Agniveers are recruits for the armed forces under the short-term induction programme. Read on to find out more about them.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently interacted with Agniveers through a video conference. But do you know who Agniveers are and why they are recruited? Come, let’s find out.

Agniveers and Agnipath

“Agniveer” is a new military rank. Agniveers are recruits for the armed forces under the short-term induction programme called the Agnipath scheme. The scheme was unveiled by the Government on June 14, 2022, to recruit Indian youths for the three services – the Indian Army, Navy, or Air Force.

Under the scheme, those in the age group 17-and-a-half years to 21 years are recruited below the rank of commissioned officers for a period of four years with a provision to retain 25% of them for 15 more years. However, the upper age limit was extended to 23 years as a one-time measure for 2022-23. The scheme was earlier called “Tour of Duty”.

Purpose of the scheme

The main purpose of the Agnipath scheme is to strengthen the country’s security forces, with a youthful, high-tech, and combat-ready military. Those recruited under the scheme are provided training and a pay package, and on completion of the term, will be given a one-time retirement package called ‘Seva Nidhi, which will be exempted from income tax. However, the scheme does not include a pension or other benefits.

How do they train?

The training period, which lasts 31 weeks, is divided into two phases. The first 10 weeks are devoted to basic military training and the next 21 weeks to advanced military training. The training will focus on physical fitness, firing and handling various weapons, information technology, and the English language. Nearly 60 lakh applications were received of which 40,000 were selected. The target for this financial year is to recruit 46,000 candidates.

PM’s address to Agniveers

Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently interacted with the first batch of Agniveers through video conferencing. He asserted that Agnipath was a transformative policy and a game changer in strengthening the armed forces and making them future-ready.

Hailing the potential of Agniveers, he said the experience they would acquire through this opportunity, would be a source of pride for life. He said the scheme would further empower women.

The introduction of the short-term military employment scheme has faced criticism from some sections for lack of consultation and public debate.

Picture Credit : Google 

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