Government unveils Agnipath scheme for recruiting soldiers
- Posted By
Polity & Governance
15th Jun, 2022
The government recently unveiled its new Agnipath scheme for recruiting soldiers across the three services.
What is the Agnipath scheme?
- Under the new scheme, around 45,000 to 50,000 soldiers will be recruited annually, and most will leave the service in just four years.
- Of the total annual recruits, only 25 per cent will be allowed to continue for another 15 years under permanent commission.
- The move will make the permanent force levels much leaner for the over 13-lakh strong armed forces in the country.
- This will, in turn, considerably reduce the defence pension bill, which has been a major concern for governments for many years.
What happens after selection?
- Once selected, the aspirants will go through training for six months and then will be deployed for three and a half years.
- During this period, they will get a starting salary of Rs 30,000, along with additional benefits which will go up to Rs 40,000 by the end of the four-year service.
- Importantly, during this period, 30 percent of their salary will be set aside under a Seva Nidhi programme, and the government will contribute an equal amount every month, and it will also accrue interest.
- At the end of the four-year period, each soldier will get Rs 11.71 lakh as a lump sum amount, which will be tax-free.
- In case of death, the payout will be over Rs 1 crore, including pay for the unserved tenure.
- However, after four years, only 25 per cent of the batch will be recruited back into their respective services, for a period of 15 years.
- For those who are re-selected, the initial four-year period will not be considered for retirement benefits.
Terms & Conditions
- Under the AGNIPATH scheme, the Agniveers will be enrolled in the Forces under respective Service Acts for a period of four years.
- They would form a distinct rank in the Armed Forces, different from any other existing ranks.
- During this period of service to the nation, the Agniveers will be imparted with various military skills and experience, discipline, physical fitness, leadership qualities, courage and patriotism.
- Post this stint of four years, the Agniveers will be infused into the civil society where they can contribute immensely towards the nation building process.
- Upon the completion of four years of service, Agniveers will be offered an opportunity to apply for permanent enrolment in the Armed Forces.
- Enrolment will be based on ‘All India All Class’ basis and the eligible age will be in range from 17.5 to 21 years.
Advantages to the Agniveers
- Agniveers will be given an attractive customised monthly package along with Risk and Hardship allowances as applicable in the three services.
- On completion of the engagement period of four years, Agniveers will be paid one time ‘Seva Nidhi’ package which shall comprise their contribution including accrued interest thereon and matching contribution from the Government.
- The ‘Seva Nidhi’ will be exempt from Income Tax.
- Agniveers will be provided non-contributory Life Insurance Cover of Rs 48 lakhs for the duration of their engagement period in the Indian Armed Forces.