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Will there be a difference in the working style of the army due to the reduced service of Agniveers? What is the opinion of defense expert


New Delhi:The biggest change has happened so far regarding recruitment in the Indian Army. Now Agniveer will be recruited under the Agneepath Recruitment Scheme in the Army, Navy and Air Force. The recruitment of Agniveers will be for 4 years. Of these, a maximum of 25 percent will be given a chance to become permanent later, but it will be decided on the need of the army. There is a lot of discussion and many questions about this decision. Retired Lieutenant General JS Sandhu has answered the questions about this in our associate newspaper Times of India. He says that there is nothing negative in this and there is no lack in merit.

Will the feeling of dedication decrease due to the reduction in service time?

It is being said that Agniveers with short service will be ineffective soldiers. Indian soldiers had little experience during the World War and the soldiers showed unprecedented skill. Many of the Victoria Cross and other awardees served less than five years. The enlistment in the Israeli army is for two years but they are effective soldiers. Young soldiers from Ukraine and Russia are currently fighting with full force – handling drones, missiles, long-range artillery, tanks, etc. So short service is not a valid measure of bravery or fighting ability.

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We have seen our young soldiers in many operations in Kargil, Galwan, and Kashmir. I know of two young boys at an anti-infiltration post who secretly killed four Pakistani infiltrators while crawling in the snow. He had a service of about 3-4 years. In fact, the younger soldier takes on more risks than an older soldier – and such risk profiles make a significant difference in battle.

Will the attitude of regular soldiers be different to that of firefighters?
I am sure the commanding officers and senior officers will act wisely on these. Time will tell what effect this will have on the fabric of a battalion, squadron or ship, but at large it should be able to prevent such a thing from escalating. A concern has been expressed that Agniveer will be more concerned about his future job prospects. This job-security concern can be easily solved with a suitable package from the Government of India with beneficial and special concessions and reserved education opportunities. In the US, personnel who drop out of the armed forces are given college education at government expense. Overall, Agniveer should understand that there is a possibility of a bright future.

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Worth noting is that it was more difficult for soldiers who dropped out of service at the age of 30 and 40 because of the location of their family and children, to find a suitable job. But Agniveer who will be out in his early 20s will have many chances. One can set up his own enterprise or business with the financial facility given by the government. Young soldiers, airmen or sailors hardly have any weight but the possibilities are high. In short, the Agneepath scheme will not reduce our ability to meet operational challenges. Government should facilitate strong career prospects after Agneepath service.

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