Agneepath scheme will not impact our combat capabilities: Armed forces on recruitment of Agniveers

Additional secretary in defence ministry's department of military affairs Lt Gen Anil Puri said that the Agneepath scheme has not been brought to "right-size" the armed forces but to lower their age profile and enhance their overall capability.

Agneepath scheme will not impact our combat capabilities: Armed forces on recruitment of Agniveers

New Delhi: Amid the ongoing outrage over the newly-launched Agneepath scheme, the three military services on Tuesday (June 21, 2022) said that the yojana will not entail any change in the existing system of recruitment of soldiers and that it will not at all impact their combat capabilities and operational readiness. Addressing a press conference, additional secretary in the defence ministry's department of military affairs Lt Gen Anil Puri asserted that the Agneepath scheme has not been brought to "right-size" the armed forces but to lower their age profile and enhance their overall capability.

He addressed various issues raised about the new scheme after several parts of the country witnessed violent protests in wake of the new model that seeks to recruit youths between the age bracket of 17-and-half years to 21 for only four years with a provision to retain 25 per cent of them for 15 more years. For 2022, the upper age limit has been extended to 23 years.

"There will be no change in the recruitment process. What happened five years ago, what happened earlier, the same will continue," Lt Gen Puri said, adding those recruited under the scheme will be eligible for gallantry awards.

"The scheme is being rolled out so that armed forces draw the best talents," he said. 

Agneepath scheme would add strength to armed forces

Lt Gen Puri said that the Agneepath scheme would add strength to the armed forces. The top officials of the three services also announced a detailed schedule of the recruitment process. They asserted that there will be no compromise on the quality of the training to be imparted to the 'Agniveers', though its duration would be compressed.

"The combat capabilities and readiness of the Indian Air Force are non-negotiable. The Indian Air Force and the government will do everything that is required to keep us combat-worthy and combat-ready," Air Officer-in-Charge of Personnel Air Marshal SK Jha said.

He said there is "absolutely no change" in the IAF's process of induction, entry-level qualification, examination syllabus and medical standards for the recruits under the Agnipath scheme

"All the enrollments in the Indian Air Force will take place only through Agniveer Vayu," Jha stated.

Agneepath yojana will not dent but improve Indian Army's combat capabilities

Lt Gen Puri said that the recruitment under the Agneepath scheme is a matter of national security and described as "fake" information that old-timers of the Army will be recruited under the new model.

"No other country in the world has the demographic dividend as that of India. Fifty per cent of our youth is under the age group of 25 years. We should make the most of it," Lt Gen Puri said.

He said the Agnipath scheme aims to ensure a youthful profile of the armed forces, bring technically adept people and make them future-ready to deal with any challenge facing the nation.

Lt Gen Puri said working for the army is a passion and a commitment and it is not an everyday job.

Army's Adjutant General Lt Gen Bansi Ponappa said that the Army would induct women under the Agnipath scheme for induction as military police. He said the scheme will not dent but improve the Army's combat capabilities.

Detailed discussions held on Agnipath scheme

Lt Gen Puri noted that various committees including the Kargil Review Committee, Arun Singh Committee and Shekatkar Committee had recommended bringing down the age profile of the armed forces. The additional secretary also said that there were detailed discussions on the Agnipath scheme in the three services and the ministry of defence as well as under the whole-of-the-government approach.

He said the services held 150 meetings totalling 500 hours, the ministry had 60 meetings with a total duration of 150 hours while 44 meetings lasting 100 hours took place under the whole-of-government framework.

Under the scheme, the Army plans to recruit 40,000 soldiers this year and the number is going to increase in the coming years.

Once 75 per cent of the recruits exit the force after the four-year tenure, around 10,000 Agniveers will continue to serve from the 2022 batch.

According to officials, around 50,000 army personnel retire from the Army every year.

Agneepath scheme: Indian Army's registration process for agniveers to begin on July 1

Releasing the recruitment schedule under the Agneepath scheme, Lt Gen Ponappa said that the online registration of the aspirants and announcement of the schedule of the recruitment rallies will commence on July 1.

He said that the recruitment rallies will commence from the second week of August, the Combined Entrance Examination for the first batch of Agniveers will be on October 16 and November 13 and they will report at the training centres on On December 22. The first batch will join their respective units on July 23.

The Combined Entrance Examination for the second batch will take place on January 23 and the recruits will report to training centres on February 23, he said, adding the army has launched an Agniveer helpline to address queries of the aspirants

Indian Air Force to begin registration process under Agnipath scheme from June 24

Sharing details of the IAF's recruitment schedule under the Agnipath yojana, Air Marshal Jha said that the registration of candidates will be between June 24 and July 5, while the registration for the STAR examination (online) will be available from July 24 to 31.

The IAF would issue call letters to the provisionally selected candidates by August 10 and their medical tests would be conducted from August 29 to November 8.

Air Marshal Jha said that the provisional selection list will be released on December 1, the enrolment list and call letters would be issued to successful candidates on December 11 and the course will commence on December 30.

In the press briefing, he also said that Agniveers are being inducted with a two percent intake in the first year and the number for the IAF would go to nearly 6,000 in the fifth year.

Registration process under Agneepath scheme for Indian Navy Recruitment to begin on July 1

About the Indian Navy's recruitment schedule under Agneepath yojana, Vice Admiral (Personnel) Dinesh Tripathi said that the online registration will commence for all candidates on July 1. He also informed that the details of the registration process are going to be out on Wednesday and said that a detailed notification for the recruits will be published in July.

Vice Admiral Tripathi also stated that the application window would be available from July 15 to 30 and examination and physical fitness tests would be held in mid-October while the training process will commence on November 21.

He said Agniveers will get an opportunity to join the Merchant Navy following completing their four-year tenure.

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