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Army’s Agnipath Recruitment Rally In Telangana From Oct 15

Indian Army is going to conduct a recruitment rally under Agnipath Scheme from October 15, 2022, to October 31, 2022, at Sri Venkateshwara Degree College Ground, Suryapet, Telangana to enroll candidates, “Agniveers” into the Army.

The candidates have been enrolled from all districts of Telangana under the Army Recruitment Office, Secunderabad, in Agniveer General Duty, Agniveer Technical, Agniveer Clerk / Store Keeper Technical, Agniveer Tradesman 10th pass and Agniveer Tradesman 8th pass categories, said the press release on Monday.

Candidates who have applied for Agniveer Recruitment Rally at Suryapet from October 15-31 need to bring all documents as per paragraph 23 of the rally notification uploaded on www.joinindianarmy.nic.in, as per the statement.

The formats of the documents are also given in the notification.

Any candidates reporting to the rally without complete documents and incorrect format (especially an affidavit) will not be allowed to participate in the rally. (ANI)

Read More:https://lokmarg.com/

Weekly Update: Why Agnipath is A Good Path; How Oppn is BJP’s Strongest Suit

In the first four days after registration opened for recruitment to the Indian armed services, the Indian Air Force (IAF) alone received 94,281 applications. That volume of applications will, in all probability, grow manifold as the days go by and as the other services, the Indian Army and the Indian Navy, tot up the applications they receive.

The announcement of the number of applications that the air force received has done two things. First, it has almost instantly silenced critics of the scheme who were calling it discriminatory and undemocratic. And second, more importantly, it has highlighted what is probably the Indian economy’s toughest challenge: frighteningly large levels of unemployment among the country’s youth.

The Indian government introduced the Agnipath Scheme as a new way of recruiting youth into the armed services at ranks lower than that of commissioned officers. Inducted cadets will get a four-year tenure with a stipend paid to them and at the end of the tenure, 25% of them will be inducted into the services while the rest will get a golden handshake–a sum of ₹12 lakh to start entrepreneurial ventures as well as preference if they want to join police or other state security services.

The background to the scheme is important. The armed services incur a huge outflow of money that goes to pay pensions, salaries and other personnel-related expenses. By some estimates they account for a quarter of India’s defence budget. The Agnipath scheme would alleviate some of those recurring expenses and allow the defence ministry to deploy more funds into critical areas like augmenting defence equipment and modernisation.

However, opposition parties, including the Congress and some other regional parties vehemently opposed the scheme, mainly on the grounds that they felt a more consensual approach ought to have been adopted but also that it discriminated and curbed the rights of new recruits, 75% of whom would leave service after the four-year tenure. But as initial data show, the scheme could turn out to be a hit.

The reason for its appeal is simple and stark. Youth unemployment in India has reached staggering proportions. According to the Times of India, “Youth unemployment in urban areas across India rose sharply to 25.5% in the April-June quarter of 2021 and remained in the double digits thereafter as the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic battered economic activities and dealt a severe impact on jobs.”

Do the maths. Nearly 40% of the Indian population is aged 13 to 35 years (defined as youth in the National Youth Policy). Forty per cent of the population is roughly 560 million people. If we look at the minimum employment age in India, which is 14, we are still talking about at least 500 million employable youth. If 25% of them are unemployed, how serious do you think the problem is?

It is small wonder that the Agnipath Scheme has found growing appeal among young Indians. Jobs in the public sector have not been growing; and in the private sector the emphasis is on automation and leaner workforce with lower wage costs. In scenario such as that if young people have an opportunity to earn and get training for four years and then have a shot at either becoming soldiers, airmen or sailors or, if they aren’t inducted, entrepreneurs, is that not an appealing alternative, say, to driving an auto rickshaw or delivering food from restaurants to people’s homes?

Some more numbers to mull. In the first year, an Agnipath recruit would earn (in-hand) ₹21,000 a month and by the fourth year that would go up to ₹28,000. Not really a bad deal, is it?

India’s Opposition Needs a Plan

Some years ago when the Congress party had started what has now become its free-fall journey into oblivion, one newspaper had written that Rahul Gandhi was the Bharatiya Janata Party’s strongest trump card. Gandhi was then messing up in all possible ways: losing election after election for his party; lacking coherent strategies about any issue that he addressed; and losing the support and respect of his party’s other leaders and functionaries.

Now, one could expand on that cheeky comment and probably say that the BJP’s strongest suit is the Opposition. Besides opposing anything that is proposed or done by the government–the misplaced opposition to Agnipath is a case in point–India’s Opposition parties have little else to get active about. The situation is the same in the states as it is in the Centre.

When was the last time we heard a constructive critique of the Union Budget from any Opposition party? When was the last time an Opposition party leader appraised India’s handling of the Covid pandemic (which, considering the number of people that live in India, has been quite commendable)? Have we ever seen a whitepaper from the Opposition on how India’s unemployment problem ought to be tackled? Or a strategy that addresses our government’s bewildering stance when it comes to international issues such as the Russian aggression in Ukraine? Sadly, India’s Opposition is bankrupt of ideas. And that is why it is the strongest suit in BJP’s hand.

‘Army Is A Family; We Can’t Abandon Our Boys After 4 Years’

Major (Retd) A Singh says he was appalled to see Services Chiefs acting as Govt spokesmen to defend the new recruitment scheme. His take on Agnipath

Although the Agnipath scheme seeks to cut costs for Indian defence establishment – which is a long pending reform – the manner in which the Government launched the scheme is shocking. Any decision or scheme that impacts the masses must pass through a public debate, open discussion and resultant feedback. But, as in the case of GST, demonetisation or 2000 lockdown, the Government has in one swift stroke ruined the ambition and aspiration of millions of youth.

I have served the Indian Army for several years – I voluntarily retired as a Major in 2004 – and I can vouch that such a scheme goes against the ethos of our defence services. Indian Armed Forces serve as a large family unit as per their tradition, culture and ethics. Armed forces are not a tourist venture that will abandon their boys after a four-year tour of duty.

Ideally, such a scheme needs a pilot project and phased implementation. This will entail a small unit of recruits, say 10%, to be hired as Agniveers while the rest follow standard permanent recruitment. On the basis of the pros and cons of the first experimental Agniveer unit, the Defence establishment may decide on its future.

Everyone remembers how many times the entire GST framework and its rulebook were changed to suit the new challenges emerging out of its implementation. Ditto with the decisions of demonetisation and lockdown. How the government seems so cocksure about Agnipath’s success beats me. They haven’t learnt anything from their past mistakes.

ALSO READ: ‘Agnipath Has Burnt Down My Dreams, Career’

I was also appalled at the way our Service chiefs appeared on camera to defend this scheme. Do you remember any such occasion in the 75 years of the glorious history of our defence forces when top commanders had to defend a government action? They were clearly forced to act as the spokesperson of the government.

There have been media reports about the plight of thousands of men who had cleared their physical tests for the Armed Forces and were waiting for their joining letters when suddenly this scheme was announced. There was no consideration about their future despite an assurance from the force.

Out of four years in service for Agniveers, the training period will be of six months and there is also a provision for a nine-month leave period. So practically, the Agniveers will have three years of active duty. Can such a brief training and service period produce a skilled and up-to-the-mark soldier? In addition they will not get the rank of an ex-Serviceman.

Various announcements are being made by private industrial houses to absorb Agniveers after returning from the forces, but it is easy to break a promise after four years. Can they be held accountable for these assurances? And God forbid, how will our police forces tackle a situation when these trained but jobless Agniveers, in desperation for work, join some unlawful venture!

As told to Rajat Rai

(The photo used is representational as the narrator requested anonymity for personal reasons)

‘Armed Forces in 21st Century Must Be Lean And Mean’

Abhimanyu Rai, a retired Subedar Major from Military Engineering Services, says it is too early to comment on Agnipath scheme as much will depend on its implementation. His views:

The Centre’s decision to shorten the service period of foot soldiers under Agnipath scheme has caused largescale protests in the country. However, as I see it this is a long-due reform to cut the flab in defence services, decrease recurring costs and build a lean and mean force. This is 21st century. Our Armed Forces need some course correction to meet the challenges of new-age warfare.

Right now, it is too early to comment on the scheme as its success will depend on how our top bureaucrats and political leaders bring it into force. They must look beyond short-term gains of this recruitment scheme. Being an ex-army man, allow me to examine the scheme dispassionately.

The primary motive of the scheme is to reduce the burgeoning pension bill of the Armed Forces. I recently read an article that stated that 58% of the military expenditure is towards pension and related costs.

Reducing the period of training (six months) and the entitled leaves (nine months, provided one is entitled to it), they will be an effective service period of about a three-year tour of duty, discharge employment needs to be effectively taken care of.

Singh (inset) feels Agnipath entails a far-reaching reform in Indian Armed Forces

The battle or ‘attributed to military service’ casualties will be treated on par with regular soldiers. This is appreciable and in addition, a fixed percentage from such intake will be absorbed as regular soldiers on merit is also welcomed.

ALSO READ: ‘There Will Be No Rollback Of Agnipath Scheme’

Additional advantages cited in the scheme are: reducing the age profile of the Armed Forces, strengthening the society with military connect, improving career prospects of regular soldiers, instilling military character qualities and nationalism among the youth.

The scheme is certainly a far-reaching reform and short-term engagement for officers/soldiers is a time-tested method of managing manpower and reducing the pension budget of the defence services and the Indian military is no stranger to it.

It will give strength to the armed forces by creating a strong pool of skilled youth, who can, in the future, easily work in private security forces and other allied professions. This will help our youth to become disciplined which will, in turn, also effectively benefit the country.

However, what I can make out from what is available in the public domain, it, no doubt, has a number of conceptual flaws — be it the motivation of the youth for enrolment, service tenure, training period, operational/organizational needs of the forces and post-discharge benefits — for it to be a viable option.

However, the strength of the armed forces will not be reduced because the recruitment of 50,000 soldiers is going to continue every year to replace 60,000 retiring soldiers. The scheme, thus, comes with the advantage that this will make the country’s army young and it is also being propagated that the Indian Armed Forces will become more `jawan’ on average.

As told to Rajat Rai