The Central government has unveiled a new recruitment scheme Agnipath for recruiting Agniveer (soldiers) in three wings of the Army i.e. Indian Army, Indian Air Force and Indian Navy for a short period of four years.

Announcing the scheme in New Delhi on Tuesday, Defence Minister Raj Nath Singh accompanied by the chiefs of three services, said, “Under the scheme, about 45,000 candidates between the age of 17.5 years and 21 years will be inducted into the services for four-year tenure. The recruitment will begin within the next 90 days and the first batch will be ready by July 2023”.   

“Those selected for the scheme will be known as Agniveers and the selection would be made through an online centralized recruitment system, including women candidates;  the education qualification would be the same as earlier, “he said.

“The Agniveers would have a four year term including six month training and will be paid a monthly salary between Rs 30000 to 40000 plus allowances; 25 percent of them would be retained for the regular service of 15 years while rest would be discharged and paid a package between Rs 11 to 12 lakh and would not get any pension benefit but would get preference in other jobs,” the Defence Minister added.

The scheme would drastically cut the annual Defence Budget on pension which would be spent to equip the forces technologically.

The Defence Minister has termed the Agnipath scheme as “historic” which would enhance “youthful profile” of the Indian Army but the critics of the scheme argue the move would impact professionalism and dilute dedication in the forces.

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