Srinagar: Stating that the younger the soldier, the fitter he will be, Northern Army Commander Lt Gen Upendra Dwivedi on Wednesday said that Agnipath scheme will attract the youth and ensure they do not tread the wrong path.
He also said that Agnipath scheme is a transformational reform for the armed forces and the nation, and aims to bring paradigm changes in the human resources management of the Army.
India on Tuesday unveiled the scheme for the recruitment of soldiers into the Army, the Navy and the Air Force, largely on a short-term contractual basis with an aim to cut the ballooning salary and pension bills and enable a youthful profile of the armed forces.
While replying to a question how the scheme would benefit security forces in J&K during a press brief organized here in connection with Agnipath scheme the Army Commander said the northern front is a high altitude area and the younger a soldier, the fitter he will be.
“With the age, high altitude problems arise which lower fitness. So, this scheme is a good one,” he told reporters. “This will bring in new blood, new youngsters, and their freshness will create success in us.”
The scheme, he said, will attract young and ensure they do not tread the wrong path.
“This scheme will bring in youth from remote areas, provide them exposure, train them and boost their confidence to do anything they want to,” he said.
Lt Gen Dwivedi said that the nature and the character of warfare have changed. “It is so because the violence has gone into the virtual world,” he said adding that this population will be skilled.
“This youth will be competent for the new equipment, weapons, and new things coming into the virtual or the cyber world, as they will be pre-trained.”
“ I want to assure you that during the implementation and stabilisation of the Agnipath Scheme, Army's combat effectiveness, operational readiness and defence preparedness along the borders will be fully maintained,” he said. “This will be one of our focus areas and engage our attention.”
“We will ensure that the impact of introducing the scheme is smooth and seamless without causing any turbulence or voids along the borders,” he said.
“In my opinion, the scheme is a win-win situation for all. In fact, we want the Agniveers to act as a bridge between the Armed Forces and the society.” The senior Army commander said it offers an opportunity to young people from across the country, driven by patriotic spirit, to serve in the Indian Armed Forces as ‘Agniveers’ for a short duration of four years.
“On completion of the four year period, Agniveers will go to the society as a disciplined, dynamic, motivated and skilled workforce for employment in other sectors, including corporate and industry, CAPFs (Central Armed Police Forces) and DPSUs (Defence Public Sector Undertakings) to pursue a career in jobs of their choice,” he said, adding that the scheme also aims to harness ‘Skill India’ initiative by enrolling candidates qualified in ITI or diploma with necessary skills for certain technical trades.
“Agniveers will carry a unique resume which will be an asset to the society and the organisation they join after exiting the armed forces,” he said, adding that they will get Agniveer skill certificates, award of credits for facilitating higher education, financial package to start new enterprise and adequate skills to be absorbed in the market.
GOC Northern Command said that for the Army, the biggest takeaway is to enhance the youthful profile for organisational needs by reducing the average age profile of soldiers from 32 years to 26 years over a period of time, increase the technological threshold and optimise the duration of recruit training to ensure better availability of soldiers for active duties.
“We are banking on a youthful and fitter group of soldiers being led by the specially selected, best among the best leaders, who are motivated, well trained and technically adept, to deliver the results in a future conflict scenario,” he said.
He said the notification for recruitment in the Army will be issued by next month.
Asked how the scheme would benefit the force in Jammu and Kashmir, the army commander said the northern front is a high altitude area and “the younger a soldier, the fitter he will be”.
“With age, the high altitude problems arise. So, this scheme is a good one. This will bring in new blood, new youngsters, and their freshness will create success in us,” he said. He also said the scheme will attract young people and ensure that they do not tread the wrong path.