India announces Agnipath Scheme for recruitment of youth in armed forces

The Centre today cleared the Agnipath Scheme for recruitment of youth in the armed forces. Briefing media in New Delhi with three Service Chiefs, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said, the youth selected under this scheme will be known as Agniveers. He said the Agniveers will be getting an attractive monthly package with Risk and Hardship allowances as applicable in the three services. Singh said Agniveers will be also paid a one-time Seva Nidhi package upon completion of the engagement period of four years. The Agnipath Scheme cleared by Cabinet Committee on Security allows patriotic and motivated youth to serve in the armed forces for a period of four years.
Over forty-six thousand Agniveers to be recruited this year. This is a major defense policy reform introduced by the government to usher in a new era in the human resource policy of the three services. The policy, which comes into immediate effect, will govern the enrollment for the three services.
Air Chief Marshal V. R. Chaudhary said the scheme gives Air Force an opportunity to draw from the vast pool of talent available in the country so that they can serve in the Armed Forces with pride.
Air Chief Marshal Chaudhary said the IAF shall be imparting a wide range of training and exposure to the Agniveers in aviation, weapons and sophisticated ground systems.
Navy Chief Admiral R. Hari Kumar said, Agnipath Scheme is a new era of new thinking and it will positively impact the Human Resources Management of the armed forces. Admiral Hari Kumar said right now, the Navy has women officers. With the Agniveer scheme, women sailors would also be inducted and it is a major step.
Army Chief General Manoj Pande said, Agnipath Scheme is a transformational reform for the Army and the nation and it aims to bring a paradigm shift in Human Resources Management. General Pande said it will maintain the balance between youth and experienced personnel.

Agniveers will get a salary of 30,000 rupees to 40,000 rupees per month and an allowance as applicable. The Seva Nidhi will be exempt from Income Tax. There shall be no entitlement to gratuity and pensionary benefits.  Agniveers will be provided a non-contributory Life Insurance Cover of 48 lakh rupees for the duration of their engagement period in the Indian Armed Forces.
Home Minister Amit Shah has termed the ‘Agneepath scheme’ a revolutionary initiative. In a series of tweets today, Shah said that this scheme will give the opportunity to the youth to serve the nation with a proud future and join the armed forces. He said, in this scheme, youth between 17 and a half years and 21 years will serve the country by joining the armed forces for 4 years through a transparent process.
Shah said, on completion of the service period, they will get over 11 lakh rupees tax-free service fund package which will empower them financially. He said this will also build capabilities and skills in youth as well as strengthen the defense system of the country.

Image courtesy of (Image courtesy: @rajnathsingh/Twitter)

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