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In major defence policy reform, Centre unveils ‘Agnipath’ scheme for soldier recruitment


Tour of Duty: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and the three service chiefs held a press conference in Delhi on Tuesday.
Tour of Duty: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and the three service chiefs held a press conference in Delhi on Tuesday.


In a major update, the Union Defence Ministry, on Tuesday, launched a new defence recruitment model called the 'Agnipath'. The development comes after the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) and Union Cabinet met and approved the new proposal scheme for armed forces. 

The newly launched scheme will allow young soldiers to get released after four years of service. Addressing the press conference, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that the scheme will give a better opportunity to the youth who choose to serve the nation. 

The Defence Minister said, "The Cabinet Committee on Security has taken a historic decision today to approve the transformative scheme of 'Agnipath'. Under this, Indian youth would be granted an opportunity to get inducted into the Armed services." 

'Scheme will increase employment opportunities': Rajnath Singh 

"Under the 'Agnipath' scheme, efforts are to create a youthful profile of the Armed forces. It would help to train them for new technologies & also improve their health levels. This scheme will increase employment opportunities with new skills in different sectors," Singh added. 

Defence Minister Rajanth Singh, while addressing the media in Delhi, also explained that the 'Agnivirs' will be given a good pay package & an exit retirement package after a service of 4 years. 

Elaborating the details of the new scheme, Lieutenant general Anil Puri said, "Today, an average age of the recruitment is around 32 yrs, in the time to come, it will further come down to 26 years. This will happen in six to seven years. In order to transform armed forces into youthful, tech-savvy, modern, there's a need to harness the youth potential&make him a future-ready soldier."

'Model is based on all-India merit-based selection process': Lt Gen Anil Puri "Agniveer would be a part of this future-ready soldier. 

Agniveer would be India's young protector. After being with us for 4 yrs, an agniveer's resume & biodata will be very unique. He'll stand out in crowd with his attitude, skills&time he would've spent with us." 

Lt Gen Anil Puri, Additional Secretary, Dept of Military Affairs added, "We will provide an opportunity to the youth to serve the nation for short and long duration, as agniveers... We are giving youth a chance for both long and short duration military service." 

"Model is based on all-India merit-based selection process. We are looking at the best to serve the armed forces between the ages of 17.5 to 21 years. Once selected, agniveers will serve for 4 years with us." 

Indian Navy chief Admiral R Hari Kumar told the media, "Agnipath scheme is a new idea of the new era. An idea that is made in India and made for India. An idea that will have positive impact on the human resources management of armed forces." 

"An idea that will bring balance between the youth aspirations and future requirements of armed forces. An idea that will make the profile of armed forces more youthful, as per Kargil Committee Report. An idea that is made in India and made for India. An idea that will have positive impact on the human resources management of armed forces," he added. 




'Agnipath will allow to assess both aptitude and attitude': CAS Air Chief Marshal 

Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari further explaining the recruitment requirements said, "The IAF is looking to tap into the youth's ability to adapt to a fast-changing technology-based environment, train and expose them to the high-tech environment of the IAF and hone their skills for future employment." 

"IAF shall be imparting a wide range of training & exposure to 'Agniveers' in aviation, weapons and sophisticated ground systems... I invite the aspiring youth of India to seize this unique opportunity to serve the nation & touch the sky with glory," he stated. 

CAS Air Chief Marshal also explained that the scheme also allows IAF to assess both aptitude and attitude of 'Agniveers' and further 'prepare them for further specialized training in aviation and non-aviation skills required by IAF, should they opt to join as regular air warriors.'

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