New Delhi [India]: The three chiefs of Indian Defence services on Friday hailed the decision of the Central government to approve the Agnipath Scheme, a recruitment process for Indian youth to serve in the Armed Forces.
“The Government has announced Agnipath scheme under which youth will be able to join armed forces. The age criteria will be 17.5 to 21 years. Happy to announce that for the first recruitment, the upper age limit has been revised to 23 years. It will benefit the youth. Air Force recruitment will begin on June 24,” the Indian Air Force chief, Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari said in a virtual address on Friday.
The Indian Army chief General Manoj Pande, in an exclusive interaction with the media, informed that the training of the first batch of Agniveers will begin this December.
“As far as the question of Agniveers going to recruitment training centres is concerned, the training of first Agniveers will begin this December (in 2022) at the centres. The active service will commence in the middle of 2023,” said General Pande.
Agnipath Scheme, which was approved by the cabinet on June 14, was launched in an effort to bring a change in the recruitment process of the Armed Forces. With the new military recruitment scheme facing criticism, the Centre has decided to bring a change in the upper age limit for recruiting Agniveers.
Chief of Naval Staff Admiral R Hari Kumar termed the Agnipath scheme as “one of the most transformational schemes for the armed forces.”
“It gives an opportunity for the youth to participate and contribute toward Desh Seva,” India Today quoted Kumar as saying.
Granting a one-time waiver, the Centre on June 16, 2022, announced that the Agniveer upper age limit for recruitments via Agnipath Scheme has been extended to 23 years from 21 years.
Indian Air Force also appreciated the government for increasing the upper age limit to 23 from 21 for recruitment under the Agnipath scheme for the year 2022.
COVID-19 halted the Army’s recruitment for over two years. In 2019-2020, the Army recruited jawans and there has been no entry since then. On the other hand, the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force had both recruited in the last two years respectively.
The Ministry of Defence, in its statement on Tuesday, said that the Agnipath scheme has been designed to enable a youthful profile of the Armed Forces. It will provide an opportunity to the youth who may be keen to don the uniform by attracting young talent from the society who are more in tune with contemporary technological trends and plough back skilled, disciplined and motivated manpower into the society.
This is a major defence policy reform introduced by the Government to usher in a new era in the Human Resource policy of the three Services. The policy, which comes into immediate effect, will hereafter govern the enrolment for the three services. (ANI)