• PTI

'Agnipath' scheme will boost youthfulness of army, says top commander

Jaipur, Jun 15 (PTI) The 'Agnipath' scheme for recruitment of youths in the armed forces for four years will boost youthfulness of the army, South Western Army Commander Lt General Amardeep Singh Bhinder said on Wednesday.


He also said that the defence establishment is not looking at a system of compulsory military duty.



Agnipath scheme of the Ministry of Defence is a revolutionary reform. The army is looking at the youthfulness profile and this (scheme) will give a boost to youthfulness of the army, he said at a press conference here.


When asked whether the armed forces are looking for compulsory military training and duty, the commander ruled out the possibility, saying, We are not looking at a system of compulsory military duty. We are looking at more youthfulness.


Under the Agnipath scheme announced on Tuesday, the youth selected for the scheme will be called Agniveers' who will serve for four years on a monthly package with allowances.


The army commander said that these Agniveers will get no status of ex-servicemen after completion of four years.



After completion of the four-year tenure of the recruits, the scheme provides for retaining 25 per cent of each specific batch for regular service, based on organisational requirements and policies promulgated by the armed forces from time to time..


Lt General Bhinder said that those (25 per cent) who will be enrolled in regular cadre after completion of four-year period will get the ex-servicemen status.


When asked about the apprehension over some of Agniveers, who have undergone soldier training, joining anti-national outfits or getting involved in anti-national acts after release from the service, he said that there could be a fear of this but frustration caused by lack of job remains the prime reason for one to join such organisations.



Whereas in this case (scheme), he said, youths are made skilled and employable and therefore there are little chances that anyone would get involved in such acts.


We hope that if there is any susceptible, he will also remain in the mainstream, he said, adding that the recruitment will start in 90 days.