From distinct rank to customised pay, check Army’s full plan for ‘Agniveers’ | Latest News India

The Indian Army on Monday issued a notification stating registration for the four-year Agnipath recruitment scheme will begin from July onwards. In the notification, the Army said that online registration is mandatory for aspirants to get inducted into the ‘Agnipath’ scheme.

The latest development comes amid continued protests over the short-term recruitment model and the day-long Bharat Bandh called over to the same. Opposition leaders have also strongly criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Central government over the short-term recruitment scheme.

Catch live updates of Agnipath protest here

The government along with the three chiefs of the Army, Navy and Air Force have repeatedly backed the recruitment scheme saying it will give India’s youth a chance to serve the nation as well as open several options before them in later part of their career.

Many state governments, including Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, have already announced recruiting ‘Agniveers’ (those getting inducted into the ‘Agnipath’ scheme) into state police forces and other departments following the completion of their four-year tenure in the armed forces.

Last week defence minister Rajnath Singh announced 10 per cent reservation for ‘Agniveers’ in the ministry. Union home ministry has also announced 10 per cent vacancies in the recruitment for the Central Armed Police Forces and Assam Rifles for ‘Agniveers’.

In Monday’s notification, the Army said that ‘Agniveers’ will be posted to any regiment and assigned any duty in organisational interest, as decided from time to time. They can also be transferred to other places depending on the need.

Here are some of the important points from the Indian Army’s notification:

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1. Service of ‘Agniveers’ will start from the day of their enrolment, and they will form a distinct rank in the army, different from any of the existing ones.

2. Those enrolled under the ‘Agnipath’ scheme will need to undergo periodical medical checkups and physical/written/field tests. The performance in these tests would be considered for subsequent offer for enrolment in the regular cadre of the Army after the four-year tenure of ‘Agniveers’.

3. Agniveers will be prohibited from disclosing any classified information gained during the service to any “unauthorised person or source under [the] Official Secrets Act, 1923”, the notification said.

4. Upon completion of four years when Agniveers will be discharged, they will be provided with a ‘Seva Nidhi’ package aimed at helping them return to society for further employment in other sectors. They will also be given an ‘Agniveer’ skill certificate as well as class 12th certificate (for personnel who were enroled after qualifying Class 10).

5. The pay package of Agniveers will be customised for each of their four-year tenure. In the first year, they will be given 30,000 per month, while the second year package will be 33,000 per month. In the third and fourth year, the customised packages will be 36,500 and 40,000 per month, respectively. All these packages will include “applicable allowances”, the notification stated. “From the above package, 30 per cent will be compulsorily deposited every month in a corpus which will be matched by the GoI (Government of India). Balance amount less the corpus contribution will be the in-hand component,” it added.

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6. The pay package of Agniveers will be a composite one, which will not be eligible for any Dearness Allowance and Military Service Pay. They will get applicable “Risk & Hardship, Ration, Dress and Travel allowances as decided by the GoI from time to time”.

7. During their service period, Agniveers will get 30 annual leaves and sick leaves will be given as per medical advice. Grant of leave will be subject to exigencies of services.

8. As part of the ‘Agnipath’ enrolment process, all personnel will need to “formally accept all terms and conditions” of the scheme. In case an inductee is aged below 18, the enrolment form will require the signature of the parent(s) or legal guardian(s).

9. Agniveers will be exempted from making any contribution in the Armed Forces Personnel Provident Fund or any other Provident Fund. Furthermore, they will not receive any gratuity or pension. They will also not be eligible for Army Group Insurance Fund (AGIF) schemes/ benefits. These personnel will, however, be provided with a non-contributory life insurance cover of 48 lakh for the duration of four years.

10. Agniveers can be terminated at any time in accordance with the Army Act 1950. They will not be allowed to be released from service prior to the completion of the four-year term unless in most expectational cases in which the move is “sanctioned by competent authority”, the Army notification said.

11. In cases of deaths, Agniveers will not be “governed by provisions contained in the Pension Regulations for Army (as amended from time to time)”. However, they would be suitably compensated for the demise. Financial benefits will depend on the kind of demise that are split into three categories – X, Y and Z. The X category is death due to natural causes neither attributable to nor aggravated by military service. The Y category is death due to causes accepted as attributable to or aggravated by military service of even accidents/mishaps during duty, and the Z category is death due to acts of violence, attacks by terrorists, anti-social elements, enemy, war, and peacekeeping operations, among others.

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