NSA Ajit Doval said on Tuesday that there is no plan to scrap the Agnipath defence recruitment programme, despite widespread opposition.
Despite widespread opposition to the Agnipath military recruitment programme, National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval stated on Tuesday that the programme will not be repealed.
Doval told ANI that if the country wants to be prepared for future wars and conflicts, it needs to change its defence system. He went on to say that the new scheme will result in a younger and more tech-savvy military.
Ajit Doval is the latest in a long line of supporters of a plan to recruit ‘Agniveer’ cadets in the tri-services on a four-year contract, with only 25% of them staying in the army.
The others would be forced to retire without receiving a gratuity or a pension. Since the announcement on June 14, there have been violent, misinformed protests across India.
The NSA went on to say that Agniveers will never make up the entire army. “Those Agniveers who eventually become regulars will go through extensive training and gain experience over time.” He also stated that under the new programme, the regimental system would be maintained.
“The entire war is undergoing a great change,” the NSA said of the recruitment program’s importance. We are moving toward contactless wars as well as a war against the undetectable enemy. Technology is rapidly gaining control. If we’re going to be ready for tomorrow, we’ll have to change.”
“Security is an ever-changing concept. It cannot remain static; we must only protect our national interest and national asset in relation to the environment.”
PM Modi’s vision for a strong India
Doval continued by stating that Agnipath is not a stand-alone scheme. “When Prime Minister Narendra Modi took office in 2014, one of his top priorities was to make India more secure and powerful. This necessitated a number of paths and steps. “Agnipath is heading that way,” he told ANI.
“My message to young people who want to be ‘Agnivesers’ is to be positive, have faith in the country, have faith in the leadership, and have faith in yourself,” he added.
The “transformative” Agnipath scheme, announced by Defence Minister Rajanath Singh on June 14, allows young people between the ages of 17.5 and 21 to join the Armed Forces for only four years. In 2022, the Centre raised the upper age limit for recruitment to 23 years.