New Delhi [India]: The Indian Air Force (IAF) on Sunday released details on the recruitment plan under the Centre’s new Agnipath Scheme including eligibility criteria, age limit, educational qualifications, period of service, career options for Agniveers after completion of service, training, and more.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on June 14 unveiled a recruitment scheme for Indian youth to serve in the Army, the Navy and the Air Force called Agnipath and the youth selected under this scheme will be known as Agniveers.
Agniveers once enrolled into the Indian Air Force, will be governed under the Air Force Act 1950, for a period of four years. Endeavour will be made to enrol candidates as Agniveers from all parts of the nation, utilising contemporary technology, specialized rallies and campus interviews at recognized technical institutes such as Industrial Training Institutes, NSQF etc, said the statement issued by the IAF.
It further stated that Agniveers would form a distinct rank in the IAF, different from any other existing rank. For personnel below the age of 18 years, the enrolment form will need to be signed by the parents or guardians, in accordance with extant provisions.
As per the statement, “After four years, all Agniveers will go back to the society. However, based on organizational requirements and policies promulgated by the IAF, Agniveers who have exited will be offered an opportunity to apply for enrolment in the IAF in the regular cadre, according to Air Force.”
It further informed that these applications will be considered by a centralized board in a transparent manner and not more than 25 per cent of the strength of the specific batch of original Agniveers will be enrolled in the IAF based on performance during their four-year engagement period as Agniveers.
What is the eligibility criteria for this scheme?
Under this scheme, the eligible age will be in a range from 17.5 years to 21 years. Other educational qualifications and physical standards would be issued by the Indian Air Force.
Agniveers will have to meet the medical eligibility conditions laid down for enrolment in the IAF as applicable to respective categories or trades. No permanent low medical category Agniveer will be eligible for continuation of his engagement after being placed on medical category.
On being enrolled, individuals will be imparted military training based on organizational requirements. IAF will endeavour to maintain a centralized high-quality online database of ‘Agniveers’ and will follow a transparent common assessment methodology.
An objective assessment system to ensure fair and impartial assessment will be introduced. Skills attained by Agniveers will be systematically recorded.
Broad guidelines will be framed before the appointment of the first batch of Agniveers and the same along with any subsequent changes would be circulated.
What are the financial benefits of this scheme?
The candidates enrolled under this scheme will be paid an Agniveer package of Rs 30,000 per month with a fixed yearly increment. In addition, risk and hardship, dress and travel allowances will be paid.
A non-lapsable dedicated ‘Agniveer Corpus Fund’ will be created in the interest-bearing section of the Public Account head. The fund will be administered and maintained under the aegis of the Ministry of Defence. Each Agniveer is to contribute 30 per cent of his monthly income to the ‘Agniveer Corpus Fund’. The Government will provide an interest rate equivalent to the Public Provident Fund on the amount accumulated in the fund.
In case of death, insurance cover and compensation will be admissible to Next of Kin (NOK) from the Agniveer Corpus Fund.
On completion of the engagement period of four years, Agniveers will be eligible to receive the ‘Seva Nidhi’ package, which shall comprise their contribution (into the Agniveer Corpus Fund) and a matching contribution from the Government and interest on the accumulated amount.
In the case of individuals who are subsequently selected for enrolment into the IAF as regular cadre, the ‘Seva Nidhi’ package to be paid to them will comprise only of their contribution including accrued interest thereon. The ‘Seva Nidhi’ will be exempt from income tax.
In case of Agniveers exiting before the end of their engagement period at their own request, the ‘Seva Nidhi’ package to be paid to them will comprise only their contribution including accrued interest thereon.
The first-year salary package of Rs 4.76 lakh with upgradation of up to Rs 6.92 lakh in the fourth year. There’s also a non-contributory insurance cover of Rs 48 lakh. Provided the individuals receive an Agniveer skill certificate which will assist in post-release job opportunities.
The ‘Agniveers’, as the recruits are named, will be eligible for 30 days of annual leave per year and sick leave as per medical advice. They may be absorbed into the formal service at the end of the four-year period at the discretion of the government, as per the statement.
However, release at own request prior to completion of the engagement period will not be permissible for Agniveers except in exceptional cases, with approval of the Competent Authority.
Agniveers will not be required to contribute to any Provident Fund of the Government. There shall be no entitlement to gratuity and any kind of pensionary benefits in the case of Agniveers.
At the end of the engagement period, a detailed Skill-set certificate will be provided to the Agniveers, highlighting the skills and level of competency acquired by them during their engagement period.
The scheme allows patriotic and motivated youth to serve in the Armed Forces for a period of four years. (ANI)