New ‘Agnipath’ scheme allows youth to join armed forces for 4 years; Here’s all you need to know

Union Cabinet, on Tuesday (June 14), approved the ‘Agnipath’ scheme for Indian youth to serve in the armed forces. Under the Agnipath scheme, youth will be selected to serve in the armed forces for a period of four years. The youth who will be selected under the scheme will be called Agniveers.

The scheme is designed to provide an opportunity for the youth who are skilled, disciplined, motivated, keen to don the uniform and are in tune with current technological trends. It will also enhance the youthful profile of the armed forces and bring a necessary transformational shift of the Armed forces into more tech-savvy.

The scheme also boosts the country’s national security in times of external threats, internal threats and natural disasters due to the experience of the youth in the Armed Forces. The short-term service in the armed forces will also instil patriotism, ingrain loyalty towards the country and also help to enhance physical fitness as well as becoming an efficient team player.

It is envisaged that after the implementation of the scheme, the average age profile of the Indian Armed Forces would come down by 4-5 years. The new scheme introduced by the government will usher a new era in the Human Resource policy of the armed forces.

During the period of four years, Agniveers will be imparted with various military skills, discipline, physical fitness, leadership qualities, patriotism and courage. Post four years, based on the skills they gained during the service, each Agniveer will be recognised with a certificate which becomes a part of their resume.

The individuals selected for enrolment in the Armed Forces as regular cadre would be required to serve for a further engagement period of a minimum of 15 years and would be governed by the existing terms and conditions of service of Junior Commissioned Officers/Other Ranks in the Indian Army and their equivalent in the Indian Navy and Indian Air Force and that of Non-Combatant enrolled in the Indian Air Force, as amended from time to time.

During the service, Agniveers will be given an attractive monthly package along with Risk and Hardship allowances. On completion of the engagement period of four years, Agniveers will be paid one time ‘Seva Nidhi’ package, comprising their contribution including accrued interest thereon and matching contribution from the Government equal to the accumulated amount of their contribution including interest as indicated below:

The ‘Seva Nidhi’ will be exempt from Income Tax, and there will be no entitlement to gratuity and pensionary benefits. Agniveers will be provided with a non-contributory Life Insurance Cover of Rs 48 lakhs for the duration of their engagement period in the Indian Armed Forces.

Terms & Conditions

Agniveers will be enrolled in the armed forces under respective acts for a period of four years. Agniveers would form a distinct rank, different from the existing ranks in the armed forces. Upon the completion of four years, Agniveers will also be offered to apply for permanent enrolment in the armed forces. The applications will be considered based on the performance in the four years, and up to 25% of each specific batch of Agniveers will be enrolled in the regular cadre of the Armed Forces. Detailed guidelines will be issued later.

Agniveer enrollment will be conducted through specialised rallies and campus interviews from recognised technical institutes. Enrolment will be based on an ‘All India All Class’ basis, and the eligible age will be in a range from 17.5 to 21 years. Agniveers will have to meet the medical conditions laid down in the armed forces for the respective categories. The educational qualification for Agniveers will remain in vogue for enrollment in various categories. {For example: For entry into General Duty (GD) soldier, the educational qualification is Class 10}.

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