Introducing the Agnipath recruitment scheme in the Indian Armed forces was mainly to bring in youthfulness and tech savvy, top officials reiterated this once again on Tuesday. Within a gap of a day, the Additional Secretary in the Department of Military Affairs (DMA) Lt Gen Anil Puri once again stressed to the media that the scheme was not meant to right sizing or downsizing the Indian Army but to make it young.
Responding to the media, accompanied by the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy HR heads, he clarified that through the Agnipath recruitment scheme the aim was not to down size the army. “That’s not the aim… just not the aim,” he said.
Sharing a presentation on the whole scheme, Gen Puri said that the decision to implement the scheme was taken by the government and the armed forces after several rounds of brainstorming with the stakeholders.
There have been 150 meetings of the three Services to discuss Agnipath scheme and there have been around 60 meetings of the Ministry of Defence and another 44 meetings which involved the whole of the government and the focus was on the new recruitment scheme.
According to him such a major reform involves a lot of discussion and meetings and in the last two years a lot of work has been done with the three service chiefs’ part of the discussions. He went on to add that before that the scheme was being studied on paper.
Also, before the scheme was announced, discussion with various ministries including Finance, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Home, Education and Law took place. This was done to ensure that there are job opportunities for those who will come out in four years.
Models of other countries
No country except India will have or has a demographic dividend like India in the future. Therefore Indian problems will need Indian solutions.
The models of other countries across the globe have been studied and there was no cut, copy, paste.
Change in recruitment process
No, he said. There will be no change in the process of recruitment of the Agniveers.
Assuring the youth, Gen Puri stated that there will be no change in the process which took place five years ago and the process which will take place five days later.
The three services have already issued notification announcing the registration for the Agnipath recruitment. As has been reported earlier the Indian Army will open its online registration on July 1, 2022. These Agniveers will form a distinct rank in the Army and will have a different insignia.
According to the notification at the end of completion of their service they will be barred from disclosing classified information which they had access to inside. Also, 83 Army recruitment rallies, in every state under the Agnipath scheme will take place across the country starting in August, September and October.
Indian Air Force
According to Air Marshal SK Jha, Air Officer in-charge, Personnel, the number of Agniveers will gradually increase from almost 2 percent in the first year to 9,000 to 10,000 in the fifth year. The enrollment of the will be through Agniveer Vayu only. He also went on to clarify that there will be no compromise in the preparedness of IAF and combat capability.
A pact has been signed between the Directorate General of Shipping and Indian Navy under which the Agniveers who come out after completion of four years will now get direct entry into the merchant navy. This information was shared by Vice Admiral Dinesh K Tripathi, Chief of Personnel, Indian Navy.
He also announced that the recruitment calendar which was earlier fixed for June 25, has now been pushed for June 22. And online registration will start from July 1.
Regimental system in military will continue & gallantry awards
Additional Secretary, DMA also confirmed that the regimental system in the Indian Army will continue. And the Agniveers will be eligible for gallantry awards as the others in the service.
Service Chiefs meet PM
Later in the day, amid the ongoing protests across the country, the three service chiefs met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi .