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Controversy Surrounds Agniveer Scheme as Government Formation Talks Continue

As BJP and National Democratic Alliance (NDA) allies deliberate on government formation ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s swearing-in, a segment of the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) leadership is expressing concerns over the Agniveer scheme. What is the Agniveer Scheme? Introduced by the Central government in June 2022, the Agniveer scheme recruits youth aged 17-and-a-half […]

As BJP and National Democratic Alliance (NDA) allies deliberate on government formation ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s swearing-in, a segment of the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) leadership is expressing concerns over the Agniveer scheme.

What is the Agniveer Scheme?

Introduced by the Central government in June 2022, the Agniveer scheme recruits youth aged 17-and-a-half to 21 years into the Indian Army on a contractual basis for four years. Post their tenure, 25 percent of these “Agniveers” have the opportunity to be inducted into the Indian Armed Forces, while the remaining 75 percent are expected to reintegrate into civil society and contribute to nation-building. Additionally, each Agniveer is awarded a ‘Seva Nidhi’ of Rs. 11.71 lakh at the end of their service.

Why Has the Scheme Become Controversial?

The Agniveer scheme has faced significant criticism since its launch. Critics, including many youths, argue that it leaves 75 percent of recruits without adequate support or clear career prospects after their four-year service period ends. According to News18, opponents highlight several key issues:

  1. Lack of Long-term Benefits: The scheme does not offer gratuity or retirement benefits, raising concerns about the long-term financial security of the Agniveers.
  2. Uncertainty Post-Service: Critics question the fate of the 75 percent who are not inducted into the Armed Forces after their service term. There is a lack of clarity on how these individuals will be supported as they transition back into civilian life.
  3. Short Service Period: The four-year service duration is viewed as insufficient for meaningful career development and integration into the military.

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