How ex-servicemen reacted to the Agnipath scheme of the Modi Govt

New Delhi: Several armymen have voiced serious reservations against the Agnipath Scheme launched by the Central Government yesterday . The Scheme is about training young Indian citizens of the age group of 17 to 21 years for four years as ‘Agniveer’. After completion of training, they will get a certificate but no job guarantee. Only 25% of the selected youth will be absorbed as the regular cadre of the armed forces while 75% will be left for other options.

Vocal among army veterans, former Major of Indian army General G.D. Bakshi has questioned the need of the scheme. He asked has urged the Government to take it back and said, “All militaries have their organizational culture and Ethos. India has had a tradition of all-volunteer full-color service armies. Switching to a 4-year virtual tour of duty model overnight would be a highly disruptive change.”

He listed the risks of the scheme in a series of tweets listed below:

Veteran army officer Lieutenant Colonel Anil Duhoon tweeted, “No other country in the world has experimented with #DefenceForces the way BJPis doing eg #Sparsh #Agniveer, etc.
Why Pilot Project can’t be done on #PMF or #StatePolice?
This move must be stopped to allow Defense remains apolitical.”

While BJP general secretary B L Santosh in response to the objections listed the benefits of the scheme, He tweeted “Many are raising questions about the future of #Agniveers. Let’s look at the possibilities:

  1. One in every Four will get a permanent commission.
  2. Agniveers will have ₹11L+ for future activities
  3. Most of the job opportunities have 28 years as the cutoff date.
  4. Already Home Ministry & UP Govt have announced preference in appointment in police services.
  5. Agniveer will get the 12th certificate in hand.

& above all every year nation will have 40K trained, disciplined talents at disposal adding quality to society.”

Major General Yash Mor (Retd) told Asianet, “This is a non-implementable scheme. It will take at least 6 months to recruit the first cadet. There are a lot of issues with human resources, and training and just calling them Agniveer and Agnipath will not do. It is a disaster the day nation starts looking at military recruitment from the point of view of economic savings. How would you judge which 25 percent to be absorbed and which 75 percent to be sent back? There is no parameter and four years is too short. We cannot provide them with specialization or training. So we will have thousands of young people out in the streets, totally disgruntled. After four years, they cannot go back to college and study. They cannot upskill themselves and no one would skill them up in the forces. It is only for say.”

While several BJP-ruled state governments have announced that they will recruit the Agniveers after 4 years including Assam, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh. Amid opposition by the army veterans, some army aspirants took to the streets against the Agnipath scheme in several parts of the U.P and Bihar. The army aspirants are enraged and told the media that they have been waiting for regular recruitments for the armed forces to resume but the Central government has introduced the Agnipath scheme instead.

—INDIA NEWS STREAM

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