What is the “Agnipath” Scheme of GoI? How will it help the youngsters to serve the nation? Here’s all you need to know!

The govt of India has launched a new scheme – “Agnipath” for the youngsters who want to join the regular cadre of the Indian armed forces. Lieutenant general Anil Puri, the additional secretary of Departments of Military Affairs, while addressing a press conference on the matter, said, “We will be giving an opportunity to the youth to serve the nation for short as well as long term under the “Agnipath” scheme. They will be joining as “Agniveers”.

As quoted by news agency ANI, Rajnath Singh, the union minister of Defence, said that the Agniveers will form a distinct rank in three services and wear a distinct insignia as a part of their uniforms. As tweeted by ANI, 

“#AgnipathRecruitmentScheme | On completion of the engagement period of 4 years, ‘Agniveers’ will be paid one-time ‘SevaNidhi’ package… which will be exempt from Income Tax. There shall be no entitlement to gratuity & pensionary benefits: Ministry of Defence”

“The individuals, selected for enrolment in the Armed Forces as regular cadre, would be required to serve for a further engagement period of a minimum of 15 years: Ministry of Defence”

This is seen as a major decision of the government to increase the youth participation in the Indian armed forces. As per the sources, due to the Agnipath scheme, more than 45,000 youngsters in the age group of 17.5 to 21 will be annually inducted into the armed forces for a duration of four years, including a basic training of six months and Rs 30,000-40,000 of annual salary + allowances. They will be entitled to awards, and given medals and facilities like insurance cover which the regular cadre of soldiers, airmen and sailors get. 

According to the report of Times of India, on the basis of merit, fitness and performance, after the completion of this four-year period, 25% of the “Agniveers” will be retained in the regular cadre, while the remaining 75% will be demobilized  with an amount of ₹11-12 lakh as a “Seva Nidhi” package.

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