Over 3.5mn register for army recruitment under Agnipath

Published on Sep 30, 2022 12:19 AM IST

The army is conducting 96 recruitment rallies across the country this year, with 30 already completed, 12 underway, and the rest to be organised in December, said one of the officials cited above, asking not to be named. “The response to the Agnipath scheme has been good, and the number of applicants is in the same range as it was in the previous years under the legacy recruitment system,” he said.

More than 3.5 million candidates have registered for recruitment into the Indian Army under the Agnipath model (ANI)
More than 3.5 million candidates have registered for recruitment into the Indian Army under the Agnipath model (ANI)
ByRahul Singh, New Delhi

More than 3.5 million candidates have registered for recruitment into the Indian Army under the Agnipath model for short-term induction of soldiers into the three services, with the applicants competing for 40,000 jobs being offered under the scheme introduced three months ago, officials familiar with the development said on Thursday.

The army is conducting 96 recruitment rallies across the country this year, with 30 already completed, 12 underway, and the rest to be organised in December, said one of the officials cited above, asking not to be named.

“The response to the Agnipath scheme has been good, and the number of applicants is in the same range as it was in the previous years under the legacy recruitment system,” he said.

The applicants for the army jobs include 250,000 women who are competing for 100 jobs in the Corps of Military Police, the only branch of the army that inducts women in the personnel below officer rank (PBOR) cadre, said a second official who also asked not to be named.

Those recruited under the new model will be called Agniveers. The army’s first set of Agniveers will join their units in July 2023 after completing six months of training.

On June 14, India announced the new scheme replacing the legacy system to lower the age profile of the armed forces, ensure a fitter military and create a technically skilled warfighting force capable of meeting future challenges. It sparked widespread protests and forced a concerted outreach by the government to scotch apprehensions about the scheme.

The response to recruitment into the other two services under the Agnipath scheme has also been good - almost a million applicants, including over 82,000 women, registered for recruitment into the Indian Navy, while 750,000 candidates registered for jobs in the Indian Air Force, as previously reported. Both navy and IAF are offering 3,000 jobs each this year. The three services kicked off the recruitment process in June-July, and it will be over by the year-end.

People still feel they have a great opportunity to serve the nation through the new scheme, and the response to Agnipath proves that the apprehensions of those opposed to the scheme were unfounded, Air Marshal Anil Chopra (retd), director general, Centre for Air Power Studies, earlier said.

The Agnipath scheme seeks to recruit soldiers for only four years, with a provision to retain 25% of them in the regular cadre for 15 years after another round of screening.

The army has reached out to Industrial Training Institutes through the central ministries concerned and proposed that the institutes align their syllabi to meet the requirement of the force, said the first official. The army plans to conduct recruitment rallies twice a year under the Agnipath scheme.

Agniveers will draw an annual salary of 4.76 lakh in the first year of service and 6.92 lakh in the fourth, will get a non-contributory insurance cover of 48 lakh, and an additional ex-gratia payment of 44 lakh for death attributable to service.

Those released after four years will get 11.71 lakh as a Seva Nidhi severance package, including 5.02 lakh contributed by them during their service. They will also have job quotas in different government organisations, paramilitary forces and other departments.

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