INDIA. Mumbai: The Cabinet Committee on Security of the Government of India approved the “Agnipath” recruitment program on Tuesday.
Under this programme, young people, or “Agniveers,” will be recruited to serve in the armed forces for a period of four years before being absorbed, if appropriate, under the terms and conditions.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh stated during a media conference in New Delhi that the government initially intends to hire 46000 “Agniveers” this year under the program that will train the young people who are eager to don the uniform to bring about a transformational shift toward a more tech-savvy Armed Forces.
Army chief General Manoj Pande, IAF chief Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari, and Navy chief Admiral R. Hari Kumar were present during the announcement of the defence recruitment scheme.
Youth in the age range of 17.5 to 21 years would be eligible to apply, and the recruiting model is based on an all-India merit-based selection procedure. ‘Agniveers’ will serve for 4 years after being chosen.
“They will meet the medical eligibility conditions laid down for enrolment in the armed forces as applicable to respective categories/trades,” an official statement said.
Specialized rallies and campus interviews from reputable technical institutes, including Industrial Training Institutes and the National Skills Qualifications Framework, among others, will be part of the enrollment process for all three services through an online centralised system.
The educational qualification for Agniveers will remain in vogue for enrolment in various categories. (Example: For entry into General Duty (GD) soldier, the educational qualification will be Class 10).
The scheme is a short military service, which includes the inculcation of patriotism, teamwork, enhancement of physical fitness, and making available the trained youth to boost national security in times of external and internal threats and natural disasters.
The policy, which comes into immediate effect, will hereafter govern the enrolment for the three services, the statement said.
Benefits to the Agniveers
“Agniveers” will be given an attractive customized monthly package along with Risk and Hardship allowances and on completion of four years, they will be paid a one-time ‘SevaNidhi’ package, comprising their contribution and matching contribution from the Government equal to the accumulated amount of their contribution including interest as indicated below:
First-year- Customised monthly package (CMP) of Rs 30,000 (in hand Rs 21,000), Rs 9,000 (30 % contribution towards Agniveer corpus fund (ACF), Rs 9000 (contribution to ACF by the Union Government), Second year- CMP of Rs 33,000 (in hand Rs 23,100), Rs 9,900 (contribution towards ACF fund), Rs 9900( contribution to ACF by the Union Government).
Third-year- CMP of Rs 36,500 (in hand Rs 25,580), Rs 10,950 (contribution towards ACF), Rs 10,950( contribution to ACF by the Union Government). The fourth year- CMP of Rs 40,000 (in hand Rs 28,000), Rs 12,000 (contribution towards ACF Rs 12,000( contribution to ACF by the Union Government).
Total contribution in ACF fund after 04 years (individual total contribution-Rs 5.02 lakh), (Government contribution-Rs 5.02 lakh). Exit after 04 years-Rs 11.71 lakh as Seva Nidhi package (Including interest accumulated on the above amount as per the applicable interest rates ).
The ‘Seva Nidhi’ will be exempt from Income Tax. There shall be no entitlement to gratuity and pensionary benefits. “Agniveers” will be provided a non-contributory Life Insurance Cover of Rs 48 lakh for the duration of their engagement period in the Indian Armed Forces.
The opportunity for permanent recruitment
The individuals, selected for enrolment in the Armed Forces as regular cadre, would be required to serve for a further engagement period of a minimum of 15 years and would be governed by the existing terms and conditions of service of Junior Commissioned Officers/Other Ranks in Indian Army and their equivalent in Indian Navy and Indian Air Force and that of Non-Combatant enrolled in the Indian Air Force, as amended from time-to-time.
Terms & Conditions
The “Agniveers” would form a distinct rank in the Armed Forces, different from any other existing ranks. Upon the completion of four years of service, based on organizational requirements and policies, they will be offered an opportunity to apply for permanent enrolment in the Armed Forces.
These applications will be considered in a centralized manner based on objective criteria including performance during their four-year engagement period and up to 25% of each specific batch of “Agniveers” will be enrolled in the regular cadre of the Armed Forces. “The selection will be the exclusive jurisdiction of the Armed Forces,” the statement said.
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