The central government, on Tuesday, unveiled its new Agnipath scheme for recruiting about 45,000 soldiers into the army, navy and air force largely on a short-term contract, reportedly to enable a youthful profile of the armed forces and cut ballooning salary and pension bills. The new defence recruitment reform, which has been cleared by the Cabinet Committee on Security, will come into effect immediately, and the soldiers recruited under the scheme will be called Agniveers.
In this context, MP Raju Bista, in his press release, stated that the scheme will provide the youths an opportunity to serve the motherland. He congratulated and thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defense Minister Rajnath Singh for initiating the Agnipath Scheme.
While the engagement of youths committed in service of the nation indirectly through the National Cadets Corps (NCC) and the National Social Service (NSS) would end as soon as the school and college life ended, the Agnipath Scheme will allow those interested and qualified to serve the nation directly on the front-lines for four years. Bista asserted that by providing such an opportunity, the youths will not only get trained to defend the nation in times of crisis, but they will also emerge as disciplined, hardworking, and productive citizens.
The Agnipath Scheme will open up meaningful employment opportunities for the youths and those selected will be trained for a period of six months and deployed for three and a half years. The government will provide those selected with a starting salary package of Rs 4.76 lakhs (approx) with up-gradation of up to Rs 6.92 lakhs (approx) in the 4th year. They will also receive a post-release Seva Nidhi Package of approx Rs 11.71 lakhs. They will have a non-contributory Insurance Cover of Rs 48 lakhs, and they will also be provided skill development training, bridge courses, and assistance with entrepreneurial opportunities after their release.
"I am most hopeful that the youths from our Darjeeling-Terai-Dooars region and rest of North East India too will make the most of this unique opportunity provided our government and bring glory to our region and nation," Bista added.