Cabinet clears Agnipath Scheme

What is the News?

The Union Cabinet has approved an attractive recruitment scheme for Indian youth to serve in the Armed Forces called AGNIPATH.

What is Agnipath Scheme?
Agnipath Scheme
Source: Indian Express

It is a pan-India short-term service youth recruitment scheme for the armed forces. 

Aim: The scheme has been designed to enable a youthful profile of the Armed Forces.

Key Features of the Scheme:  Under the Scheme, around 45,000 to 50,000 Agniveers will be recruited annually under respective Service Acts for a period of four years. They would form a distinct rank in the Armed Forces, different from any other existing ranks. 

– Upon the completion of four years of service, Agniveers will be offered an opportunity to apply for permanent enrolment in the Armed Forces. 

– These applications will be considered based on objective criteria including performance during their four-year engagement period and up to 25% of each specific batch of Agniveers will be enrolled in regular cadres of the Armed Forces. 

Eligibility: Under the scheme, aspirants between the ages of 17.5 years and 21 years will be eligible to apply. The recruitment will be done twice a year through rallies.

How will the recruitment be done?

Recruitment will be undertaken through an online centralized system for all three services with specialized rallies and campus interviews from recognised technical institutes such as Industrial Training Institutes and National Skills Qualifications Framework among others. 

Salary of Agniveers: Agniveers will get a starting salary of Rs 30,000, along with additional benefits which will go up to Rs 40,000 by the end of the four-year service.

– During the four-year period, 30% of their salary will be set aside under a Seva Nidhi programme, and the government will contribute an equal amount every month and this amount will also accrue interest. 

– At the end of the four-year period, each soldier will get Rs 11.71 lakh as a lump sum amount, which will be tax-free.

– They will also get a Rs 48 lakh life insurance cover for the four years. In case of death, the payout will be over Rs 1 crore, including pay for the unserved tenure.

What are the benefits of the scheme to armed forces and recruits?

– A transformative reform of the recruitment policy of the Armed Forces.

– A unique opportunity for the youth to serve the country and contribute to Nation Building.

– Attractive financial package for the Agniveers.

– Opportunity for Agniveers to train in the best institutions and enhance their skills & qualifications.

– Availability of well-disciplined and skilled youth with military ethos in civil society.

– Adequate re-employment opportunities for those returning to society and who could emerge as role models for the youth.

Source: The post is based on the article “Cabinet clears Agnipath Schemepublished in The Hindu on 15th June 2022.

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