News Brief

'Agnipath' Tweaks On The Horizon? Key BJP Ally Seeks Review Of Scheme For Armed Forces Recruitment

Kuldeep Negi

Jun 06, 2024, 03:42 PM | Updated 03:42 PM IST

Indian Armed forces personnel (Representative image)
Indian Armed forces personnel (Representative image)

A top leader from Janata Dal United (JDU), a BJP ally and member of the NDA, has indicated that the Narendra Modi government's third term might see changes in policy, as the party plans to seek a review of the Centre's Agnipath scheme for armed forces recruitment

KC Tyagi, JDU's chief spokesperson and close aide to party chief Nitish Kumar, cited resentment against the scheme in various states.

"There is resentment, so we will seek a review of Agniveer. We are not opposing it," Tyagi stated.

"We will not be confrontational about this... When the Agnipath scheme was introduced, there was discontent among a large section of the armed forces. Their families also protested during the elections. So, there is a need to discuss it," the senior Bihar leader said.

The Agnipath scheme, introduced in 2022, allows for short-term induction of personnel into the armed forces, aiming to reduce the age profile of the three services.

Recruits under this scheme, known as Agniveers, are between 17.5 and 21 years old and serve for four years. The scheme includes a provision to retain 25 percent of these recruits for an additional 15 years, while the rest receive a financial package upon completing their service.

The announcement of the scheme led to violent protests in UP, Bihar and some other parts of the country, as many aspiring to join the armed forces opposed the short-term service plan.

The Centre has defended the Agnipath scheme, asserting that it enhances battle preparedness and balances youth and experience within the ranks.

Additionally, the Centre argues that the financial package provided to Agniveers after their service and the experience gained will benefit their future career prospects.

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Kuldeep is Senior Editor (Newsroom) at Swarajya. He tweets at @kaydnegi.

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