'How is the Josh? Low sir': Army aspirants protest against new Agnipath scheme

Agniveer scheme: Of the total annual recruits, only 25% will be allowed to continue for another 15 years under permanent commission.

Agnipath scheme (Image: Shutterstock)Agnipath scheme (Image: Shutterstock)

Anu Parthiban | June 15, 2022 | 01:19 PM IST

NEW DELHI: Army aspirants started protesting against the new scheme called "Agnipath" unveiled by the government on Tuesday for the recruitment of soldiers in the Army, the Navy and the Air Force on a short-term contractual basis. While defence minister Rajnath Singh called it as a “historic”move, the unhappy aspirants opined that the new scheme will weaken the defence sector and “the josh” (enthusiasm).

Also read | 'Agniveers' to get priority in recruitment to central armed police forces, Assam Rifles: MHA

As per various media reports, the candidates preparing for the army recruitment have blocked the railway tracks in Muzaffarpur, Bihar, and various other parts of the country. Many aspirants have also demanded revising the Agnipath scheme.

Under the Agnipath scheme, about 45,000 people between the age of 17.5 years and 21 years will be inducted into the services for a four-year tenure and some will be retained. Of the total annual recruits, only 25% will be allowed to continue for another 15 years under permanent commission. Not only will the rest of the candidates have to retire, but they will not be eligible for pension benefits also.

The scheme is aimed at slashing the salary and pension bills of the three services - army, navy and air force - which have been increasing rapidly, the government said.

“Agnipath is the government's worst decision. Why would a person work seriously if he knows he is only hired for four years and will retire after that?” an aspirant wrote on Twitter.

"This is a useless scheme .this agnipath scheme will weaken our defence system and the Josh, patriotism of the youth."

“A job in the army for 4 years will prove fatal for the country and the youth. There is no such thing as career stability,” another Twitter user said.

Another disappointed candidate said that the Phase 5 enrolment is pending and the government has announced to conduct the pending recruitment through Agnipath scheme.

"Central Association of Private Security Industry thanks PM Modi for #Agnipath scheme. They're eyeing those 75% of #Agniveers who will be laid off after 4 years of service. #AchheDin of private security agencies are about to begin as desperate unqualified youth scramble for jobs."

Meanwhile, the Union Home Ministry said today 'Agniveers', soldiers recruited in the Army, Navy and the Air Force on short-term contract under a special 'Agnipath' scheme, will get priority in recruitment to the central armed police forces (CAPFs) and Assam Rifles.

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