Updated: Tue, 14 Jun 2022 03:51 PM IST
New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Union Defence Minister Rajnath on Tuesday announced a 'historic and transformative' Agnipath scheme under which the youth of the country will be granted an opportunity to get inducted into the Armed services. The announcement for the Agnipath scheme was made after the Cabinet Committee on Security decided to implement the scheme as the recruitment plan for the armed forces.
"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", Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said while announcing the Agnipath scheme.
Rajnath Singh said that the Agnipath or the Tour of Duty scheme is focused on creating a youthful profile for the Indian Armed Forces. "It would help to train them for new technologies and also improve their health levels. This scheme will increase employment opportunities with new skills in different sectors," Rajnath Singh said.
The revolutionary changes in the recruitment process will see the induction of the soldiers initially for a period of four years and some of them would be retained. Rajnath Singh said that Agniveers will be given a good package and an exit retirement plan after four years of service.
Navy chief Admiral R Hari Kumar said the scheme will ensure a wider talent pool for recruitment in the armed forces, adding that women will also be inducted into armed forces under it. Army chief General Manoj Pande said the scheme aims to bring a paradigm shift in recruitment in the armed forces. It will help ensure optimum balance between youth and experience in the Army, he added.
General Pande said the Army's operational capability will be fully maintained during the initial implementation stage of the scheme. The "Agnipath" scheme, earlier christened as "Tour of Duty", was launched in the presence of the chiefs of the three services. The new scheme was announced after extensive deliberations on it over the last two years.
The soldiers to be recruited under the scheme will be called "Agniveer". Currently, the Army recruits young people under the short service commission for an initial tenure of 10 years, which is extendable up to 14 years.
The scheme is aimed at slashing the salary and pension bills of the three services, which have been increasing rapidly. The defence budget of Rs 5,25,166 crore for 2022-23 included Rs 1,19,696 crore for defence pensions. The allocation for revenue expenditure was Rs 2,33,000 crore. The revenue expenditure includes the expenses on payment of salaries and maintenance of establishments.
(With Agency Inputs)