Congress cites Army report, says Agnipath to cause huge shortfall by 2035

The Agnipath scheme bypasses several aspects of the previous system, including long tenures, pensions, and other benefits

Representative image (courtesy:
Representative image (courtesy:

NH Digital

In light of discussions suggesting that the Modi government may extend the service years under the Agnipath scheme and increase the absorption ratio up to 60 per cent, the Congress on Monday demanded the abolition of the controversial scheme and urged the government to revert to the traditional Army recruitment process.

Addressing a press conference at the Congress headquarters in Delhi, Congress MP Deepender Hooda criticised the Modi government, stating that the recent election results indicate that the country's people have rejected the Agnipath scheme (which has commonly come to be known as the Agniveer scheme after the recruits inducted through it).

"The Agnipath Yojana is neither in the interest of the country nor in the interest of the youth," Hooda said.

Citing an internal report by the Indian Army on the scheme, Hooda highlighted that:

• The Agnipath Yojana has led to a decline in the Army's morale, the feeling of mutual brotherhood, and the spirit of dying for each other

• There is not sufficient time to train Agniveers

• The Agnipath scheme has caused a decline in Army recruitment, which will lead to a huge shortfall in the Army by 2035

Previously in Haryana, around 5,500 young people were permanently recruited into the Army each year. Now, however, only 900 Agniveers are being enlisted, and of those, only about 225 will receive permanent positions, with the rest returning home, Hooda pointed out.

The Modi government has created this situation in the Army, said the Congress leader.

Implemented in September 2022 by the second Modi government, the Agnipath scheme is a tour of duty-style scheme for recruiting soldiers below the rank of commissioned officers into the three branches of the armed forces.

All recruits under the scheme, known as Agniveers, will be hired for four years as per the scheme, which has faced criticism from the Opposition for being launched without adequate consultation.

The scheme bypasses several aspects of the previous system, including long tenures, pensions, and other benefits. Opposition parties, particularly the Congress, have expressed concern about the potential consequences of the new scheme.

The Congress has also repeatedly called on the government to scrap the scheme.

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