Agnipath: Three service chiefs brief PM Modi

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It was the second media briefing of tri-services since the new recruitment scheme Agnipath sparked widespread protests and agitation in the country…reports Asian Lite News

The three defence service chiefs on Tuesday briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the Agnipath recruitment scheme.

Army chief, General Manoj Pande, IAF chief Air Chief Marshal V.R. Chaudhari, and Navy chief, Admiral R Hari Kumar met the PM at his residence separately. As per reports, all the three apprised him about the successful rollout of the recently-launched scheme and the induction process.

Earlier in the day, a tri-service press briefing was also held on the Agnipath recruitment scheme. This was the second press briefing after the announcement of the scheme last week by the three service chiefs in the presence of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. The new requirement scheme has sparked widespread protests and agitation in several parts of the country.

“Aginpath scheme balances three things, first youthful profile of the armed forces, technical savvy and adaptable people joining the Army, third makes the individual future-ready. We need the best for the country’s security”, said Lt Gen Anil Puri, Additional Secretary, Department of Military Affairs, in the briefing on Tuesday.

“The regimental process will be unchanged. We will take an undertaking and aspirants have to submit pledge that they were not involved in any arson or vandalism”, he said. Regarding police verification, he said it has always been a part of recruitment process.

‘Regimental system will continue’

 Additional Secretary, Department of Military Affairs Lt Gen Anil Puri on Tuesday said that there is no change in the recruitment process for Agniveers. He added that the the traditional regimentation system in the military will continue.

“Aginpath scheme balances three things — first, youthful profile of the armed forces; second, technical savvy and adaptable people joining the Army; third makes the individual future-ready. We need the best for the country’s security”, said Lt Gen Anil Puri while addressing the media here.

It was the second media briefing of tri-services since the new recruitment scheme Agnipath sparked widespread protests and agitation in the country.

“The regimental process will be unchanged. We will take an undertaking and aspirants have to submit pledge that they were not involved in any arson or vandalism.” Regarding police verification, he said it has always been a part of recruitment process.

Lt Gen Puri further said several committees on defence reforms recommend younger profile for armed forces and the Agnipath scheme helps bring about that change in the defence forces. “No other country in the world has the demographic dividend as that of India. Fifty per cent of our youth is under the age group of 25 years. The Army should make the most of it. We have to be reflective of this demographic dividend,” Lt Gen Anil Puri said.

Air Marshal S.K. Jha said, Agniveers are being inducted gradually starting with two per cent in the first year. “The numbers will go nearly 6,000 in the fifth year and will be around 9,000-10,000 in the 10th year… Every enrolment in the Indian Air Force will now take place through ‘Agniveer Vayu’ only”, Jha added.

“The combat capabilities and readiness of the Indian Air Force are non-negotiable. The Indian Air Force and the Government of India will do everything that is required to keep us combat-worthy and combat-ready,” Air Marshal Jha added.

Meanwhile, Vice Admiral Dinesh K. Tripathi said the Indian Navy’s recruitment calendar was decided for June 25, but it will start from June 22. Online registration to start from July 1 onwards. “As per DG shipping order for Agniveers, after 4 years of training, they can directly get into Merchant Navy”, Vice Admiral Tripathi said.

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