Why Emerging Agitation Against Agnipath?


On June  14, the Center announced, A new scheme of recruitment of jawans, personnel below officers ranks (PBORs)to the three wings had led the vigorous violence by distressed youth broke out in India, notably in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, and Telangana.

What does this scheme offer?

Tour of Duty or Agnipath will be vowed as the only recruitment mode of soldiers, sailors and airmen in India from now on as stated. It envisages youths aged between 17.5- 21 years (upper limit 23)- for 4 years as their training time. Only 25% of these soldiers, after completion of training, will be known as Agniveers.

The salary package of Agniveers in the first year is rupees 4.76 lakhs and will go up to 6.92 lakh in the fourth year, they will also be offered contributory severance packages besides non-contributory death and disability compensation. They will not be eligible for pension or gratuity. As protest rock the country, on Saturday, the Ministry of Home Affairs announced its decision to reserve 10% of vacancies in the Central Arm Police Forces (CAPFs) and Assam Rifles to Agniveers. The Defence Minister also approved a proposal to introduce 10% vacancies in coast guards, defence civilian jobs and the defence PSUs for Agniveers.

Benefits of Scheme:

Military training at a young age will make men more disciplined and employable. It will ensure the availability of a large-scale budget outlay for capital expenditure for the acquisition of hi-tech equipment and platforms because the outlay of pension payout will drop considerably over time.

Why protests are going around?

Veterans have flayed the scheme as an effort to scrimp and save on revenues expenditures at expenses of forces, operational efficiency or fighting capabilities. To acquire skills in the field of technology-intensive Navy and Air Force four years is not sufficient year. For the army, soldiers on a short-term contract are seen as risk-averse. Employment is unguaranteed after a certain age of years. Scheme detractors argued that Agnipath cuts at the root of social security and dignity that have lured rural Indian youth to military fatigue.