Cabinet Committee on Security has approved the new scheme called “Agneepath” (Agnipath) for recruitment of soldiers in the Army, Navy and Air Force. This aims to reduce the increasing salary and pensions. This is a transformative initiative which will provide a youthful profile to the Indian Armed Forces.
- At present, the average age in the force is 32 years, this will be reduced to 26 in 6 to 7 years.
- The scheme was initially named as “Tour of Duty”, was launched in the presence of the chiefs of all the three services.
About Agneepath (Agnipath) scheme:
i.Under this new scheme, the soldiers will be initially inducted for a period of 4 years. On completion of the service period, the soldiers will receive a tax free service fund package of ~Rs. 11.71 lakh as Seva Nidhi Package.
ii.45,000 to 50,000 soldiers will be recruited annually and only 25% of them will be allowed to continue for another 15 years under permanent commission.
iii.For the selected soldiers, the initial 4 years will not be considered for retirement benefits.
iv.This will reduce the defence pension bill, one of the major concern for governments.
v.The Agneepath recruitment scheme will provide an opportunity for the Indian youngsters to serve in the Indian Armed forces as “Agniveer”. (The soldiers recruited under this scheme will be called Agniveer.)
vi.The selected soldiers will be given 6 months training and deployed for 3 and a half years.
vii.The allocation for revenue expenditure was ₹2,33,000 crore. The revenue expenditure includes the expenses on payment of salaries and maintenance of establishments.
viii.Women will also be inducted into armed forces under Agnipath scheme.
- Salary: the soldiers will get a salary of Rs.30000, along with additional benefits, this will go up to 40000 by the end of 4 years service.
- Eligibility: Youths of 17 and half years to 21 years.
- The Agniveer will be provided a non-contributory Life Insurance Cover of Rs 48 lakhs for the duration of their engagement period in the Indian Armed Forces.
Note- The defence budget of ₹5,25,166 crore for 2022-23 included ₹1,19,696 crore for defence pensions.
About Ministry of Defence (MoD):
Union Minister– Raj Nath Singh (Constituency- Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh)
Minister of State– Ajay Bhatt (Constituency- Nainital-Udhamsingh Nagar, Uttarakhand)