Future of Agniveers not insecure, senior military officials consulted: Govt

Published on Jun 16, 2022 02:18 PM IST

A South block official said at no point of time there will be more youngsters than experienced people in the Army in the Agnipath scheme. 

Defence minister Rajnath Singh at the launch of the Agnipath scheme on Tuesday. 
Defence minister Rajnath Singh at the launch of the Agnipath scheme on Tuesday. 

Amid protests against the Centre's newly announced recruitment scheme Agnipath, South block officials on Thursday said the future of the scheme, contrary to what protesters are thinking, is not insecure. Several avenues will open up for the Agniveers and they can choose to be entrepreneurs, pursue further studies and can opt for jobs. Extensive consultations with served armed forces officials were held for the last two years before launching the scheme and many former military officers supported the scheme, defence ministry officials said. Also Read: Train set ablaze as protests against Agnipath scheme escalate in Bihar | Videos

Those who want to be entrepreneurs will get a financial package and bank loan scheme; those who want to study further will be given a certificate equivalent to that of Class 12 and those who wish to opt for jobs will be given priority in CAPFs and state police forces, an official said.

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"It is just a myth that opportunities for youth will decrease as a result of Agnipath scheme. In the coming years, recruitment of Agniveers will be around triple of the current recruitment in armed forces," an official said.

Follow Live updates of Agnipath protest

The scheme will not bring any change to the present regimental system. "In fact it will be further accentuated because the best of Agniveers will be selected, further boosting cohesiveness of the unit," an official said.

Emphasising that such a short-term recruitment system exists in many countries and is a tried-and-tested practice for a youthful and agile army, the defence ministry official said it is wrong to think that 21-year-olds are immature. "At no point of time will there be more youngsters than experienced people. The present scheme will only bring about a right mix of 50%-50%, slowly in a very long run, of youngsters and experienced supervisory ranks," the official said adding that in the first year, the number of Agniveers to be recruited would only make up 3% of the armed forces.

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    Author of Indian Mujahideen: The Enemy Within (2011, Hachette) and Himalayan Face-off: Chinese Assertion and Indian Riposte (2014, Hachette). Awarded K Subrahmanyam Prize for Strategic Studies in 2015 by Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (MP-IDSA) and the 2011 Ben Gurion Prize by Israel.

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