The Agnipath scheme for recruiting soldiers — what is it, how will it work?
Under the new scheme, around 45,000 to 50,000 soldiers will be recruited annually, and most will leave the service in just four years. Of the total annual recruits, only 25 per cent will be allowed to continue for another 15 years under permanent commission. The move will make the permanent force levels much leaner for the over 13-lakh strong armed forces in the country.
This will, in turn, considerably reduce the defence pension bill, which has been a major concern for governments for many years.
The new system is only for personnel below officer ranks (those who do not join the forces as commissioned officers).
Under the Agnipath scheme, aspirants between the ages of 17.5 years and 21 years will be eligible to apply. The recruitment standards will remain the same, and recruitment will be done twice a year through rallies.