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Explained: What is Agnipath Scheme and what’s going on about #agnipath

The government launched the #Agnipath Scheme this week to employ army personnel for the Military, Naval Force, and Air Force. Its goal is to minimize the armed forces’ age range and reduce pension bills. Excess spending on Salaries and Pensions rather than on much-needed army modernization is the reason behind introducing the #agnipath scheme.

Let’s take a glimpse at the #agnipath scheme:

Unveiling the ‘Agnipath Scheme’, the defence minister Rajnath Singh said the “transformative initiative would provide a youthful profile to the Army, the Navy and the Air Force”. Under this scheme, men and women between the ages of 17.5 and 23 will be brought into the armed forces. A total of 46000 soldiers will be recruited this year on 4 years contract. The youngsters who will be given an opportunity to serve in the armed forces will be called ‘#Agniveer’.

What will be the terms of service for Agniveers?

Post 4 years, 25% of the Agniveers will be retained or re-enlisted in the regular cadre based on merit and medical fitness. His willingness will also be considered. They will have to serve for 15 years. The rest of the 75% #agniveers will be demobilised with a ‘Seva Nidhi’ package of Rs 11-12 Lakh.

Terminal Benefits for Agniveers:

  • Each Agniveer will contribute 30% of the monthly salary to the individual’s Agniveer Corpus Fund.

  • On release, a one-time Seva Nidhi package of approx. Rs 11.71 Lakh will be paid

  • It will compromise Agniveer's contribution, interest thereon and matching contribution from the government

  • Agniveers will be given an option for a bank loan.

Let’s check out statistical insights:

Remuneration Package of Agniveers:

Disability Computation:

In case an individual is placed in the Permanent Low Medical Category (LMC), the authorities will assess the percentage of disability and attributability. Such personnel will be discharged from IAF on medical grounds post payment of lump-sum compensation as per details listed below:

Categorization of Death:

The death for the purpose of provision of financial benefits to Agniveers will be categorized as follows:-

(a) Category X - Death due to natural causes neither attributable to nor aggravated by military service during the engagement period.

(b) Category Y - Death due to causes which are accepted as attributable to or aggravated by military service or due to accidents/mishaps in the performance of duties including training during the engagement period.

(c) Category Z - During the engagement period, death due to acts of violence/attack by terrorists, anti-social elements, enemy, during border skirmishes/war/peacekeeping operation/aid to the civil power, etc; and during operational preparation and training for war including battle inoculation training/exercises; and accidental deaths due to natural calamities/operations specially notified by the Govt, etc.

The new scheme has been announced after extensive deliberations over the last two years and is aimed at cutting ballooning salaries and pension bills. Apparently, India has the second-largest active armed forces in the world.

Accordingly, India spends a large portion of this budget on paying pensions, salaries and maintenance. In terms of military expenses as a percentage of GDP, India ranks 6th in the world.

Concerns regarding Agnipath:

A number of young men and women who aspired to join the military have protested against the Agnipath scheme in Bihar. Protesters are upset with the Agnipath scheme because the new age cap will prevent many people from attending recruitment rallies. Previously, young men between the ages of 16.5 and 21 were chosen for a minimum of 15 years. They would receive a pension upon retirement. The new system entirely replaces the previous one. They can now be recruited between the ages of 17 and 21. Most recruits will be limited to four years of service.

How dignitaries are reacting?

#Navy chief Admiral R Hari Kumar said the scheme will ensure a wider talent pool for recruitment in the armed forces.

#Army Chief of General Manoj Pande said the scheme aims to bring a paradigm shift in recruitment in the armed forces. It will help ensure the optimum balance between youth and experience in the army.

#Air Chief Marshal V R Chaudhuri said the IAF is looking to tap into the sources of dynamic young people and it will train and expose them to the high-tech environment and hone their skills for future development.


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