Agneepath Scheme

Why Agneepath Scheme is in news?

The government recently unveiled the Agnipath scheme for recruiting soldiers across the three services (Army, Navy, and Airforce).

What is the Agnipath Scheme?

  • It allows nationalistic and motivated young people to serve in the armed forces for four years.
  • The young people who join the army will be referred to as "Agniveers" under this scheme. For a limited time, young people will be able to join the army.
  • Under the new scheme, approximately 45,000 to 50,000 soldiers will be recruited each and every year, with the majority leaving the service within four years.
  • However, after four years, only 25% of the batch will be reassigned to their respective services for another 15 years.

Criteria for Eligibility: 

  • It is only open to personnel below the rank of officer (those who do not join the forces as commissioned officers).
  • Commissioned officers are the highest-ranking officers in the army.
  • In the Indian armed forces, commissioned officers are the only rank. They frequently hold a commission under the president's sovereign powers and are officially tasked with protecting the country.
  • Candidates between the ages of 17.5 and 23 are eligible to apply.

Objectives include:

  • It seeks to give patriotic and motivated youth with the 'Josh' and the 'Jazba' a chance to join the Armed Forces.
  • It is thought to decrease the average age of the Indian Armed Forces by 4 to 5 years.
  • According to the plan, the average age in the military will drop from 32 to 26 in six to seven years.

Benefits for Agniveers: 

  • After completing four years of service, Agniveers will receive a one-time 'Seva Nidhi' package worth Rs 11.71 lakhs, which will include any accrued interest.
  • They will also receive a Rs 48 lakh life insurance policy for the next four years.
  • In the case of death, the payout will exceed Rs 1 crore, including pay for the unexpired tenure.
  • The government will assist soldiers who leave the military after four years. They will be given skill certificates and bridge courses.

What are the corresponding concerns? 

  • Finding another job is difficult- The "Agneepath" scheme allows for the recruitment of approximately 45,000 soldiers into the Army, Navy, and Air Force in the first year, but only on a four-year contract. After the contract is completed, 25% of them will be retained, while the remainder will leave the force. After four years of service, other jobs will be out of our reach, and they will fall behind their peers. 
  • No pension benefit under the 'Agnipath' scheme- There will be no pension benefit for those hired under the 'Agnipath' scheme; instead, they will receive a one-time lump sum of slightly more than Rs 11 lakh at the end of their four-year term. They do not, however, receive any pension benefits. Most people need a second job to support themselves and their families. 
  • Training may go unutilized- The forces will lose veteran fighters. Jawans joining the military, navy, and air force will receive technical training to enable them to support ongoing operations. However, these men and women will leave after four years, possibly leaving an emptiness.

What is the Importance of This Step for the Nation?

  • Soldiers for the Future: It will produce "future-ready" troops.
  • More Job Opportunities: Because of the skills and experience gained during the four-year service, such soldiers will be able to find work in a variety of fields.
  • An Elevated Skilled Workforce- It will result in the accessibility of a much more skilled workforce to the economy, which will aid in gains in productivity and, as a whole, GDP (Gross Domestic Product) economic expansion.