals of the Agnipath Yojana.
- It became necessary following the 1962 war with China. Years later, the Kargil Review Committee made a similar point.
- Only 19% of the Indian Army’s troops are under 25 years old, while a staggering 19% are between the ages of 36 and 40.
- Due to the mountainous terrain in both China and Pakistan, units with a lower age profile will perform better there.
- Whether it’s cyber, space, or information warfare, the nature of conflict is changing, becoming more multi-domain, and developing in all of its forms.
- New technical innovations have been included into systems and recruitment. Therefore, the forces must make use of this technology to create a fighting force that is prepared for the future.
Focus on Research and Development:
- Less than 5% of the annual defence budget is allotted for research and development, while more than 50% of that budget is spent on pensions.
- Reduced pension payments in the Army, Navy, and Air Force could be a major driver behind the Agnipath program’s goal of hiring defence employees on temporary contracts.
- More money will be able to be invested in the R&D of the defence industry.
What worries anniversaries?
Finding Another Job Is Hard:
- With a four-year short-term contract, the “Agnipath” system allows for the recruitment of around 45,000 personnel into the Army, Navy, and Air Force in the first year. Only 25% of them will remain in the forces after the contract is finished, while the other 75% will be released.
- After our four years of service, additional occupations won’t be within our reach, and we’ll fall behind our contemporaries.
- No Pension Benefit: Employees engaged under the “Agnipath” plan will receive an upfront payment of slightly more than Rs 11 lakh after their four-year employment period.
- They do not, however, receive any pension benefits. Most people find that getting a second job is necessary to support their families and themselves.
Training might not be put to use:
- The forces will lose veterans.
- Technical training will be provided to the jawans joining the Army, Navy, and Air Force so they can support ongoing operations. However, these individuals will depart after four years, which can leave a hole.
What Promises Does the Government Make to Non-Retained Agnives?
Bank loans will be made easier for the disbanded Agniveers in order to help them begin the next phase. These loans would be given to them first.
Favorite Other Services:
- Additionally, it was decided to reserve 10% of the open positions in the Union Ministry of Defense for applicants who fit the requirements.
- The Indian Coast Guard, the 16 Defense Public Sector Undertakings, and civilian defence positions will all be subject to this reservation.
- This is in addition to the current ex-serviceman reservation.
- The Ministry of Home Affairs has also unveiled plans to give Agniveers the chance to continue serving the country after the four years required by the Agnipath Scheme.
- It has declared a 10% reservation for agniveers for recruitment into the Central Armed Paramilitary Forces (CAPFs) and Assam Rifles, as well as a modification of the upper age limit.
- The CAPFs, which include the Border Security Force (BSF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), and Special Protection Group (SPG), would have a 26-year-old maximum age requirement.
- After serving in the Indian Navy, the Agniveers will have six service opportunities to choose from in the Merchant Navy, according to the Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways (MoPSW).
- A number of states, including Assam, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh, have declared that Agniveers will be given preference in hiring for specific government positions.
- The National Institute of Open Schooling has declared that, in cooperation with the defence authorities, it will launch a unique programme to allow Agniveers to continue their education and get a Class XII pass certificate.
- For serving members of the armed services, the Ministry of Education has decided to introduce a three-year, skill-based bachelor’s degree programme that would recognise their military training.
What might the future hold?
Ease of Licensing:
- In order to encourage more Agniveers to invest in establishing a business unit, the government should take into account relaxing the obligatory licencing restrictions for Agniveers.
- It will have the dual benefits of fostering entrepreneurship and economic expansion.
- For a predetermined starting time, tax exemptions on salary income and company profit may be taken into consideration. It will encourage more Agniveers to start businesses or pursue career opportunities.
- It will function as a factor that gets rid of idly spending money and unemployment.
Excellent Interest Rates:
- Banks may think about offering Agniveers’ deposits attractive interest rates.
- A favourable interest rate will allow banks to access more money on the market while also providing Agniveers with a way to earn money.
Relaxation of Institutional Admission Criteria:
- For Agniveers interested in pursuing higher education, a relaxation of the admission requirements (relaxation of the cut off, etc.) will prove to be a significant draw.
- Highly competent and disciplined Agniveers will be able to take advantage of the many chances that are accessible to them.