Kerala Kaumudi Online
Saturday, 20 July 2024 6.54 PM IST

BJP succumbs to JD(U) pressure? Major changes in Agnipath; Recommendations put forward by army


NEW DELHI: Compared to the 2019 general elections, BJP faced a heavy setback this time. BJP lost many seats it expected to get in North Indian states. The party lost even Faizabad, which includes Ayodhya. It is said that the Agnipath scheme recently launched by the central government for army recruitment has dealt a heavy blow to the BJP in North India. A few days ago, NDA ally JD(U) also demanded a review of the Agnipath project.

Now reports are coming out that the Indian Army has reviewed the Agnipath project and made several recommendations for improvement. Agniveers who have completed four years are being appointed to regular service. 25 per cent of people are now transferred to regular service in this way. Financial Express reports that the army has also recommended increasing this to 60 to 70 per cent.

Suggestions for improvement

Defence and security sources indicate that the Armed Forces and the Ministry of Defense are evaluating the use of the Agnipath project. There is also a recommendation to increase the tenure of Agniveer from four years to 7-8 years. There may also be a move to raise the age of becoming Agniveer to 23 years. It was suggested that ex gratia should be provided for disability occurring during training and exit management should be handled by a professional agency. It has also been recommended that the families of those who die during the war should be given a suitable allowance.

The Agnipath scheme was launched to reduce pensions and recruit more youth into the army. However, there was concern that those joining the army would lack training and skills. Meanwhile, sources suggest that if recruitment from the Agnipath scheme is stopped, the Indian Army will face a significant shortage of men below the officer rank. It will take more than a decade to make up this shortfall. Therefore, there is a need to improve the Agnipath scheme to recruit soldiers and provide comprehensive training rapidly.

A few changes would be needed to solve the problem with experience for soldiers. Officers recruited under the old recruitment scheme usually retire at the age of 35 years. Those promoted to Subedar Major will retire at the age of 52. They will have vast experience in all military-related activities. The Army is focusing on providing Agniveers with better training to maintain operational efficiency and address the lack of experience and skills among recruits.

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