No rollback of 'Agnipath' scheme, says Centre
Additional Secretary of Department of Military Lt. General Anil Puri has said that the 'Agnipath' scheme will not be withdrawn.
HYDERABAD: Additional Secretary of Department of Military Lt. General Anil Puri has said that the 'Agnipath' scheme will not be withdrawn.
At a press conference, on Sunday, he asserted that the reform was long overdue and that this would bring youthfulness and experience to the armed forces.
Lt. Gen Anil Puri, on the intake criteria of 'Agniveers', said that there was no place for indiscipline in the army and that the entrants would have to submit a written pledge that they were not part of the arsons perpetrated against the scheme. A police inquiry would be done and candidates who are found to have been booked in any FIRs on their names would not be considered.
He informed the media that the intake of 'Agniveers' would increase to over one lakh soldiers in future. "In next 4-5 years, our intake (of soldiers) will be 50,000-60,000 and will increase to 90,000 - 1 lakh subsequently. We've started small at 46,000 to analyse the scheme...and to build up infra capacity."
The timeline of 'Agniveer' intake was also given during the conference.
Air Marshal SK Jha, speaking about the timeline, said: "Agniveer batch number 1 registration process will start from June 24 and from July 24, phase 1 online examination process would start. The first batch would be enrolled by December and training would commence by December 30."
Lt. Gen Anil Puri said: "The announcements regarding the reservations for 'Agniveers' announced by the different ministries and departments was pre-planned and not in reaction to the arson that happened after Agnipath scheme announcement."
Lt. General Puri said that the 'Agniveers' would have adequate benefits. He said that they would get the same allowance in areas like Siachen and other areas which are applicable to the regular soldiers serving at present. He added that they would get a compensation for Rs 1 crore if he/she sacrificed their life in service of the nation.