Defence Chiefs Call Agnipath Scheme ‘Transformational’

| Updated: June 17, 2022 6:43 pm

The three chiefs of Indian Defence Services applauded the Central government’s Agnipath Scheme, and also appreciated the revision of age limit that was announced last night. This scheme is recruitment programme for Indian youths to enlist in the armed forces.

The Indian Air Force chief, Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari in a virtual address stated that he is happy to announce the age limit being extended to 23 years from the previous 21, for the first batch of recruitment, this year. The Air Chief Marshal said,  “The Government has announced Agnipath scheme under which youth will be able to join armed forces. The age criteria will be 17.5 to 21 years. Happy to announce that for the first recruitment, the upper age limit has been revised to 23 years. It will benefit the youth. Air Force recruitment will begin on June 24.”

In an attempt to revamp the recruitment process for the Armed Forces, the cabinet approved the Agnipath Scheme on June 14. After receiving criticism over this scheme from vivid regions across the country, the Centre on June 16, 2022, announced that the Agniveer upper age limit for recruitment via Agnipath Scheme has been extended to 23 years from 21 years. Under this scheme, youngsters between the ages of 17 and 23 will be eligible to get enlisted in the three services. ‘Agnipath’ provides for the retention of 25% of recruits for regular service once their four-year term is completed.

Chief of Naval Staff Admiral R Hari Kumar termed the Agnipath scheme as ‘one of the most transformational schemes for the armed forces.’ “It gives an opportunity for the youth to participate and contribute toward Desh Seva,” he said.

Following the revision of the age bar yesterday, the IAF also expressed appreciation towards the  the government’s decision.

The Indian Army chief General Manoj Pande stated that the training of the first batch of Agniveers will begin this December.

The general said,”As far as the question of Agniveers going to recruitment training centres is concerned, the training of first Agniveers will begin this December (in 2022) at the centres. The active service will commence in the middle of 2023.”

Army recruitment was halted for over two years due to COVID-19. Since the Army recruited jawans in 2019-2020, no new recruits have been brought on board. However, recruitments were open in Indian Navy and Indian Air Force.

The Ministry of Defence has said that Agnipath is aimed at creating a young profile for the Armed Forces. It will assist in recruiting youngsters who may be keen to donning uniforms. It will also help train skilled and disciplined talent, who are more aware of contemporary technological trends and increase the number of skilled, disciplined and motivated individuals in the society.

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