The Army said the Agniveers will not have any right to be selected after completion of their four-year tenure. Representational image/PTI
New Delhi: Amid the widespread nationwide protests over the "Agnipath" scheme, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to meet the chiefs of staff of the Army, Navy and Air Force individually on Tuesday. The PM is likely to discuss the Agnipath scheme in detail with the service chiefs. They are likely to apprise Mr Modi about the roadmap on Agnipath recruitment and the various steps being taken for its smooth implementation.
There is a likelihood of another press conference on Tuesday by a senior government official along with the senior military leadership on the new scheme. The service chiefs have been at forefront of efforts to promote the Agnipath scheme.
The Indian Army, meanwhile, issued a notification on Monday on the holding of recruitment rallies for the induction of soldiers under the Agnipath scheme. The online registration for recruitment rallies will be open from next month.
The Army will start holding rallies by the middle of August, and some 83 rallies will be held across the country. Some 25,000 Agniveers will join in the first batch in first week of December for training, while the second batch of around 15,000 will join in February 2023 to complete 40,000 being recruited in the current year.
As per the notification, the "Agniveers" would form a distinct rank in the Indian Army, different from any other existing ranks. The "Agniveeers" will be liable to be assigned any duty in the Army’s interest, as decided from time to time.
"The release at one’s own request prior to the completion of the terms of engagement of ‘Agniveers’ is not permitted. However, in exceptional cases, the personnel enrolled under this scheme may be released if this is sanctioned by the competent authority," it said.
The "Agniveers" will be eligible for 30 days’ leave in a year as against the 90 days given for those in regular service. Medical leave will be granted based on medical advice.
The "Agniveers" will be barred from disclosing classified information gained in the four-year service period to any unauthorised person or source under the Official Secrets Act 1923. It said that based on the organisational requirements and policies promulgated, the "Agniveers", after completing their engagement period in each batch, will be offered an opportunity to apply for enrolment in the regular cadre. "These applications will be considered in a centralised manner by the Army based on an objective criteria, including performance during their engagement period, and not more than 25 per cent of each specific batch of ‘Agniveers’ will be enrolled in the regular cadre," the Army said.
The Army said the "Agniveers" will not have any right to be selected after completion of their four-year tenure. As part of the enrolment process, each "Agniveer" will have to formally accept all terms and conditions of the "Agnipath" scheme. For personnel below 18 years, the enrolment forms will have to be signed by their parents or guardians, according to the document.
After discharge from service following four years of service, they will not be eligible for any kind of pension or gratuity, neither will they be eligible for the Ex-Servicemen’s Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS), Canteen Stores Department (CSD) facilities, ex-servicemen’s status and various other sundry benefits.