Agnipath means the Fire-path and Agniveer means Fire Warriors. While these two terms are related to each other descriptively, the government of India, meanwhile, has launched a new scheme named “Agnipath” that aims to enroll military recruits for a four-year term. The recruits are given a special name just like the scheme (Agnipath) i.e., Agniveers. Therefore these Agniveers can be described as the fire warriors that tread the path of fire to provide service to their nation. In other words, it can be defined as tough military personnel who cross all hurdles to reach the summit of bravery and determination to provide Indians with a peaceful world to live in.
What is Agnipath and what is Agniveer?
- Agnipath is a scheme launched by the government of India on 14 June 2022. As per the scheme, interested youths or Agniveers will be enrolled into the Indian Armed Forces for a period of four years. So, Agnipath and Agniveer refer to the scheme and the military rank respectively.
- Within the allotted four-year term these Agniveers will be transformed into a disciplined and skilled working force. After the mentioned period, they are free to join any other sector based on their choice. Once the tenure ends, 25% of the interested Agniveers will be selected as permanent cadres of the Indian Armed Forces.
- The recruitment will take place only for hiring below the posts of officer cadres.
- Male candidates will be enrolled in the Indian Army while female aspirants will be part of the Indian Navy or Indian Air Force.
Background of the Agnipath Scheme
- Before the Agnipath came into existence, army personnel retired from service after 15 years and was given a pension. Due to the pandemic situation in the country, no recruitment took place for three years.
- Moreover, a massive number of soldiers were quitting service every year which was leading to shortages in defence system that was affecting their operational capabilities.
- As a result, a “Tour of duty” scheme was proposed under which candidates will be able to enroll for a three-year term. This scheme was under development which finally led to the formation of the Agnipath scheme.
What are the objectives of the Agnipath scheme?
- The Agnipath scheme aims to increase the youthful profile so that more capable youths of the country can come forward and join the Indian Armed Forces. As youths are naturally risk-taking individuals and physically more active, their participation will benefit the country in a major way.
- The Agnipath scheme intends to attract the youthful section of society so that they can make the best use of the emerging technologies that are available in the modern-day world. They will be able to do this with increased technical thresholds of intake while utilizing the technical institutions of India in the most efficient way.
- Individuals who are keenly interested in serving in the Indian Armed Forces albeit for a short duration are welcome through this Agnipath scheme. Agniveers who are enthused to serve in the army as well as try other sectors can easily exploit this opportunity that is granted by the Agnipath Scheme.
- The youths of India will imbibe essential qualities while serving in the Indian Armed Forces. These qualities mainly include ethos, courage, camaraderie, commitment, and teamwork.
- They will even develop other strong skills like discipline, dynamism, motivation, and work skills. These qualities and abilities have the capacity to turn the youths into an asset. Thus, the youths will be skilled not only to serve in the Armed Forces but also fare well in other sectors and in general, life as well.
What are the terms and conditions of Agnipath scheme?
- As stated earlier, the Agniveers will be enrolled in the Indian Armed Forces in their respective Service Acts for a four-year term.
- The Agniveers would have distinct ranks in the Armed Forces.
- Once the four-year tenure ends, depending on organisational necessity and time-to-time policy formation by the Armed Forces, Agniveers will be able to enroll for a position in the permanent cadre.
- Also, depending on their performance during this four-year engagement period, the Agniveers will be enrolled accordingly.
- 25% of the Agniveers will be taken into the regular cadre of the Indian Armed Forces.
- The enrollment for all the three services will take place through an online centralized system where specialized rallies will be organized to carry forward the recruitment process. Also, campus interviews will be conducted from reputed technical institutes like Industrial Training Institutes and National Skills Qualifications Framework etc.
- The enrollment will take place through an “All India All Class” approach that doesn’t discriminate the soldiers on the basis of caste, religion, sex etc. As a result, minorities like women will also be able to apply.
- The eligibility age criteria for enrollment under the Agnipath Scheme is from 17.5 to 21 years. However, the age bar has been increased to 23 years only for the year 2022. After clearing all the tests, the candidates will be referred as the Agniveers.
- For the enrollment procedure, Agniveers must fulfill all the medical conditions that is unique for their respective categories.
- Different enrollment categories has specific pre-set educational qualifications which the individual must satisfy. One example is: for the enrollment as a General Duty (GS) soldier, the individual must be a student of 10th grade.
What are the benefits of the Agnipath scheme?
The Agnipath Scheme will aid in the development of youths that comprise the Indian Armed Forces which in turn will contribute to the nation and society at large.
Benefits of Agnipath scheme for nation
- As youths from all walks of life, including women will be a part of the Indian Armed Forces, the ideals of “unity in diversity” will manifest. Thus, in this way national integration can become a reality.
- The Agnipath scheme will prepare youths to be empowered, disciplined, skilled and possess military ethos that will contribute in national development or nation building.
Benefits of Agnipath scheme for the armed forces
- The beneficiaries of this scheme i.e., the youths will gradually evolve to be more energetic, fitter, diverse, trainable, resilient that will help them in remaining battle ready.
- The best of the candidates will be sieved out through a transparent and rigorous selection process in place. Having excellent youths in the team will benefit the Indian Armed Forces immensely.
- By having a youthful profile, there will be optimal balance between youths and more experiences ones. While youths have more stamina or endurance, experienced ones have more expertise or skills.
- SKILL INDIA is an initiative by the government of India to help one acquire skills in a particular field as well as gain employment opportunities. Through the Agnipath scheme, endeavours will be carried out to make the best use of the benefits of SKILL INDIA through induction from tech institutes.
Benefits of Agnipath scheme for individuals
- Youths who have been expectant of joining the Indian Armed Forces can serve the nation through the Agnipath scheme.
- There will be overall development of the youth in terms of skills, military discipline, motivation and physical well-being.
- An individual that will attain merits in the form of certifications, diplomas, higher education or credits will be smoothly integrated into the society and enjoy a settled life.
- Under the Agnipath scheme, beneficiaries will have a good financial package that will improve the quality of their lives. The stable income so attained will prove tough competition for his civilian counterparts.
- By attaining the qualities of team building, ethos, camaraderie, and military training, individuals will be empowered to be more confident and better citizens of the nation.
- By acquiring the necessary skills, qualifications, and merits, individuals will have the best resume in hand that will enable them to prove themselves unique and well-suited for different job roles.
Agnipath vs Agniveer
While Agnipath is the recruitment scheme launched by the Government of India, Agniveer is a new military rank of a recruit who will be enrolled into the Indian Armed Forces under the scheme. That’s why it can be referred to as “Agnipath ke Agniveer” meaning “The Agniveers of the Agnipath” or “The Fire-warriors of the Fire-Path”.
The Agnipath scheme has received backlash from opposition parties, army aspirants, and many other critics. The one main reason for the criticism is its lack of pension facility for the retiring candidates after four years. Violent protests were witnessed in the country where many trains have been set on fire, canceled, diverted, or terminated. The Agnipath scheme will take off its flight from September 2022 where 46,000 candidates will be enrolled to become the Agniveers or the Fire warriors.
Do you think Agnipath and Agniveer is a great initiative by the Indian government to recruit armies in India? Are you in favour of withdrawing the scheme or having it modified? Let us know in the comments section.