‘Agnipath’ scheme: Indian Air Force releases details of recruitment plan

The Indian Air Force Sunday released details of the Central government’s ‘Agnipath’ plan, detailing various aspects like eligibility criteria, age limit, educational qualifications, and more.

The IAF document said that all Indians are eligible for the “new HR management scheme for Armed Forces” as long as they are between 17.5 years and 21 years of age. They will have to meet specific medical eligibility conditions and will have a distinctive insignia that should be worn on their uniforms for the duration of the training The ‘Agniveers’, as the recruits are named, will be eligible for 30 days of annual leave per year and sick leave as per medical advice. They may be absorbed into the formal service at the end of the four-year period at the discretion of the government.

However, the recruits will not have an option to be released from service at their own request, except in exceptional cases, said the IAF. It added that the individuals will be eligible for a monthly salary of Rs. 30,000 with fixed yearly increments, risk and hardship, dress and travel allowances and access to the military’s health services.

The Agnipath scheme, announced by the Central government on Tuesday, is intended to streamline the 13-lakh strong armed forces in India and reduce the defence pension bill which has been a source of major headache for years.

Announcing the scheme, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that “efforts are being made that the profile of the Armed Forces should be as youthful as the wider Indian population.”

“This will also lead to availability of a higher-skilled workforce to the economy which will be helpful in productivity gain and overall GDP growth,” Singh said.