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Social and political Values and Systems in India.

Reform perform and transform

Indian Armed forces and new Agnipath Scheme 

Armed forces in India – Armed forces mean the military forces of Republic of India. It consists of three professional uniformed services – Army (divided into six operational commands), Navy (deployed under three area command), and Air-force. Armed forces are there to protect the nation from external and internal threats, maintaining peace and security within Indian borders and also conducting rescue operations during national calamities and disasters is the responsibility of the armed forces. More responsibilities, all the important institutions of the government should be better equipped to meet the challenges.  

Why Agnipath Scheme? – Need for reforms has been felt for a long time in the systems of recruitment, training and posting in Armed forces to enable it to meet present day challenges by imparting new knowledge, new skills, and inculcating new attitudes and new spirit in newly recruited personnel. That is why Agnipath scheme has been initiated. Following are the reasons to initiate the scheme of Agnipath –  

  • Time to make necessary reforms – It has been felt necessary for a long time to impart new knowledge, new skills, and to inculcate new attitudes in armed forces through a well-planned scheme to reform its recruitment, training and systematic arrangement of postings. To enable the armed forces to meet present day challenges, it has been felt necessary to inculcate in newly recruited cadets, new skills, new attitude, new spirit and new knowledge. 
  • Rapidly changing and turbulent atmosphere – Indian army is facing difficulties due to rapidly changing and turbulent atmosphere, characterized by complexity and uncertainty continuous advancement technological advancement, especially in the arena of information technology, and rapidly changing war-techniques of the 21st century’s digital world.
  • Pay attention to quality of education and training – Since independence, Government of India has been pre-occupied with quantitative expansion. As a result of its efforts, Literacy rate has gone up from 16.6% in 1951 to 77.7% in 2021.  Having achieved quantitative goals, attention needs to be paid to qualitative goals in terms of an education and training system, which could prepare younger generation to be responsible, confident, mature and able to develop balanced personality. Only proper system of education at right time can help to achieve the desired goals. 

Teenage, the best time to educate and train youngsters – Teenage is the best time in whole of human life to develop skills for their future roles. At this stage, minds of youngsters are at the most creative, energetic and formative stage. They are free from the responsibilities of familial/social norms and obligations. Being so, it is the right time to promote through their social, ethical, emotional, physical and cognitive competencies and develop their personality in full. 

Pre-entry Education and training just before joining the real world of  job-market  –  Education and training system should be formative rather than informative. It should lead them to creative thinking rather than only learning. It should instil strong personal conviction and right values to motivate young children’s actions along with knowledge. It should broaden their minds and develop their mental and physical faculties.  

Pre-entry (vocational) trainingfor teenagers before joining the main work-force of the nation – No system, howsoever carefully designed can never replace the pre-entry training before joining main workforce of the nation. Some advantages of pre-entry training are – 

  • It brings together the candidates coming from heterogeneous segments of society with divergent educational and cultural backgrounds. 
  • It acquaints candidates with the people, with whom they will work and with the atmosphere, in which they will work. It will help mostly the teenagers to know rules, regulations, privileges, hour of work, etc within a short period.  
  • Familiarize the youth quickly with the background and general objectives of their respective unit to rest of the organization. 
  • While working in a unit, list of published material and reference related to the work will be available to Agnivir. It will help them to become familiar with real-life situations, related to their specific area of work. 

Purpose of formal pre-entry education and training is to instil in youngsters’ qualities of ‘Head, Heart and Hand’. It should enable them to articulate their half-baked inchoate feelings and impressions, improve their power of reasoning, analysing and appreciation of problems or situations. It should enable them to take decisions, be devoted to duty, to adopt to changing circumstances and develop in them pride for their nation and its heritage and culture.

It aims to prepare the youth for income generating jobs in different spheres of work. Need-based and well-organised pre-entry education & training during the formative years of human life is always quite useful for any nation.

Pre-entry education and training in India – The idea of pre-entry vocational education and training is not foreign to India. Formal pre-entry training is available for cadets of NDA and others. After qualifying UPSC entrance examination, cadets get well-planned and well-organized training in NDA & IMA for four years being posted in armed forces as lieutenant (Commissioned Officer). After selection through various competitive examination after passing out class XII examination, candidates go through an intensive theoretical and practical training for four years.

Such a vocational training has been a success. The smartness and efficiency of NDA cadets is well appreciated within India. Indian engineers and doctors are in great demand abroad. They get good jobs even in technologically advanced nations like USA or England.  

Agnipath scheme as a pre-entry-program  for non-commissioned personnel– Through Agnipath scheme, Agnipath program, government intends to introduce  a pre-entry training program for Indian youth. Four-years-experience as Agnivirs, through direct participation in Indian Army, prepares them to apply previous academic and work experience to real job situations, once they enter into main workforce of the nation after.  The fourfold purpose of Agnipath scheme is to facilitate pre-entry training to youth, before they join the main workforce of the nation is to give an idea to candidates about the real atmosphere of work place –  

  1. Imparting knowledge; 
  2. Shaping attitudes; 
  3. Cultivating skills; and 
  4. Building work habits  

At the outset, such a training –  

  1. Inculcates in youth the maximum possible degree of efficiency to the specific job allotted to them. The aim is not only to enable the candidate to perform the current job efficiently, but also to equip him for other duties and appropriately develop his capacity for higher work with more responsibility. 
  2. Develop team spirit means to prepare the candidates for – 
  3. Interaction at individual-to-individual level 
  4. Interaction with boss  
  5. Interaction at group level – with groups, which may include his superiors, peers, or subordinates. 

Need of reform in recruitment system – Since long, it has been felt in certain quarters that two issues stand out here: unlike objective tests, the assessment is not based on universal standards. It is also not possible since each person is unique and no standardisation of assessment is possible. The tests heavily rely on clinical judgement and are low on validity and reliability in absence of standardised criteria for comparing test results. The system is based on psychoanalytical psychology that argues that humans have conscious and unconscious attitudes and motivation that are beyond or hidden from conscious awareness. It has been felt that before it is too late, it is better to make necessary and long-awaited reforms in the recruitment system of Army. The result of this realization is New Agnipath Scheme. 

Structure of Defence forces – In Defence, there are two categories of personnel:  

  • Commissioned and 
  • Non- commissioned. 

Recruits of Commissioned posts are appointed as lieutenants, Captains, Majors, Brigadiers and Generals etc.  Non- commissioned recruits fill the posts of Lance-naik, Naiks, Havildars etc. They are recruited in large numbers and are led by the commissioned officers. They do much heavier physical duties.

There is no change in the selection procedure of commissioned officers. However, through Agnipath scheme some reforms have been introduced for the selection of soldiers/non-commissioned personnel.  

  • Process of selection of Commissioned personnel – So far, Indian Armed forces (Defence) is known for having most objective, systematic & impartial system of selection of its new commissioned personnel. The system is in vogue for over sixty years now without change both in procedure and tests except minor addition of screening test that was introduced in 1998 in Army selection Boards and later adopted by Air force and the Naval Selection Boards. Interviewing Officers are senior persons, whereas the Group Testing Officers (GTOs) are relatively young in service and slightly stricter in their assessment. 

Responsibility of appointments in Defence Forces is mainly entrusted to DRDO (Appointments) Section. It mainly looks after policy/ interpretation of rules and references to nodal Ministries/ UPSC in matters pertaining to DPC/ Review DPC, Recruitment Rules/ Service Rules, commercial employment, direct recruitment to Grade A&B officers through UPSC Sanction of upper age relaxation/qualifications, reconstruction of service documents etc. 

Direct recruitment to Gr. A & B posts is done through UPSC entrance examination, subsequent SSB officer-candidate selection run by DRDOs’ Defence Institute of Psychological Research (DIPR). There are over 5000 officer cadets under training at any given time (NDA 2000; increasing to 2500; IMA 1800: OTA Chennai 750; OTA Gaya 500). 

The present cadet system of selection, education and training for commissioned officers in Armed forces is at raw age, is well appreciated very much by all. Assessment of potential candidates for training in different training academies is done by the Services Selection Boards (SSB, Services Selection Boards). There is a vibrant atmosphere in the Selection Boards. GTO Grounds, Psychological Testing Halls and Interview Rooms are kept clean and well organised all the time. 

Interviewing officers – Interviewing officers are trained by Defence Institute of Psychological Research (DIPR) and practical training for them is conducted by Services Selection Boards (SSBs). The training of interviewing officers for all the three wings of Indian army (consisting of interviewing officers, group testing officers, civil psychologists and technical officers) is intensive and fairly comprehensive.  

Group Testing Officers (GTOs) – Group Testing Officers (GTOs) are provided with a technical manual with lays down various test processes and explains various concepts of group dynamics. GTOs draw their inferences based on observed behaviour of the candidates during different exercises. The ratings are subjectively assigned on the fifteen qualities and surprisingly they generally matched with the ratings of the Interviewing officers and the psychologists. This sort of standardisation is taken as the strength of the system and a strong measure of validity of the tests and the process. Interviewing officers on the hand conduct a loosely structured interview of nearly half hour duration and rate the candidates again on the same fifteen qualities. Once again, the variation with the psychologists and the GTOs is minimal in most cases. 

Clearance rate of the GTOs is minimum, may be since they actually observe the candidates performing on the ground. Interviewing Officers clear more candidates since the assessment is based on the verbal answers alone and it creates. In case of all the three agencies the testing involves rating of inherent competencies that are desirable for training and later functioning as leaders of men in extreme stressful conditions. All the competencies have been provided to the assessors by the psychologists and it is the Institute of Psychological Research that trains, monitors and guides all the three sets of assessors. Psychologists are supposed to visit different places of India, periodically to get a feel of the conditions under which Indian defence forces function. 

Psychological tests are supposed to test fifteen qualities namely, Effective Intelligence, reasoning ability, Organising Ability, Power of expression, social adaptability, Co-operation, Sense of Responsibility, Initiative, self Confidence, Speed of Decision, Ability to Influence the Group, Liveliness, Determination, Courage and stamina.  These fifteen qualities are arranged through a process of co-relations in four different sections called factors, these are Planning and Organising, Social adjustment, Social Effectiveness and Dynamic. Interestingly Moral Values and integrity and some equally important qualities have not been explicitly listed for assessment. In any case the justification provided is that these get covered in Sense of responsibility.  

Individuals have inherent strengths and weaknesses, and have a natural inclination toward success or failure in specific areas based on their innate characteristics. For placement and allotting work to cadets in Indian army, an aptitude test is taken. It is used to determine cadet’s skill or propensity to succeed in a given activity.   

Technical Officers also act as psychologists besides co-ordinating the functioning of psychological testing in each SSB. DIPR is the apex technical body that monitors the work of assessment in the SSBs besides conducting research for the defence forces on various subjects including assessment and also co-ordinates the research projects of the psychologist of the SSBs. Funding for such research is also arranged by DIPR. 

Undergraduate entry level examination for joining the National Defence Academy and Naval Academy has two papers: Maths and General Ability. The graduate entry written examinations for the three defence Services comprise papers in English, General Knowledge and matric-level Maths; the latter paper being waived off for entry to Officers Training Academies. 

SSB interviews candidates for 5 days, Day 1 is the ‘screening’ Test after which 60-70% candidates are rejected. Day 2 is for Psychologist’s Tests; Days 3-4 are for Group Tasks and Day 5 for Conference (Results). Personal interviews are conducted between Days 2-4.

  • Recruitment of non-commissioned personnel under Agnipath Scheme – Recently, after years of deliberations and studying the recruitment process and tenure of soldiers in several countries, Government of India, under the Prime Ministership of Mr. Modi has made certain reforms in the selection and working system of non-commissioned personnel. The new defence recruitment reform, which has been cleared by the Cabinet Committee on Security, will come into effect immediately. A new scheme of Agnipath has been launchedon 14th June 2022. 

Aim of Agnipath scheme – The aim of the government is to equip the youngsters with birds’ eye-view of law, rules and regulations, principles of government functioning, finance, accounting and other developmental activities, Constitution. It aims to impart both theoretical and practical on-the-job training to make youth of the day more suited to the requirements and demands of 21st century. The scheme gives attention to develop a sound foundation in the candidates’ outlook and behaviour, so that they can function anywhere as efficient, confident, hardworking and responsible citizens of India. It aims to make the working atmosphere of the nation more efficient, to impart knowledge, skills, discipline; develop in them positive attitude; and train the youth to deal with the complexities of real life – with pressures, conflicting motives, limited sources, or uncertainties. 

Age-bar – Aspirants between the ages of 17.5 years and 21 years will be eligible to apply. This year only the upper age limit is extended up to 23 years, because appointments were frozen for two years due to Corona pandemic. They will be appointed annually. Their tenure will be for 4 years. Recruitment will be done twice a year through rallies. Standards of selection will be the same. During these four years, they will be trained for 6 months. Remaining 3&1/2 years They will serve in their respective departments under the guidance of commissioned officers.  

Four years’ program for Agnivirs – Selected soldiers recruited under the scheme will be called Agnivirs. Under the new Agnipath scheme, around 45,000 to 50,000Agnivirs will be recruited annually for four years in Indian Army across the three services. The recruitment standards will remain the same. Recruitment will be done twice a year through rallies. These four years includes 6 months training and rest of the time they will serve in their respective departments under the guidance of commissioned officer, when they will get practical work experience (on-the-job training) in different departments of army, navy and air force.  

After four years, only 25% of a batch will be able to be recruited back into their respective services, for a period of 15 years. Rest 75% will start second   career according to their qualifications attitude and aptitude. Agnipath program, in a way, is to give the younger people pre-entry training before joining the main workforce of the nation. It will inculcate in them qualities of three H’s, “Head, Heart & Hand”. 

All Agniveers will be well-trained and more qualified to join main workforce of the nation by the time, they complete their tenure as Agnivir.  They will be about 22-23 years old. It is the time, when a young man looks for a job. Working under Agnipath scheme will develop their capacity for doing their work more efficiently. It will enable a large number of youths not only to perform the current job efficiently, but also equip them for other duties.         

Work for four years in army will result in Agniveers’ becoming more disciplined, more confident, developing team-work capability and an all-India perspective. It will improve their capacity to accept responsibility and develop appreciation for discipline and teach them value of time and human effort. 

Educational qualifications for Agniveers – The scheme of Agnipath is very useful for most of semi-literate unemployed youth (17-23 years old), who do not want to continue their further education/training and wish to earn money.  

Indian army has listed down the eligibility criteria for recruitment six categories of posts. Each candidate can apply in only one category. If anyone is found registered for multiple trades/categories, he will be dis-qualified.    

Post Name Qualification required 
1.    Asgnivieer General duty (GD) All Arms Class X Matric with% marx and minimum 33% in each subject 
2.    Agnivir Technical Aviation (All Arms)   10+2 Intermediate exam in Science stream with physics, chemistry, maths and English with minimum 50% marks in aggregate and 40% in each subject. 
3.    Agniveer Technical Aviation and Ammunition Examiner   10+2 Intermediate exam in Science stream with physics, chemistry, maths and English with minimum 50% marks in aggregate and 40% in each subject. 
4.    Agniveer Clerk/Store Keeper (Technical) All Arms   10+2 in any stream with minimum 60% marks aggregate and minimum 50% marks in each subject. 
5.    Agniveer Tradesman 10 pass  Class X High School Exam passed in any recognized board in India. Minimum 33%in each subject.  
6.    Agniveer Tradesman 8th pass Class 8th exam passed in any recognized Board in India minimum 33% in each subject. 

Physical measurement will be carried out at the rally sites along with a medical test. Those who pass the medical test will be given an admit card for a Common Entrance Examination (written test).   

Plus points of the new Agnipath scheme – It is hoped that new Agnipath scheme will provide “A unique opportunity to youth to serve the nation and contribute to nation-building”; “make Armed forces profile to be youthful and dynamic”; “Offer attractive financial package for the Agnivirs”; “train Agnivirs in the best institutions and enhance their skills and qualifications”; offer “Adequate re-employment opportunities for those, who leave the army after 4 years to emerge as role models for the youth”; and ensure availability of well-disciplined and skilled  youth with military ethos in civil society.” In addition to all this, it will make the forces more modern, tech-savvy and well-equipped to deal with the challenges ahead. But it should not be forgotten that there is or can be a world of difference between what, a government plans and how it implements the proposed plan. 

  • “A unique opportunity to youth to serve the nation and contribute to nation-building” – The report by Unified District Information System of Education Plus (UDISE+) revealed that the annual dropout rate of secondary school students was 14.6% in India (01.-Apr-2022). More boys drop out of school than girls at secondary level in India. Children from low-income families are more likely to drop out because of the need to get a job, parenthood, or having to care for family members. Agnipath scheme is a golden opportunity for thousands of those dropped out teenagers, who don’t/can’t study further and wish to be financially independent. Agnipath scheme provides a unique opportunity to them to contribute to nation-building. 
  • Inculcate in teenagers, income generating skill – Agnipath scheme plans to create an atmosphere for Agnivirs to attain through a well-planned and well-organised, income-generating skills for four years during their formative period of life. They will work in different departments of three wings of Armed forces and contribute directly to nation- building. The 4 years-time spent, as agniveer, is expected to acquaint candidates with the people, with whom they will work and with the atmospheres, in which they will work. It will help the younger generation to know rules, regulations, privileges, hour of work, etc within a short period. 
  • Reduce the Defence bill considerably – The scheme will reduce Defence bill considerably. At present, Government of India spends a huge pension amount. Defence budget is usually divided into salary, purchase of weapons, and pension. Out of these three, the biggest component is of pension. Advanced nations are cutting down expenditure on the size of their Armed Forces. They are concentrating on research, technologies and buying new weapons.
  • Optimum utilization of the most energetic and creative time of human life – 15 to 24 years of age, in human life, is the time, most formative, creative and energetic and best time to develop skills for their future roles. This is the time, when their minds are free from the worries of social norms and obligations. The 4 years-time spent, as agniveer, is expected to acquaint candidates with the people, with whom they will work and with the atmospheres, in which they will work. It will help the younger generation to know rules, regulations, privileges, hour of work, etc within a short period. It is time to promote through activities and experiences their social, ethical, emotional, physical and cognitive competencies, so that they can achieve their full potential. According to National youth policy of India (2003), youth population accounts for 373 million (30.9%) in the age group of 15-35year. 

“Offer attractive financial package for the Agnivirs” – During four years tenure of Agnivirs, they will get a salary of Rs 30,000 per month, along with additional benefits. Out of it, he will get 29000 in hand and rest will be deposited in the Fund called Seva Nidhi. Same amount will also be deposited by the government of India, in their account. At the end of the four-year period, each soldier will get Rs 11.71 lakh as a lump sum tax-free amount. They will also get a Rs 48 lakh life insurance cover for the four years. In case of death, the pay-out will be over Rs 1 crore, including pay for the unserved tenure. However, those hired under Agnipath scheme will get no pension benefit. Govt will give them one-time lump sum amount of about 11 lakh at the end of their four year tenure. Over and above all, Agniveers will have high stature in the society.

Future of Agniveers is secure – No avenue is closed or debarred for agniveers. First batch of Agniveers will retire after 5 years from today. Both their present and future is secured. All doors of second career are open for other 75% Agniveers. There is plethora of opportunities for them in a rapidly growing Indian economy (including defence sector).

After completion of four years tenure as Agnivirs, they need not worry about their second career. They have a choice either to join the regular armed forces again or get re-employed elsewhere in government, public or private sector.

Right time to start a new career in main work-force of the nation – At present, under normal circumstance, a large number of 16-17 years old youth do not want to study further, whatever may be the reason. Many of them, after finishing their secondary or higher secondary education either go to formal educational institution for higher studies or join training poli-technic institutions to learn income-generating-skills.

By the time they attain the age 24-25, they start searching a suitable job for themselves. Thousands of other semi-literate persons join labour force working either in factories or in agricultural sector. A large number of young boys remain unemployed as well. Unemployment is one of the reasons for deterioration of law-and-order situation in the country, indiscipline in the society, and increasing juvenile crimes, agitations and violence. 

Government will help Agnivirs , who leave the service in military after four years. They will be provided with skill certificates and bridge courses. Even under normal circumstances too, a youth search for a regular employment usually around the age of 25 to 30. After passing out higher secondary education, young boys remain busy in getting formally further education and training in various higher educational institutions, colleges or polytechnics. The purpose of higher education and training is also to develop their power of concentration, capacity of attention and observation.  

Opportunities for Agniveers on completion of four years tenure as Agniveer –Government will help rehabilitate Agnivirs/soldiers who leave the services after four years. They will be provided with skill certificates and bridge courses. The impetus will be to create entrepreneurs. The asset of Agniveers will be their age plus around 11 lakh cash in hand. They can use for this amount for further studies, or training or to start their own business. Otherwise, they can start new career of their choice to get a regular salary, according to their qualification, attitude and aptitude. Everywhere, experience as agniveer is in their advantage.  

After completion of 4 years, Agnivirs can apply for enrolment in the regular cadre. 25% candidates, so enrolled as regular cadre will continue for another 15 years. 75% Agnivirs will leave the army. A number of institutes/ organizations under government, public or private sectors will prefer to appoint these trained. skilled and disciplined candidates from now onwards known as Agniveers. Different private and public sector organizations will prefer to appoint trained Agniveers rather than appointing a raw hand. Institutions like Short Service Commissioned officers in army, who are also selected only for five years. Or they can apply for permanent commissioned officers. They can apply for jobs in armed police forces at the centre and provinces. Four years of service, training, background and the army career in Border security force (BSF), CRPF, ITBP, CISF, Sashrasth Seema Bal (SSB), NSG and Special Protection Force etc. There are several announcements for giving preference for absorption of Agniveers by several ministries also. 

Doubts about the new the scheme – Immediately after the announcement of the scheme, Agnipath scheme of short-term recruitment in Armed forces prompted sharp criticism from some sections of society, like ex-servicemen, different political parties, and candidates aspiring to join Army. Thousands of students protested in Bihar, Uttarakhand, UP, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana. Critics of the scheme thought that it is a disastrous move. They asked the government to scrap the proposal. Their concern was –   

  • There is or can be a world of difference between what government says, what it plans to do and how it implements the scheme. 
  • Will the scheme be able to solve the severe problem of unemployment? 
  • Short term tenure of Agnivirs will harm the effectiveness of Army.
  • Is it the right time to introduce this new Agnipath scheme of short-term recruitment in Armed forces when the whole world is passing through rapidly changing and turbulent environment, characterized by complexity and uncertainty? There has not been a single day after the Second World-War, when the world has been free from conflicts. 
  • No rank, no pension, no direct recruitment for 2 years shows no stable future after four years.   
  • Is the new system of the selection of Sainiks better than the selection procedure of British-inherited system? 
  • Are the government’s training academies properly prepared to train selected Agnivirs cadets to face emerging challenges? Are the training institutes fully equipped to inculcate in new recruits’ qualities like integrity, ethics, morality, reliability, emotional stability, thinking-on-the-feet skills, situational awareness and physical fitness besides standard leadership qualities into focus besides ensuring pre-selection security checks. 
  • New scheme will hit professionalism, ethos and fighting spirit of the forces.  
  • 75% candidates will be demobilized with certificate and the exit package (11.71Lakh. There will be no pension or gratuity, called Seva Nidhi. 
  • It can potentially jeopardise the future of countless youths.  
  • It is not wise to reduce the size of armed forces, especially when the world is passing through a critical time. There has not been a day after the second world war when the world was free from conflicts. Conflicts both hot and cold are raging in some part of the world or other all the time, most recent one being war between Ukraine and Russia (2022). Such a situation emerged because humans have ignored basic human values.
  • Opposition parties came down heavily on government’s scheme of Agnipath saying that the scheme throttles the voice of lacs of unemployed youths. They demanded a roll-back.

Somehow Government remained firm in this regard. On the presumption that short duration tenure of Agnivirs will harm the effectiveness of Armed forces, the government replied back that such a system exists in several countries. Hence it is already “tested out and considered best practice for an agile army” 

Conclusion – There are lots many things, which can never get into books/lectures. It is always said that if recruitment is properly done, an individual has the capacity to do his job effectively and efficiently. But what brings efficiency in any occupation, is something he has still to learn and it can only be learnt by experience. Youngsters usually learn on job from their mistakes and acquire skills through practice. On job, learning is not backed by compulsion, but is more or less self-inspired, based on self-observation and guidance by superiors. If senior officer guides and train his juniors properly, positive results can definitely be achieved.   

Pre-requisites to make a scheme, successful – There are certain steps, which are needed to make any plan/ scheme a success – 

  • Identification of need 
  • Analyse the need organisation-wise, individual-wise, category-wise, level-wise and function-wise. 
  • Identification of objectives, 
  • Top-level support, 
  • Impartial selection of candidates, and  
  • Most important is continuous evaluation. Evaluation is a necessary tool for making any reform effective.  

In the case of Agnipath scheme, government of India has taken all these steps. However, immediately after the announcement of reforms to be done, some sections of society started violent protests and asked the government to withdraw the scheme on imaginary grounds. Critics do not try to visualise that – 

  1. Lower age profile – The short-term induction of teenagers through Agnipath scheme will replace the legacy system of recruitment and lower the age profile of three services. It could ensure a fitter army and create technically adept war-fighting force capable of meeting the challenges of 21st century.  
  2. New scheme will make army leaner and thinner. Some doubt that is it a wise step to reduce the number of armed forces personnel. It has been seen that the times of face-to-face war is a thing of past. Now most of the wars are fought beyond visual range war. In it, number does not matter. What is significant is now is technology and quality and knowledge of the use of modern weapons. Therefore, lots of nations are cutting down expenditure on the size of their armed forces. They are concentrating on research, technologies and buying new weapons. 
  3. Participation of youth in Army – Participation in army, though for a short period could help the youth of the nation become more empathetic, responsible and confident.  
  4. Utilizing meaningful youth participation will help the government to structure its future programs, policies and services successfully.   
  5. Jobs according to attitude and aptitude –The scheme gives youngsters opportunity to choose their second career according to their attitude, aptitude or inherent strengths and weaknesses. Success or failure in any area of work always depends on natural inclination and innate characteristics of individuals.  
  6. Before joining the main work-force of nation, short term of induction in army will broaden the vision of youth and develop their personality. They will get a good atmosphere and opportunity to learn under the guidance of senior army officers and participate directly in its working. It will increase their competencies, confidence/self-esteem, skills and knowledge.  
  7. Enhanced individual development will provide youth with opportunities to generate change for sustainable development of society and nation.  
  8. Increased self- discipline– Indian Army’s foundation in discipline 
  9. This will also lead to availability of a higher-skilled workforce to the economy, which will be helpful in productivity gain and overall GDP growth.  

Let us hope that new Agnipath scheme will provide “A unique opportunity to youth to serve the nation and contribute to nation-building”; “save teenagers from adopting wrong path of violence and agitations”, “make Armed forces profile to be youthful and dynamic”; “train Agnivirs in the best institutions and enhance their skills and qualifications”; offer “Adequate re-employment opportunities for those, who leave the army after 4 years to emerge as role models for the youth”; “ensure availability of well-disciplined and skilled  youth with military ethos in civil society”; and in addition to all this, it will make “the forces more modern, tech-savvy and well-equipped to deal with the challenges ahead”. 




August 19, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment


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