New Delhi, June 14 (Agency)
The Central Government on Tuesday announced a new ‘Agneepath Scheme’ for the recruitment of soldiers in the Army, Navy and Air Force. Under this, to reduce the rising salary and pension expenses, short-term soldiers will be recruited on contract basis, which will be called ‘Agniveer’. Defense Minister Rajnath Singh announced this shortly after the plan was approved in the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) meeting. Singh said, ‘Agneepath Recruitment Scheme is a revolutionary initiative which will provide a youthful ‘profile’ identity to the armed forces.
Chief of Army Staff General Manoj Pandey said that the Agneepath scheme aims to bring about a paradigm shift in recruitment in the armed forces. He said that the scheme would help in ensuring a balance between youth strength and experience in the Army. General Pandey said the operational capability of the Army would be fully maintained during the initial phase of implementation of the plan. With the radical change in the recruitment process, the recruitment of soldiers will be initially for a period of four years, but some of them will be retained. Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar said the scheme would ensure massive talent accumulation for recruitment into the armed forces. The ‘Agneepath’ scheme, earlier named as ‘Tour of Duty’, was announced in the presence of the Chiefs of the three Services. The scheme was announced after extensive deliberations over the last two years. At present, the Army recruits youth under ‘Short Service Commission’ for an initial tenure of 10 years, which can be extended up to 14 years. The aim of the new scheme is to reduce the salary and pension expenses of the three services, which have increased rapidly. Out of the defense budget of Rs 5,25,166 crore for the year 2022-23, Rs 1,19,696 crore is for the pension of military personnel. Rs 2,33,000 crore was allocated for revenue expenditure. Revenue expenditure includes expenditure on payment of salaries and maintenance of establishments.
this will be the package
Armed forces will start recruitment in 90 days. This year 46,000 ‘Agniveers’ will recruit. The age limit will be 17.5 to 21 years. The monthly salary of an ‘agniveer’ in the first year would be Rs 30,000, but only Rs 21,000 in hand. Every month Rs 9,000 will go to a fund with equal contribution from the government. After this the monthly salary in the second, third and fourth year will be Rs 33,000, 36,500 and Rs 40,000. Each ‘Agniveer’ will get an amount of Rs 11.71 lakh as ‘Service Fund Package’ and will be exempted from income tax. Gratuity and pension benefits will not be available. The rank of these Agniveers will be completely different. There will be no compromise on the physical, medical and professional standards fixed for the recruitment.
CDS will be appointed soon
Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said that a new Chief of Defense Staff (CDS) will be appointed soon. Process continues. The post has been vacant since the death of the country’s first CDS General Bipin Rawat in a helicopter crash on December 8. Earlier this month, the government had also issued notifications regarding appointments to the top military post. According to these, any serving or retired lieutenant general below the age of 62 years, air marshal and vice admiral will be eligible for the post of CDS. Significantly, General Rawat took charge as the country’s first CDS on January 1, 2020, to enhance the country’s overall military prowess.