- Cabinet clears it for recruitment of youth in Armed Forces
- 46,000 Agniveers to be recruited this year
The Union Cabinet on 14 Jun approved an attractive recruitment scheme for Indian youth to serve in the Armed Forces. The scheme is called AGNIPATH and the youth selected under this scheme will be known as Agniveers. AGNIPATH allows patriotic and motivated youth to serve in the Armed Forces for a period of four years.
The AGNIPATH Scheme has been designed to enable a youthful profile of the Armed Forces. It will provide an opportunity to the youth who may be keen to don the uniform by attracting young talent from the society who are more in tune with contemporary technological trends and plough back skilled, disciplined and motivated manpower into the society. As for the Armed Forces, it will enhance the youthful profile of the Armed Forces and provide a fresh lease of ‘Josh’ and ‘Jazba’ whilst at the same time bring about a transformational shift towards a more tech savvy Armed Forces – which is indeed the need of the hour.
It is envisaged that average age profile of Indian Armed forces would come down by about 4-5 years by implementation of this scheme. The nation stands to immensely benefit by infusion of highly inspired youth with deeper understanding of self-discipline, diligence and focus who would be adequately skilled and will be able to contribute in other sectors. The dividends of a short military service to the nation, society and the youth of the nation are immense. This includes inculcation of patriotism, team work, enhancement of physical fitness, ingrained loyalty for the country and availability of trained personnel to boost national security in times of external threats, internal threats and natural disasters.
This is a major defence policy reform introduced by the Government to usher in a new era in the Human Resource policy of the three Services.
Benefits to the Agniveers
Agniveers will be given an attractive customised monthly package along with Risk and Hardship allowances as applicable in the three services. On completion of the engagement period of four years, Agniveers will be paid one time ‘Seva Nidhi’ package which shall comprise their contribution including accrued interest thereon and matching contribution from the Government equal to the accumulated amount of their contribution including interest as indicated below:
The ‘Seva Nidhi’ will be exempt from Income Tax. There shall be no entitlement to gratuity and pensionary benefits. Agniveers will be provided non-contributory Life Insurance Cover of Rs 48 lakhs for the duration of their engagement period in the Indian Armed Forces.
During this period of service to the nation, the Agniveers will be imparted with various military skills and experience, discipline, physical fitness, leadership qualities, courage and patriotism. Post this stint of four years, the Agniveers will be infused into the civil society where they can contribute immensely towards the nation building process.
- A transformative reform of recruitment policy of the Armed Forces.
- A unique opportunity to the youth to serve the country and contribute to Nation Building.
- Armed Forces profile to be youthful and dynamic.
- Attractive financial package for the Agniveers.
- Opportunity for Agniveers to train in the best institutions and enhance their skills & qualifications.
- Availability of well disciplined and skilled youth with military ethos in civil society.
- Adequate re-employment opportunities for those returning to society and who could emerge as role models for the youth.
Terms & Conditions
Under the AGNIPATH scheme, the Agniveers will be enrolled in the Forces under respective Service Acts for a period of four years. They 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 organisational requirement and policies promulgated by the Armed Forces from time-to-time, Agniveers will be offered an opportunity to apply for permanent enrolment in the Armed Forces. These applications will be considered in a centralised 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 regular cadre of the Armed Forces. Detailed guidelines will be issued separately.
The selection will be the exclusive jurisdiction of the Armed Forces. 46,000 Agniveers will be recruited this year. Enrolment will be undertaken through an online centralised system for all three services with specialised rallies and campus interviews from recognised technical institutes such as Industrial Training Institutes and National Skills Qualifications Framework, among others. Enrolment will be based on ‘All India All Class’ basis and the eligible age will be in range from 17.5 to 21 years. Agniveers will meet the medical eligibility conditions laid down for enrolment in the armed forces as applicable to respective categories/trades. The educational qualification for Agniveers will remain as in vogue for enrollment in various categories. On the directions of PM Shri Narendra Modi, the government has decided that this year the age limit for the recruitment of Agniveers to be increased from 21 to 23 years. A one-time relaxation given by the Government which will make a lot of young people eligible to become Agniveer.
Ministry of Home Affairs decides to give priority to Agniveers
In the context of the announcement of ‘Agnipath Scheme’ by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, the Union Home Ministry has decided on 15 Jun to give priority to Agniveers who have completed four years under this scheme for recruitment into CAPFs and Assam Rifles.
UP and Haryana Govt to Give Priority to Retired Agniveers in Police Force
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said that retired Agniveers would be given priority in the UP Police force.
He said the scheme, which has been lauded by the world, would not only see employment of youths and earn them respect, but also enable them to tackle challenges more effectively with discipline and training, as well as equip them with skills that will easily help them get jobs in the police force.
“According to the scheme, 25% of the Agniveers will continue to be in the forces, while the rest will get suitable employment opportunities in the police force. Our government has already announced that priority will be given to Agniveers,” the CM said.
Haryana Chief Minister Shri Manohar Lal Khattar also announced that the state government will give priority to ‘Agniveers’ in government jobs once they are relieved after 4 years of service from the armed forces.