Explained: What is Indian Army’s Agnipath scheme?


Following the government’s announcement about the Agnipath scheme for recruiting soldiers across the three services, protests emerged in several states raising issues like job security and post-service benefits as their major concerns.

Protestors are claiming job security and pension as the major issues of their protests. As per the previous system, troops joined for a 17-year period, which was possible for an extension for some personnel. Besides, it resulted in a lifelong pension.

However, as per the new scheme, it includes just four-year tenure for most while Agniveers will not be eligible for pension benefits.

What is the Agnipath scheme?

This scheme entails a recruitment process for individuals below the rank of officer, with the goal of deploying fitter, younger troops on the front lines, many of whom will be on four-year contracts.

The Agnipath scheme is the government’s defence recruitment reform under which 45,000 to 50,000 soldiers will be recruited annually with most leaving the service after just four years.

Out of the total recruits, only 25% will be allowed to continue for another 15 years under permanent commission.

The new system applies only to personnel below officer ranks (those who do not join the forces as commissioned officers). This scheme is not optional as all personnel who are below officer rank will be hired only through this route from now on.

What is the salary package under this scheme?

The first year salary package of Rs 4.76 lakh with upgradation of up to Rs 6.92 lakh in fourth year While post release, Seva Nidhi package is of approx. Rs 11.71 lakh, including interest (tax free)There’s also a non-contributory insurance cover of Rs 48 lakh.

Provided the individuals receive a Agniveer skill certificate which will assist in post release job opportunities.

After four years of service, 25% of the Agniveers will be retained in the regular cadre based on merit, willingness and medical fitness. They will then serve for a full term of another 15 years.

While the other 75% Agniveers will be demobilised, with an exit or “Seva Nidhi” package of Rs 11-12 lakh, partly funded by their monthly contributions, as well as skill certificates and bank loans for help in their second careers.

The first Agnipath entry rally recruitment will start from September – Oct 2022.


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