The Agnipath project, a radical recruitment plan for the armed services aimed at reducing pay and pension expenditures and freeing up funds for critical weapon procurement, was unveiled today by the centre.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh called the action “historic” when announcing it. The launch was attended by the chiefs of all three services: Army, Navy, and Air Force.
Approximately 45,000 people between the ages of 17.5 and 21 will be inducted into the service for a four-year period under the scheme. The recruitment process will begin in the next 90 days, with the first batch expected to be completed by July 2023.
Agniveers will be the name given to those chosen for the programme. According to the administration, the selection would be performed using a centralised online method. Agniveers will be required to have the same educational requirements as normal police officers.
The Agnipath plan would also include women, according to Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar. Agniveers will be thoroughly assimilated and integrated into the services, according to Army Chief General Manoj Pande.
A six-month training period will be included in this four-year contract. They will be paid a monthly salary of Rs 30,000-40,000 plus allowances throughout this time. They will be eligible for medical and insurance benefits as well.
Some critics have expressed concern about the system, claiming that it will have an influence on forces’ fighting spirit and professionalism. They are concerned that the four-year assignment will make soldiers risk-averse.