Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held a key meeting with the defence service chiefs on Saturday as the protests against the Centre’s new Agnipath recruitment scheme for Indian Armed Forces continue to rage across the country.
The meeting – which was attended by Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari, Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar and Vice Chief of Army Staff General BS Raju – was held at the Defence Minister’s residence in New Delhi. Army Chief General Manoj Pande could not attend the meeting as he is in Hyderabad on an official tour.
Rajnath and the three service chiefs have constantly appealed to the youths to end their agitation against the Agnipath scheme and asked them to take “full advantage” of the new model. On Satuday, Rajnath said that the new scheme was rolled out after wide-ranging consultations including with the ex-servicemen and suggested that a “misunderstanding” is being spread for political reasons.
“It is bringing revolutionary changes in the recruitment process in the armed forces. Some people are spreading misunderstanding about it. Maybe, there could be some confusion among the people as it is a new scheme,” Singh said speaking at a conclave organised by the TV9 media group.
“We wanted that there is a sense of discipline and pride for the country among the people.”
The Union Cabinet on June 14 approved a recruitment scheme for Indian youth to serve in the three services of the Armed Forces called Agnipath and the youth selected under this scheme will be known as Agniveers.
Agnipath allows patriotic and motivated youth to serve in the Armed Forces for a period of four years. The Agnipath Scheme has been designed to enable a youthful profile of the Armed Forces.