Army survey results may prompt major changes to Agnipath Scheme

A feedback survey conducted among a pool of the first batch of Agniveers and their commanders revealed a glaring need to rehash and update their scheme to be able to extract actual performance from it.

Feedback Sparks Reevaluation of the Agnipath Scheme

While the Agnipath Scheme was initially launched with the intent to rejuvenate the Indian Armed Forces by recruiting young individuals with a proposed four-year tenure for soldiers called ‘Agniveers,’ feedback and proposed changes suggested a reevaluation of it’s tenets.

This short-term service was designed keeping in mind the financial burdens associated with pensions and to create a younger profile of soldiers within the military.

The feedback that has prompted this reevaluation was taken from the first batch of Agniveers and their commanders. The feedback included:

Agnipath Scheme
Image Source:

Extending Service Tenure

The four year service period has been suggested to be increased to eight years, so as to focus on the on-the-job training and experience.  One of the primary concerns with the initial scene was the perceived lack of expertise and cohesion among recruits due to the short service duration. By extending the tenure and increasing retention rate, the Army aims to cultivate a more skilled and cohesive force.

Increasing Retention Rate

Only 25% of Agniveers are retained after their term. The new proposal wants to change this statistic, 60-70% for regular troops and up to 75% for technical and specialist soldiers.  

Raising Induction age for Technical Services

To be able to attract experienced and technically proficient candidates, the induction age for technical services might be raised to 23 years. The technical sophistication of modern warfare necessitates experienced personnel. Sending inexperienced personnel into warfare may be equivalent to shooting yourself in the foot for the force, who require people who can handle a gun and the intellect it requires to be handed one in the first place. Raising the induction age aligns with this requirement, ensuring that recruits have adequate technical knowledge and maturity.

The survey that influenced this decision had a total of 10 questions and addressed multiple important demographic establishing topics, like reasons for signing up and general awareness levels and the physical and educational standards of the recruits. It also put importance on the impact of the scheme on recruitment and what future Agniveers held as ambitions, after their four-year term. 

The feedback revealed a lack of on-the-job training, which was established as the reason for the inexperience and inadequacy of the candidates— according to a source for New Indian Express. 

There were also political reasons prompting this reevaluation. The scheme had faced criticism from many factions, including BJP’S National Democratic Alliance (NDA), Janata Dal (United) (JDU) and Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas). 

“A section of voters has been upset over the Agniveer scheme. Our party wants those shortcomings which have been questioned by the public to be discussed in detail and removed,” JD(U) spokesperson KC Tyagi told News18.

You might also be interested in – Nari Shakti: Modi govt’s push for gender inclusivity in the armed forces

Related Articles

Back to top button