The central government announced the AGNIPATH scheme for the recruitment of young individuals in the Indian armed forces today. The selected applicants will be known as ‘Agniveers’, who will be enrolled under the respective Services Act for four years. The individuals will receive a monthly package with a risk and hardship allowance. Once the engagement period of four years is complete, the individual will receive a ‘Seva Nidhi’ package.
The government aims to recruit 46,000 Agniveers this year. Recruitment rallies will commence in 90 days.
The scheme has been approved by the Union Cabinet 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 its the youthful profile 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,” the government said.
The average age profile of the Indian armed forces is expected to reduce by 4-5 years. The nation would benefit immensely by the infusion of highly-inspired youth, the government said. This would usher a new era of Human Resource in the three services, it said.
BENEFITS TO AGNIVEERS
Agniveers will be given a customised monthly package along with risk and hardship allowances. One-time Seva Nidhi package will also be given at the completion of the engagement period of four years.
The following is the pay structure for the service:
The Seva Nidhi package will be exempt from income tax.
A non-contributory life insurance cover of Rs 48 lakh for the duration of their engagement period will be provided.
Agniveers will be imparted with various military skills and experience, along with discipline, physical fitness, and leadership qualities.
Upon the completion of four years of service, Agniveers will be offered an opportunity to apply for permanent enrolment in the armed forces, based on requirement.
The application will be based on an objective criteria along with their performance in the four years. “Enrolment will be based on ‘All India All Class’ basis and the eligible age will be in range from 17.5 to 21 years,” the government said.
The individuals recruited as regular cadre will be required to serve a further engagement period of 15 years.
25 per cent of each Agniveer batch will be enrolled in regular cadre.
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