#NewsBytesExplainer: What salary package, benefits Agnipath scheme offers to Agniveers
The central government has launched the Agnipath military recruitment scheme, which would recruit personnel for the armed forces for a four-year term. The new scheme was reportedly established to reduce the forces' increasing pension expenditures and to keep the forces young and tech-savvy. Here are some of the pay and other benefits that these recruits will get during and upon completion of their service.
Why does this story matter?
Although the Agnipath scheme has not entered the implementation phase, officials claimed it will pave the way for massive recruitment in the defense forces. Recruitment in the Indian Army and other defense forces has been blocked for nearly two years, putting aspirants into a distressing situation. However, the new scheme is facing sharp criticism from certain quarters following apprehensions over job security.
Agniveers will be preferred in CAPFs, police recruitment
Officials said about 25% of soldiers recruited through Agnipath, who are among the best performers, will be inducted for full 15-year tenure. The remaining 75% will get support in starting new careers or higher education. The central and state governments also said the soldiers, to be called Agniveers, will be preferred during the recruitment of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) and state police departments.
Starting salary of soldiers under Agnipath scheme
For the first year, Agniveers would get Rs. 30,000 per month. However, they will only receive Rs 21,000, with the remaining Rs. 9,000 going to a corpus. The Centre will contribute an equivalent amount to the fund and give a lumpsum of Rs. 11.77 lakh to them after four years. The corpus will be called "Seva Nidhi" and no income tax will be levied.
Free insurance policy for each Agniveer
The total salary for the second year would be Rs. 33,000 including 30% for Seva Nidhi. The third year's salary will be Rs. 36,500. For the fourth year, the salary will be Rs. 40,000. However, Agniveers will not be eligible for a gratuity or a provident fund. Each soldier, however, would receive a free Rs. 48 lakh life insurance policy during their service period.
Scheme aimed at revamping old recruitment system
The Centre envisions the Agnipath scheme as a much-needed revamp of the decades-old recruiting procedure. The Army argues that the plan would also help lower soldiers' average age from 32 to 26. The scheme is said to have been launched after years of negotiations and agreement among three army chiefs. Implementing this program will assist the government in freeing up cash for military modernization.
'Short-term recruitment is tried-and-tested approach in many countries'
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Defence stressed such a short-term recruiting system exists in many countries and is a tried-and-tested method for a youthful, nimble force. Thinking that 21-year-olds are immature for serving in forces is incorrect, it said. "The present scheme will only bring about a right mix of 50%-50%, slowly in a very long run, of youngsters and experienced supervisory ranks," officials said.Share this timeline