Currently, India is proclaiming “Kar Shapath- Agnipath, Agnipath, Agnipath”. It’s not a Bollywood dialogue but a move towards modernizing India’s Armed Forces developed future. But few elements are not able to grasp how India could transform so fast. The ongoing protests in various Indian states against the Agnipath scheme are actually a demand to push back India in its existing comfort zone. But we need to understand that comfort is alien to development.
Recently, the Indian government has announced a military recruitment reform called as “Agnipath Scheme”. It’s a scheme for the recruitment of army personnel in three branches of the Armed Forces. This scheme is an idea to shape India into a nation with a strong military base. It’s an overwhelming opportunity for Indians to commemorate their contribution to the army.
What is the Agnipath scheme?
The scheme includes a recruitment process for individuals who are aspiring to join Defence Forces. The scheme aims at deploying fitter and younger troops at our borders. It includes the selection of 25 percent of Agniveers in the permanent cadre of the Armed Forces. While the other 75 percent will have a chance to plan their varied career paths. With this lifetime opportunity, the Agniveers will also get a benefit of Rs. 12 lakh as a financial package.
On the other hand, the scheme is now revolving under controversies about affecting the professionalism of the Armed Forces. The critics also believe that it will lack cohesion and regimentation.
The origin of the idea of the Agnipath
The launching of the Agnipath scheme is not an avant-garde idea. In reality, it started to traverse in the year 2020. It was originally the brainchild of former CDS General Bipin Rawat who was concerned with the rapidly increasing pension bills and revenue expenditure on salaries and other costs.
Dating back to the 2020s, “Tour of Duty” was formulated to recruit jawans for a term of three years. The introduction of the Agnipath scheme was pitched by General Bipin Rawat as he cited the need for our military force to build a much younger and fitter cadre for the Short Service tenure.
Emphasizing the need for the idea of the “Tour of Duty”, former CDS General Bipin Rawat had earlier said, “We are working on ideas to make Short Service Commission more attractive. The SSC might have added financial benefits along with avenues to make the officers leaving the forces professionally armed for civil jobs.”
Read more: All you need to know about “Agnipath Scheme”
Tour of Duty was aimed to attract the fit youngsters as volunteers of the country with an opportunity to serve the Indian army. The scheme was originally intended to recruit young Indians to serve as both Jawan and Officer. Initially, it was planned that recruits could be trained for one year before inducting them into three-year Army service.
Earlier, former CDS General Bipin Rawat said, “We do not accept change. You will not even know that war has started.” These were the words that he used for the dream that culminated in strengthening the Indian military. By opining on the recruitment and shortage of officers, CDS Bipin Rawat had said that the army is trying to make the SSC more “lucrative” for officers who eventually get edged for permanent service.
Stating the need for Army to make alternate arrangements for post-retirement jobs, CDS Rawat had said, “For an officer who will just serve for 14 years, you don’t want to give him a pension, what then can you do for them? Can you give him training that will make him stand on his feet? We were looking at one stage, can we make him do a one-year MBA? Or if someone has joined the service with a BTech degree, can we make him do a two-year MTech? Or can we offer him ECHS (ex-servicemen contributory health scheme) so that his medicals (expenses) are taken care of? The military will have to look at some incentive to attract him (applicants) and get him to the service”.
The aforementioned statements clearly indicate how passionate former CDS Bipin Rawat was towards transforming the Indian military into a boon for the entire nation and lead India towards the title of being a superpower.
Amidst all the backlash and protests in almost every state of India, it is alarming the dominance of some sections of our society. They are deliberately fuelling the fire to create distress against the government. The people are consistently protesting against Agnipath. The country needs to decide whether it will be standing with one of the most coveted Army officers or an unruly mob masquerading as nationalists.
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