scorecardAgnipath Scheme: the good and bad sides of the same coin
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Agnipath Scheme: the good and bad sides of the same coin

Agnipath Scheme: the good and bad sides of the same coin
DefenseDefense3 min read
  • People in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan have been protesting against the radical scheme of the central government to recruit soldiers in the military.
  • The main agenda behind the ongoing protest and agitation is the uncertainty of the future of the Agniveers.
  • Armed forces jobs, especially for the non-commissioned ranks, provides a good paying job to the youth, whose choices otherwise are limited.
The Agnipath Scheme, which was announced by Defense Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday, has drawn wide criticism and protests across states in India. People in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan have been protesting against the radical scheme of the central government to recruit soldiers in the military.

Several military aspitants, defense veterans and oppositions have raised concerns about the scheme stating unknown future and various other factors.
Why are army aspirants opposing it?
The main agenda behind the ongoing protest and agitation is the uncertainty of the future of the Agniveers. It doesn’t provide job security for the Agniveers who wish to be part of the army and could play a pivotal role in affecting the mental health of youths.

Also, a possible large scale army recruitment has been delayed for around two years and has dampened the spirits of those who were looking forward to it.

“We have been practicing for years to get selected into the Army. Now we have come to know that it will be on contractual terms only for four years which is not fair for students like us,” an agitating student told IANS.

The scheme will recruit around 46,000 youth aged between 17.5 to 23 years. However, as per the conditions it will make 34,500 youths unemployed every year. On an average, army jawans serve anywhere between 15-17 years.

Another factor which has been concerning army officials is that this scheme can put thousands of lives of Agniveers at risk as it takes 7-8 years for an individual to become a fully-trained combatant. This scheme will post the retained Agniveers to difficult locations for which they might not be ready for.

Armed forces jobs, especially for the non-commissioned ranks, provides a good paying job to the youth, whose choices otherwise are limited. Their biggest draw is the excellent pension and gratuity provisions that secures the future of the jawans who serve in the army.
What are the pros?
However, a few people and the government believe that this scheme can help the youth in the country who are not able to afford an education. The scheme pays a handsome amount of ₹11-12 lakh as a Seva Nidhi package to those who are demobilized after completing their service. Furthermore, it will also help the Agniveers to kickstart their second career with necessary bank loans - which will be given on a priority basis.

The central government, in a tweet, rolled out a list of career choices for the 75% of Agniveers who will be demobilized after four years of service. “Those who wish to work will be given priority in CAPFs, police, Assam rifles and police and allied forces in several states. Tangible skills and work experience in different facets including engineering, mechanics, law and order etc,” the government said.

Those who wish to study further can opt for bridging courses of their own choice, which is covered under the scheme, the government says, insisting that it can be a good career choice for those who want to serve the country.

SEE ALSO:
Agnipath protests: One killed and three injured in police firing at Secunderabad
State police jobs, bridge crash courses and skills certificates – to aid careers of Agniveers

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