Agnipath Scheme- UPSC Current Affairs

Agnipath Scheme- UPSC Current Affairs

In today’s edition of our Current Affairs Dialog box, we will discuss Agnipath Scheme in detail. Navigate through the blog to understand the topic in detail and enhance your UPSC CSE Preparation Online.

Context

Recently, a recruitment scheme called AGNIPATH has been approved by the Union Cabinet on 14 June 2022 for the Indian youth to serve in the Armed Forces for the three services i.e. Army, Navy, and Airforce. The selected youth will be recognized as Agniveers under this scheme.

Also read: Indian Delegation’s visit to Afghanistan

About Agnipath Scheme

  • To cope with the unemployment crisis in India, the AGNIPATH scheme has been designed to benefit the skilled, patriotic, and motivating youth to serve the Armed Forces for four years. 
  • Under the new scheme, around 45,000 to 50,000 soldiers will be recruited annually, and most will leave the service in just four years.
  • However, after four years, only 25% of the batch will be recruited back into their respective services, for a period of 15 years.
  • Agniveers will be given a decent monthly package as applicable in the three services that also include Risk and Hardship allowances.
  • Life Insurance Cover of Rs 48 lakh will be provided during the period of engagement to Agniveers.
  • A one-time waiver shall be granted for the recruitment cycle of 2022-23, under which the upper age limit has been increased from 21 to 23 years for the cycle.
  • A tax-free package, ‘SevaNidhi’ will also be paid once the Agniveers will complete the engagement period of four years, the package will include 30% of the Agniveer’s salary and an equal contribution from the Government including interest.
  • In the case of Agniveers, exiting before the end of their tenure, their ‘Seva Nidhi’ package to be paid will comprise only their contribution including accrued interest thereon.
  • The scheme aimed at reducing salaries and pensions, in order to divert resources for military modernization.
  • In case medical authorities laid down the disability percentage of disabled persons, one-time ex-gratia will be provided in that case.
Scheme Agnipath Scheme
MinistryMinistry of Defence
Vacancies46000 (approax)
Age Limit17.5 – 21 years (extended to 23 years for 2022-23)
DurationFour years
Service AreaIndian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force
PositionsAgniveer technical, Agniveer technical (aviation/ammunition examiner), Agniveer clerk/ store keeper technical, Agniveer Tradesman 10th pass and Agniveer tradesman 8th pass
EligibilityMinimum of 50% in 10+2 is required

Advantages of Agnipath Scheme

  • The Agniveers will be benefited with unique qualities and experience along with a certificate to form part of their unique resume.
  • The recruitment of young people into the Indian Armed forces would bring down the average age of the profile by around 4-5 years, enhancing the fresh enthusiasm and youthful spirit serving the country.
  • To pursue the future goals, ‘Seva Nidhi’ of approximately Rs 11.71 lakh would aid a lot, especially for those from the financially deprived strata of society.
  • Agniveers will be given priority to the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) and Assam Rifles and also by many corporate industries and large multinational corporations.
  • State governments in Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh have announced that Agniveers will be given preference in police recruitments. 
  • Similar schemes have been implemented in countries that are known for their strong defense system such as Israel, Russia, the USA, etc.
  • To improve career prospects & equip Agniveers for various positions after the end of the tenure, a special and duly recognized three years bachelor degree programme will also be provided in the scheme for serving defence personnel.

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Matter of Concern in Agnipath Scheme

  • There shall be no entitlement to gratuity and pensionary benefits.
  • The fear of losing the job after the tenure can demotivate the Agniveers.
  • It would be a loss to lose trained & experienced Agniveers. 
  • The semi-training of youth with arms is also a constant concern for the future of the nation.
  • Many defense experts are skeptical about the idea of a short-term recruitment model or ‘Tour of Duty’ (ToD) that may impact the capabilities of defense services.

Way Forward

  • The future of Agniveers is also a matter of concern for many despite several assurances by various organizations & departments.
  • The suspended recruitment procedure of two tenures, affected due to covid, should also be considered and youth must be given fair chance.
  • One should properly research before believing and responding to any rumors.
  • Government should also take all the stakeholders on board and listen to their grievances.
  •  In India, there has been a culture of government jobs and services, however, it’s also true that the government cannot solely provide employment to each and every one. Thus, areas of employment and livelihood can be diversified through skill development and enhanced absorption capacities of the private sector.

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