Srinagar, June 15: Army today said that under the ‘Agnipath’ scheme it is aimed to enhance the youthful profile for organizational needs by reducing the average age profile of soldiers from 32 years to 26 years over a period of time.

Addressing a press conference here, Northern Army Commander Lt Gen Upendra Dwivedi said that ‘Agnipath’ is a transformational reform for the Armed Forces and the Nation while it aims to bring paradigm changes in the HR management of the Indian Army.

“The scheme offers the opportunity for youth from across the country, driven by the patriotic spirit and desirous of serving the country to serve in the Indian Armed Forces as Agniveers for a short duration of four years,” he said.

The Indian Army said that the biggest takeaway is to enhance the youthful profile for organizational needs by reducing the average age profile of soldiers from 32 years to 26 years over a period of time, increasing the technological threshold, and optimizing the duration of recruit training to ensure better availability of soldiers in the field Army for deployment on active duties.

“We are banking on a youthful and fitter group of soldiers being led by the specially selected, best among the best leaders, who are motivated, well trained, and technically adept, to deliver the results in a future conflict scenario.”

It was informed that on the completion of the four-year period, Agniveers will go to the society as a disciplined, dynamic, motivated and skilled workforce for employment in other sectors including corporate and industry, CAPFs, and DPSUs to pursue their career in jobs of their choice.

The Armed Forces will continue to draw strength from the bonds of esprit-de-corps and team spirit generated through living, training and fighting together, irrespective of class or caste of the comrades in arms.

The Indian Army said that the scheme also aims to harness the “Skill India” initiative by enrolling candidates qualified in ITI / Diploma holders with the necessary skills for certain technical trades.

“Agniveers will carry a unique Resume which will be an asset to the Society in general and the organization and will include the issue of Agniveer Skill Certificates, award of Credits for facilitating higher education, financial package to start a new enterprise, adequately skilled to be absorbed in industry and other organizations,” Lt Gen Upendra Dwivedi said.

He said that Army’s organizational ethos and culture will motivate the Agniveers to imbibe the military values and regimental spirit.

“This will only strengthen the “Naam, Namak, Nishan” ethos of the Army along with “Desh Seva”. The Armed Forces would enhance diversity and the Agniveers will be fully assimilated and integrated into the organization, ready for deployment in our units, HQ, and other establishments, in operational as well as non-operational areas, in various Arms & Services of the Indian Army,” he said.

Lt Gen Dwivedi said that while 100% of candidates will exit from service after four years, however, based on organizational requirements and policies promulgated by the Armed Forces, 25% of Agniveers will be offered an opportunity to apply for enrolment in the permanent cadre of Armed Forces and thereafter be governed by prevailing terms and conditions while noting that all future recruitment in Armed Forces would be through the Agnipath scheme.

Giving further details, the Army said that only technical manpower of Med Services would be enrolled on a permanent basis while the notification for recruitment for the Army will be issued by mid-July, 2022 and the rallies will commence within two months thereafter.

“It is envisaged that recruits will start reporting for training at earmarked Centres by end of the year. The training duration is being optimized without compromising on the quality and quantum of training to be imparted.”

The commander said that the salary package and monetary benefits for Agniveers have been designed to keep it comparable to the existing salary of a Sepoy with a similar service.

“An existing Agniveer would also be financially sound with the Seva Nidhi Package of approximately Rs 10 lakhs which can be gainfully utilized for starting an enterprise or in any other manner,” he said.

Further, the Agniveer will also be entitled to a Non-contributory insurance scheme of Rs 48 lakhs, and in case of death or disability, an additional one-time ex gratia of Rs 44 lakhs will also be paid.

It was also said that during the implementation and stabilization of the Agnipath Scheme, Army’s combat effectiveness, operational readiness and defense preparedness along the borders will be fully maintained.

The Northern Army Commander said that the scheme is a win-win situation for all. “In fact, we want the Agniveers to act as a bridge between the Armed Forces and the society and we will ensure that the impact of introducing the Scheme is smooth and seamless without causing any turbulence or voids along the borders.”

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