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Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Army kickstarts Agnipath hiring process with recruitment rally notification

The Army has taken the lead among the three forces and said the mandatory online registration will begin in July.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: June 21, 2022 1:09:15 am
The Army said the new recruits will be subjected to the provisions of the Army Act, 1950, and will be liable to go wherever ordered by land, sea or air. (File)

Even as protests against the government’s Agnipath military recruitment policy are yet to be quelled, the Army has taken the lead among the three armed forces and issued a recruitment notification on Monday.

The online registration, which is mandatory, will begin in July, the notification said.

It said that the service of the soldiers, named Agniveers, “commence from the date of enrolment” and they will “form a distinct rank in the IA, different from any other existing ranks”.

“With introduction of this scheme, the enrolment of soldiers in the regular cadre of [the Indian Army], except technical cadres of the medical branch, will be available only to those personnel who have completed their engagement period as Agniveer,” the notification said.

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The basic eligibility criteria include Class 10 with minimum 45 per cent aggregate marks for general duty; Class 12 with physics, chemistry, maths and English with 50 per cent marks in aggregate for technical units; and Class 8 with 33 per cent aggregate for Agniveer tradesmen.

While the age limit will be 17.5 years to 21 years, as the government had announced last week, there will be a two-year relaxation in the upper age limit for this year, raising it to 23 years.

“Leave, uniform, pay and allowances during the service period of four years will be governed by orders and instructions in respect of such individuals issued” by the government. The Agniveers will be “liable to be assigned any duty in organisational interest, as decided from time to time”. They can be “posted to any regiment/unit and can be further transferred in organisational interest”.

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Going full steam ahead

The Army’s move to issue the notification for induction of soldiers under Agnipath signals that the government has no plans to roll back the short-service recruitment scheme and is keen to see that the first batch of Agniveers will be in training by the end of this year.

After their four-year tenure a “detailed skill set certificate will be provided to the Agniveers, highlighting the skills and level of competency acquired by the personnel during their engagement period” and Class 12 certificates or equivalent certificates will be given to those Agniveers who had joined the Army after qualifying Class 10, “based on skills attained. “Detailed instructions shall be issued separately,” the notification said.

They will be discharged after four years, but based on the organisational requirements, “Agniveers who are completing their engagement period in each batch will be offered an opportunity to apply for enrolment in the regular cadre” of the Army, which will be “considered in a centralised manner by the Army based on an objective criteria including performance during their engagement period and not more than 25% of each specific batch of Agniveers will be enrolled in regular cadre of the IA, post completion of their four years engagement period,” the notification said.

Those enrolled as regular cadres will serve for 15 more years. “Agniveers will not have any right to be selected. Selection will be under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Indian Army,” the notification said.

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The Agniveers “will be barred from disclosing classified information gained during service to any unauthorised person or source under the Official Secrets Act, 1923”.

They will be paid between Rs 30,000-40,000, 30 per cent of which will be deposited under the Seva Nidhi package, and the government will contribute the same amount each month. The Agniveers will get this money, income tax-free, after their tenures get over.

The notification stated that there would be two options to receive the Seva Nidhi package, “with an aim to provide financial loans for self employment/ entrepreneurship through a bank guarantee as also to meet immediate/ incidental expenses, on exit. Firm details will be promulgated separately.”

Each Agniveer will also have a Rs 48 lakh insurance cover.

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First published on: 20-06-2022 at 02:41:05 pm
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