Deliberations on the increasing rate of permanent intake through the Agnipath scheme

Deliberations on the increasing rate of permanent intake through the Agnipath scheme


There are discussions currently underway about expanding the intake size per batch from approximately 46,000 and the recruitment to permanent cadre from 25% to 50% once the first batch of Agniveers join the units and deploy on the ground.

What is Agniveer Scheme?

  • The Government of India authorised the Agnipath Scheme, also called the Agneepath Scheme, on June 14, 2022. It is a tour of duty-style programme.
  • The plan is to fill the three armed services—Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force—with non-commissioned officers.
  • Under this plan, recruits will be hired for a set tenure of four years and will be referred to as Agniveers. 
  • The plan is intended to get around elements of the conventional system that were previously available, including extended tenures, pensions, and other perks.
  • The Agnipath Scheme’s launch has drawn criticism for the lack of public discussion and engagement before it was put into place.

What are the features of this scheme?

  • It is an all-Indian recruitment process. That implies that anyone in India may apply for this position.
  • It has a four-year contract.
  • Opportunity to enlist as an agniveer in the military.
  • Substantial Seva Nidhi package and attractive monthly compensation.
  • 100% of applicants will be accepted for ongoing enrolment.
  • Enrollment strategy based on the Agneepath plan.
  • After four years, 25% of Agniveers were chosen based on central, rigorous, transparent criteria based on married organisational requirements.
  • The first year of this programme would include a package of 4.76 lacks for the youth. The annual salary would rise to 6.9 lakhs in the fourth year of service.
  • The youth would receive a service fund worth Rs. 11.7 lahks after completing their 4-year term of service. 

What are the Disadvantages of this scheme?

  • Employment Duration: The scheme provides employment opportunities for four years only.
  • Permanent Positions: Only 25% of the candidates will be offered permanent positions after the training period. The remaining 75% will not be retained and will have to leave their jobs.
  • No Pension: Candidates appointed under the Agneepath Scheme will not be eligible for a pension. This means that they will not receive a pension after retirement or upon leaving the job.
  • Lump Sum Amount: Selected candidates will receive a lump sum amount of 11 lakh rupees after four years from the government’s Seva Nidhi Scheme. However, it’s important to note that some portions of this amount will be deducted from the recruit’s salary every month during the four-year service period.
  • Non-Commissioned Ranks: The scheme is specifically for non-commissioned ranks such as Sepoy, Naik, and Lance Naik. Candidates will be recruited into these positions and will serve in these roles during the four years.
  • Age Requirement: The recruitment is limited to candidates between the ages of 17.5 and 23. Only individuals falling within this age range will be considered for employment under the Agneepath Scheme.
  • Job Security: There is no job security provided beyond the four-year service period. After completing the four years of employment, the candidates will once again become unemployed.
  • Lack of Additional Benefits: The scheme does not provide any extra or basic benefits typically associated with other government jobs. Candidates will not receive benefits such as healthcare, housing, or other perks that are usually provided in regular government employment.

Why is it recently in the news?

  • Discussions are currently being held about raising the intake size per batch from around 46,000 soldiers and the recruiting rate for the permanent cadre from 25% to 50%. But no choice has yet been made about these suggested improvements.
  • 1.75 lahks (175,000) recruits can be accepted altogether under the Agnipath scheme up till 2026. Agniveers will have the option to join the regular cadre after serving their four-year tenure. A different recruitment procedure will be used to choose up to 25% of the Agniveers.
  • The armed forces are expected to have a substantial number of openings in the upcoming years as a result of the restricted recruitment of 1.75 lahks and the two years without any new hires.
  • The question of whether to set standards for trainees who depart during their training is another matter up for discussion. There aren’t any current requirements or limitations for trainees who decide to leave in the middle, and many trainees have done so in search of better prospects.
  • The Agnipath plan seeks to bring the military’s average age down to 26 from 32. With this change, the age distribution of the Indian armed forces will be consistent with that of the world’s largest armies.

In conclusion, the lack of recruiting during the COVID-19 epidemic and the frequent retirement of soldiers have left the Indian armed services short on personnel. The government launched the Agnipath plan, which seeks to enlist soldiers for four years, in response to this shortage. 

It is projected that there will be a sizable number of openings in the armed services in the upcoming years due to the limited recruitment and personnel retirement. The Government hopes that  Agnipath will lower the average age of the armed forces so that it is equivalent to other major armies throughout the world.