Will Agnipath energise or demoralise the military?

News: Recently, the government announced the Agnipath scheme, which fundamentally transforms the process of recruitment of armed forces.

Must read: Cabinet clears Agnipath Scheme
What are the advantages of Agnipath scheme?

Younger military: According to the government, the scheme will bring down the average age from 32 to 26.

Introduce new kinds of modern equipment to armed forces: The scheme will attract people who are more technologically savvy and are therefore more capable of handling new kinds of modern equipment. The government will also employ some people from the Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) and other technical institutes.

Must read: Agnipath Scheme: Need, Benefits and Challenges – Explained, pointwise
What are the challenges associated with the Agnipath Scheme?

Militarisation of society: Since numerous young military-trained men will be going back to civil society every year this will create challenges to national security. There could be some who could be exploited by anti-social elements.

Impact the leadership: When Agniveers retired after four years, if any, good and bad, will be faced by the next set of leadership within the military.

Read more: Arun Prakash writes: Agnipath, between the lines
What should be done?

Prevent militarisation: Pressures of a jobless existence weigh against the ethos or the morality. Hence, the government should give them some decent, honourable second career.

Try the pilot phase of the scheme: The government should put the scheme through some kind of testbed and be open to major changes, if and when required.

Set up another organisation to look after the people who go out: Currently, there are many complaints against the Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare. Hence, the government should reform that or create a separate organisation to take care of outgoing Agniveers.

Must read: How can Agnipath be made more attractive? Recommendations from 2 former army leaders

Source: The post is based on the article “Will Agnipath energise or demoralise the military?” published in “The Hindu” on 24th June 2022.

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