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Agneepath effective in military reform?

There are two overlapping views on the Agneepath plan for the reinstatement of soldiers in the army. As is the case with every scheme of this government – one side is openly supporting it and the other side is completely rejecting it. There is no middle ground visible. But before supporting or rejecting it, it should be waited how this scheme is implemented, how the youth of the country react to it, what is the atmosphere after the resumption of the first batch in the army, How does this affect the strategic situation of the country and above all how it affects the budget of the army.

However, in response to a question while announcing the scheme, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said that his government does not take care of money in the matter of the army. He meant to say that the purpose of this scheme is not to reduce the expenditure on salaries, allowances and pensions of soldiers. However, this scheme will have a major impact on the salary, allowances and pension of the soldiers. The government will have huge savings in this item, which can be used for modernization of the army. Keep in mind that more than half of the total budget allocated for the army is spent on the salaries, allowances and pensions of the soldiers. In the defense budget of Rs 4 lakh 78 thousand crore of the last financial year, Rs 2.55 lakh crore was spent on salary, allowances and pension, while Rs 2.38 lakh crore was left for military preparedness and modernization.

According to an estimate, if the Agneepath scheme is implemented properly and becomes a permanent method of recruitment in the army, then there will be a saving of Rs 11 and a half crore in the government expenditure on the entire life and life of a soldier. This assessment has been done on the basis of the existing arrangement of service for 17 years versus the Agneepath plan of four years. Obviously the savings of Rs 11.50 crore on a soldier is huge. Keep in mind that there are 13 lakh soldiers in all the three armies of India. So, whatever the government and the Defense Minister may say, but the biggest advantage of the implementation of Agneepath scheme will be that there will be a big reduction in the amount spent on the establishment. It will be used to buy modern technology, weapons, warships, fighter aircraft etc. for the army.

The minimum age limit for reinstatement under Agneepath scheme has been fixed at 17 and a half years. Thereafter, the soldier’s tenure will be of four years, which includes a training period of six months. During this four-year period, the soldiers will get a salary of about Rs 12 lakh. Out of this, 30 percent will be deposited in the service fund and the government will also put the same amount in that fund. Due to this, every jawan will get about 12 lakh rupees after retiring after four years. Think, at the age at which young people complete their studies and go out in search of jobs, at that age, if they are retiring after four years of training and military duty in the army and have a good amount of money in their hands, then How useful she can be to them! They will have a whole life in front of them, which they can direct according to their choice. The government will also provide life insurance of Rs 48 lakh to him during his four years of service and an ex-gratia of Rs 44 lakh will be given separately in case of martyrdom in service. An ex-gratia amount of Rs 44 lakh has also been fixed for 100% disability.

On the other hand, with this scheme, the average age of soldiers in the army will come down from the present 32 years to 26 years in the next six-seven years. That is, the nature of the Indian Army will change completely. It will be an army of youth, who will have got modern training. They will be equipped with modern technology and weapons. Keep in mind that military reforms are going on in countries around the world these days. The main emphasis in military reform is to reduce the number of soldiers and equip them with modern technology and weapons. Everyone knows that the battle of the future will be fought with artificial intelligence, fought in cyberspace, robotic soldiers and automatic weapons. Surveillance and patrolling will be done through Space Based Intelligence Surveillance System. Realizing this reality, the People’s Liberation Army of China has reduced the number of soldiers from 45 lakhs to 20 lakhs and on the other hand has increased the expenditure on modern equipment. Major military powers around the world are making such changes in their own right.

Under this scheme, 25 percent of the soldiers of each batch will get a permanent place in the army. This means that the best in four years of training and military service will be retained in the army. This will eventually increase the strength of the army. Therefore, the criticism that reinstatement for four years’ service would weaken the army. Now, if we talk about the questions being raised on this scheme, then two-three questions are important. Like the first question is, what will the youth of 22-23 years who are unemployed after four years of service? They can do anything. They will have four years of experience, military training and a certain amount on hand before becoming unemployed. They can be self-employed or pursue further studies or apply for another job. Keep in mind that these days the work of security is slowly going into private hands. There will be better opportunities for them. It is being criticized without hesitation as to whether retired youth after military training will join private militias. This is a pointless thing. The training and discipline of the army can make them better citizens.

In this scheme, a provision has been made for the appointment of ‘All India All Class’. This has been criticized by some military officials. But even that is not a very strong criticism. In India, regiments etc. were formed by the British for their convenience, which was continued. This does not mean that any new system will not work. Keep in mind that the rule of ‘All India All Class’ is already in force in Rashtriya Rifles and there this system is working very well. Some people opposing this scheme are telling the need to increase the service period from four to seven years. That means they don’t have a problem with the basic principle, only with the service life. A decision can be taken on this later. If the government feels that the period of four years is short, it can extend it. It won’t be much problem. Keep in mind that such a scheme is applicable in countries around the world including America. Soldiers join the army after a short period of training and retire and take up other jobs.

Shubham Bangwal

Shubham Bangwal is a Senior Journalist at You can follow him on Twitter @sb_0fficial
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