Amid the intensifying protests over the Agnipath scheme, National Security Advisor of India, Ajit Doval spoke to ANI on Tuesday, discussing the scores of advantages of the military recruitment scheme and the benefits that ‘Agniveers’ would avail of after passing out.
“We are talking about a young man, who is in the market after completing 4 years of service. Compare him with any other man. This person is disciplined, he can work in a team, he has learned skills and has developed confidence and his mind and vision have an all-India perspective. He has been given a qualification of +2 which makes him comparable with any other person in his age group. Compare a 21-year-old Agniveer to a non-Agniveer,” said NSA Doval.
“The Agniveer has many avenues. He will also have Rs 11 lakh, he can use that to study further, go to a University, get technical skills. Agniveer can opt for higher studies too,” said the NSA.
Ajit Doval further added that earlier, soldiers came from villages and went back there, living their lives on pensions. However, now, they would have an option of a second career. “Concession will be given to Agniveers as an added bonus. First, Agniveer will retire or come out 5 years later. India’s economy will have also grown by that time The future of Agniveers is safe,” he affirmed.
Moreover, NSA Doval assured that Agniveers would be mobile, and leaving service at an early age would give them more chances compared to leaving at the prescribed retirement age. “Agniveers will be respected everywhere. They will have the work culture that they imbibed in the army. I have been in forces for 55 years. Civilians have to become law-abiding. These civilians will be highly law-abiding. Agniveers will be good boys with fit bodies. They will be patriots. They will be an asset for internal security,” he stated.
All the selected candidates under the Agnipath scheme would be called “Agniveers”. Under this scheme, Agniveers would be recruited only for four-year tenures in all the cadres—Army, Air Force, and Navy. Under this scheme, almost 46,000 youth will be recruited in 2022, and the number of recruits will go up by 5,000 every year. Soldiers will be getting a monthly salary of around Rs 30,000-40,000. The recruitment is scheduled to begin in 90 days, and beneficiaries will also be entitled to awards, medals, and insurance.
Under the scheme, the first four years will not be taken into consideration for fixing the final pensionary benefits. After 4 years, 25% will be retained or re-enlisted in the regular cadre based on merit, willingness, and medical fitness. The remaining 75% will be eligible for ‘Seva Nidhi’ packages of Rs 11–12 lakhs and will be provided with skill certificates and bank loans for their second career.