Amid protests against the Centre’s Agnipath scheme, Union Minister of State Rajeev Chandrasekhar on Friday hailed the Centre’s decision to approve the scheme and called it a “much-required” reform in the defence sector.
“Agnipath is much-required reform. It will reduce the average age of the Armed forces. It will transform (the Army) to even a more deadly and potent Combat force. Those continuing the path, or for those who wish to pursue a career in this service… will get opportunities to serve a short soldiering stint. #Agniveer,” tweeted the minister.
Agnipath is much reqd reform to reduce avg age of Armed forces n for transformtn to even more deadly n potent Combat force
— Rajeev Chandrasekhar 🇮🇳 (@Rajeev_GoI) June 17, 2022
Agnipath Scheme was recently launched by the government in an effort to bring a change in the recruitment process of the Armed Forces. With the new military recruitment scheme facing a backlash by Opposition, the Centre has decided to bring a change in the upper age limit for recruiting Agniveers. Granting a one-time waiver, the Centre on June 16, 2022, announced that the Agniveer upper age limit for recruitments via Agnipath Scheme has been extended to 23 years from 21 years. Violent protest over the Central government’s ‘Agnipath’ scheme for recruitment in armed forces continued across Bihar on Thursday with hundreds of aspirants disrupting rail and road traffic while police fired tear gas shells to disperse them.
On Wednesday also, aspirants staged protests at Muzaffarpur, Begusarai and Buxar districts over the scheme, disrupting road and rail traffic movement. The Ministry of Defence, in its statement on Tuesday, said that the Agnipath scheme has been designed to enable a youthful profile of the Armed Forces. It will provide an opportunity to the youth who may be keen to don the uniform by attracting young talent from the society who are more in tune with contemporary technological trends and plough back skilled, disciplined and motivated manpower into the society.
As for the Armed Forces, it will enhance the youthful profile of the Armed Forces and provide a fresh lease of ‘Josh’ and ‘Jazba’ whilst at the same time bringing about a transformational shift towards a more tech-savvy Armed Forces – which is indeed the need of the hour. It is envisaged that the average age profile of the Indian Armed forces would come down by about 4-5 years by the implementation of this scheme. The nation stands to immensely benefit from the infusion of highly inspired youth with a deeper understanding of self-discipline, diligence and focus who would be adequately skilled and will be able to contribute in other sectors.
The dividends of short military service to the nation, society and the youth of the nation are immense. This includes the inculcation of patriotism, teamwork, enhancement of physical fitness, ingrained loyalty for the country and availability of trained personnel to boost national security in times of external threats, internal threats and natural disasters. This is a major defence policy reform introduced by the Government to usher in a new era in the Human Resource policy of the three Services. The policy, which comes into immediate effect, will hereafter govern the enrolment for the three services.