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Agneepath scheme will make the army second class, if it had to be brought, it would have been implemented in the central forces first: Defense expert PK Sehgal

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New Delhi: Defense expert and Major General (Retd) PK Sehgal termed the new Agneepath scheme of recruitment in the army as harmful for the army and said that if the government had to bring this scheme, it should have been implemented in the central forces first. He also said that this scheme is not getting acceptance in the country, so the government should withdraw it for three-four months and then implement it on a small scale after consulting all the stakeholders. Only after seeing its results, the government should take any further decision in this regard.

Indian army will become second class: former army officer

Major General (Retd) PK Sehgal claimed in an interview on Sunday that the plan is a disaster from the security point of view and will make the world’s most professional and best army second class. He said, ‘If a new scheme had to be brought, it should have been implemented in the central forces first. After this there should have been an idea for the army. There was no recruitment in the army for the last two-and-a-half-three years. Now the government is saying that it will give employment to 10 lakh people in the next one and a half years. After one and a half years there are elections too. This has been done keeping in mind the politics of vote bank.

General Sehgal, who had served in various positions in the army for nearly 40 years and participated in the war from 1962 to 1971, told the leaders who praised the Agneepath plan that if this is so, then they should first send their children and relatives to the army. should be announced. “It is a big tragedy from the security point of view. At present, the Indian army is the most professional and best army in the world. The one who is the best today will get second grade through this scheme.

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Suggestions to the government to consult all parties

Counting the valor of the Indian Army and their various achievements during the wars in the last 75 years, Sehgal pointed out the flaws of this plan. He said that before announcing this, the government should have taken all the stakeholders into confidence, discussed with the opposition, went to schools, colleges and other institutions and consulted the youth but unfortunately no such effort was made. . He said, ‘It is very imperative in a democracy that you come up with a plan which is acceptable. Otherwise, the result is like the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) or agricultural reform laws. National consensus on this issue is very important, as it is an issue related to the security of the country.

Sehgal said that according to this plan, only 25 per cent of the total recruited soldiers will be able to continue in the service after four years and the remaining 75 per cent will have to start their career afresh. “Such soldiers will neither get the benefit of their seniority nor will they get the benefit of pension,” he said. He said that now that the scheme is being opposed across the country, the government is opening the box of all kinds of assurances.

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For what purposes the Agneepath scheme was brought

Sehgal gave two motives of the government behind the announcement of this scheme. According to him, the government does not have money to modernize the army, so it has taken this step in an attempt to reduce the expenditure of salaries and pensions, while its second objective is to find a cut of the youth’s displeasure over unemployment. He said that the Shekatkar committee constituted for reforms in the army had not expressed the requirement of pension to the civil servants of the Defense Department after 60 years of service, but the government did not want to touch them as it would create a ruckus.

He said, ‘If the new scheme had to be brought, it had to be implemented in the central forces first. After this there should have been an idea for the army. There was no recruitment in the army for the last two-and-a-half-three years. Now the government is saying that it will give employment to 10 lakh people in the next one and a half years. After one and a half years there are elections too. This has been done keeping in mind the politics of vote bank.

Keep in mind that recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had given instructions to recruit 10 lakh people in the next one and a half years after reviewing the vacant posts in all departments and ministries. Expressing concern, Sehgal said that India has two major enemies, both are nuclear-rich and they are always on the lookout to weaken India, so why is the government coming up with such a scheme that weakens the army.
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He said, ‘I would like to ask one thing to all those who are counting the benefits of this scheme. Will one of them, whether he is the Defense Minister or the Chief of the Armies, or a senior officer or a leader and a minister, will either of them admit his son or his daughter? Or will he send his brother-in-law or relatives? If their answer is yes, then of course I would agree that this plan has merit. Otherwise the intellectual discourse says that they are misleading the youth.

He said that it is clear from the present circumstances that this plan is not acceptable. Sehgal said, “In such a situation, it is better to postpone it for three-four months than to forcefully implement it. After this, the government should discuss it with all the stakeholders on a large scale and after everyone’s consent, it should implement it on a small scale. Then after seeing its advantages and disadvantages, make changes in the plan. He said that the government is going to implement this new scheme directly in the army in which trial is done even before implementing a helmet or a new uniform. He said that the government is taking such a big revolutionary step, that too without any investigation. He called it completely illogical.

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