Agneepath plan: NSA Ajit Doval assures to keep regimental system intact

New Delhi: Dismissing speculations of possible composition changes in several regiments, National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval on Tuesday said the regimental system would remain intact even after the implementation of the new military recruitment policy.

“The concept of regiment, no one is tinkering with it. If there are regiments, there will be regiments of artillery, electrical or mechanical engineers or mechanical engineers. They (regiments) will continue… the regiment system is not finished,” Doval said.

Going back to the history of the regimental system in the country, Doval said, “There is confusion among certain sections of the people regarding certain units of infantry. Only a few caste-based regiments are left, only two or three and this is a colonial legacy. The British wanted nothing to be pan-India. They wanted to divide the people into classes so that they would represent particular regions or sects so that there would be no national outlook among the soldiers, otherwise, their colonial empire would be in danger.”

The Union Cabinet on June 14 approved ‘Agneepath’, a short-term recruitment scheme for Indian youth who will serve for four years in three services and those selected under the scheme will be known as ‘Agneepath’.

Protests broke out in states including Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Telangana, Odisha, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Jharkhand and Assam.

Amid protests, the Army, Navy and Air Force on Sunday introduced a comprehensive program to recruit soldiers under the Agneepath scheme, saying it was being implemented to reduce the age profile of the armed forces.

Addressing the tri-services press conference on Sunday, Lt Gen Anil Puri pointed out that ‘Agneepath’ is a long pending reform which was also recommended by the Kargil Review Committee.

He further mentioned that the recruitment of soldiers under the scheme will increase to more than 1.25 lakh in the next 4-5 years.

The three previous chiefs of defense forces along with the former Chief of Defense Staff (CDS) worked on the plan for two years. The top military official said he analyzed the details of the plan.

Allaying aspirants’ apprehensions about the Agneepath scheme, Doval said there is a fear of the unknown among the youth, adding that “misunderstandings are created – may be intentional or lack of understanding.”

“A better future requires reforms. We are a young nation with the oldest army.

When PM Modi came to power in 2014, one of his major priorities was to make India safe and strong. Ajit Doval said, it requires many paths, many steps – many of them.

Lt Gen Bansi Ponnappa while addressing a tri-service presser said that by the first week of December, the Indian Army is going to get the first batch of 25,000 ‘Agnivars’ and the second batch will be inducted around February next year, making it 40,000 Will be done.

Refusing to withdraw the Agneepath scheme for recruitment into the armed forces, India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval said the government’s move was “not an overnight reaction” but has been debated and discussed for decades.

He said, “There is no question of any rollback (of the Agneepath scheme). Let me tell you one thing. This is not a knee-jerk reaction that has come overnight. It has been debated and discussed for decades. ”

(with inputs from ANI)

First published:June 21st, 2022 at 4:03 pm

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