'Agniveers' Eligible for Gallantry Awards: Defence Officials on Agnipath Scheme
Lt Gen Anil Puri said that all applicants will have to give an undertaking that they were not part of any violence.
The Quint DAILY
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Amidst protests against the Union government's new Agnipath scheme, tri-service officials said in a statement on Tuesday, 21 June, that the recruitment process will remain unchanged and that Agniveers recruited under the scheme will be eligible for gallantry awards like other defence personnel.
The press conference on the controversial new scheme was held by Lt General Anil Puri, Additional Secretary, Department of Military Affairs, Ministry of Defence; Lt General Bansi Ponappa, Adjutant General, Indian Army; Vice Admiral Dinesh K Tripathi, Chief of Personnel, Indian Navy, and Air Marshal Suraj Kumar Jha, Air Officer-in-Charge Personnel, Indian Air Force.
Lt Gen Anil Puri asserted that the recruitment process will remain unchanged and the traditional regimentation system in the military will continue.
“We take 100 percent ownership of the scheme. This scheme is absolutely implementable. Lots of people have put their brains into it.”Lt Gen Anil Puri
"We want the best, because it is a question of the country's safety," he said.
Referring to the nation-wide protests, Puri said that all applicants for 'Agnipath' will have to give an undertaking that they were not part of any violence.
"There is no place for arson and violence in the armed forces," he said.
'Direct Recruitment into Merchant Navy': Defence Officials
The officials said that Agniveers from the Navy will also get direct entry into merchant navy after their four-year stint.
Vice Admiral Dinesh K Tripathi said, "We have been in talks with the Ministry of Shipping for months, it issued an order yesterday. The order is for Agniveers. After four years of training when these Agniveers come out, they can directly go into the merchant navy."
He said that the recruitment process for Agniveers for the navy will begin tomorrow, 22 June, as opposed to 25 June, as had been stipulated earlier.
Online registration will begin from 1 July, he said.
"We will compress training timeline without compromising on quality," the vice admiral said.
Recruitment for the Army
Speaking about the recruitment for Agniveers into the army, Lt General Bansi Ponappa, Adjutant General, Indian Army, said that there was no change in the usual process.
"We have compress the timeline as there was no recruitment in the past two years," he said.
"This scheme is beneficial for the nation and the army. It will be very successful in the long-term," the army official said.
Recruitment for the Air Force
Meanwhile, Air Marshal Suraj Kumar Jha, Air Officer-in-Charge Personnel, Indian Air Force presented the timeline for induction of Agniveers in the Air Force for 2022 at the press conference.
"There is absolutely no change in the intake process for Agniveers in the Air Force. All recruitment will be through the scheme," he said.
"Agniveers are being inducted gradually starting with 2 percent 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 enrollment in Indian Air Force will now take place through 'Agniveer Vayu' only."Air Marshal Jha.
"We will be fully prepared to welcome the first batch of Agniveers," he said.
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Topics: Navy Indian Army Indian Air Force
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