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OPINION – AGNIPATH Initiative By Defence Minister (Raksha Mantri) Of India Is Commendable

Agnipath: Defence Ministry Announces 10% Reservation for Agniveers; Efforts On to Start Recruitment at the Earliest
(photo) courtesy CNN News18

AGNIPATH is the name assigned to an initiative by Government of India to recruit ‘volunteering’ males and females between ages of 17.5 and 26 (upper age limit extended recently, to accommodate more candidates who had previously applied to join but could not join due to COVID pandemic…) for ‘short-term’ employment in Defense forces of India, with the view to induct patriotism and love for country in them; also, to train them with hands-on professional skillsets (including training on how to use arms and ammunition.) They can get salaries from Rs 30,000 to Rs 40,000 per month for four years at a stretch in AGNIPATH scheme.

In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with the AGNIPATH scheme. Most of the jobless in the 17 to 26 age group in India, cannot make it to highly competitive IITs and IIMs. They can be gainfully employed under AGNIPATH scheme; they can feel proud they are serving their country.

Lack of such government schemes now makes them disenchanted with their country. Lack of opportunity to earn a living will keep them depressed at an young age.

Folks, I ask you, which Indian employer with business operations only in India, gives them such salaries at that age?

AGNIPATH scheme also assures that 25% of them can find full time service opportunity (based on their health and physical fitness) to serve armed forces through retirement… while rest will be preferred for other types of government services in Center and States at young and impressionable age {17.5 to 26 (note extended upper age limit)} when most of them can learn quickly on the job.

Why should opposition to this scheme assume that the Defense Forces cannot train and discipline youth at the same time?

Based on mere assumptions, some opposition leaders have said that this scheme will make terrorists out of them armed with military training when it is time to leave AGNIPATH scheme! What a negative thought!

By the way, this is not another MAHATMA GANDHI NATIONAL RURAL EMPLOMENT GUARANTEE ACT (MANREGA) scheme; it is a positive move to engage the unemployed youth now wandering about in urban and rural areas with nothing much to do. Most of them do not own any land or roof over their heads; 90 to 95% of them do not qualify to go to IITs or MBA schools to find niche careers for themselves in MNCs of India or go abroad hoping to find employment in foreign countries.

With no such scheme to look forward to, all most all of them can become stone pelters, pessimists, druggists, anarchists and Gutka addicts. Has not this happened in J&K; is not this happening now in Bihar, West-Bengal, Rajasthan and U.P?

I ask, is not this a good initiative or response to arm chair critics warming up chairs in parliament or parliament canteens (after putting attendance during parliament sessions) filling bellies with subsidized food, doing nothing in decades except lick and polish boots of high and mighty Ministers and MPs?

By following such clueless leaders, like Mary’s little lambs, they riot against the ruling party, at the drop of a hint (drop of a hat by those who ware it…) to do street side protests that often leads to mob fury and destruction of public property. 

Many countries of the world like Russia, France, China have such, and/or, similar schemes to train youth to be better prepared for employment after or during completion of a high school program.

After coming out of AGNIPATH program, AGNIVEERS (name for those in the scheme and those who come out of AGNIPATH,) can go back to college, other professional academic programs too, or even start own startup businesses with close to Rs 12-lakh savings in their bank accounts.

Remember, AGNIPATH is a ‘voluntary’ scheme; Government of India is not compelling them to join the new initiative announced by the RAKSHA MANTRI, earlier this week. It is not like ‘draft’ for youth over 18-years in age during World War II period in USA when armed forces of USA took a lead role to stop that maniac Hitler from marching all over Europe grabbing countries and territories, one after the other, illegally.

I ask, why is there widespread anarchy in streets of India over the announcement of AGNIPATH scheme, a commendable initiative by Government of India?

Who is instigating presently unemployed youth to take part in such unruly street side protests against AGNIPATH initiative from day-2 of the announcement of scheme by the RAKSHA MANTRI in India?  

If opposition leaders in political parties of India are instigating youth (and adults) to riot violently, within a day or two of announcement of AGNIPATH scheme by RAKSHA MANTRI of India, they should be caught red-handed and prosecuted.

Some leaders in political parties of India sitting in opposition to PM MODI government were/are behind CAA riots, Farm Laws protest on busy streets, street rioting over blasphemy perpetrated on Prophet (PBUH) by 2 BJP spokes persons; some protested over Bulldozer action in UP to dismantle illegal properties (after giving due legal notice to illegal occupants of government properties, irrespective of their religion or caste.)

Some youth and adults protesting against AGNIPATH, could be doing so in anger against action of Enforcement Directorate (ED) in recent questioning of Rahul Gandhi, on his role in the National Herald takeover case. 

May be an image of 5 people, people standing, outdoors and text

(pic) a download from Indian Express online news for purposes of illustration.

OPINION AND DISLIKES:

If leaders in opposition to Modi Government are behind such street side anarchy happening in some States of India, they should be caught red handed and prosecuted.

I dislike one burly woman with a loud hyena laugh who grabbed a policeman on duty by his collar yesterday (to show off how powerful she is in politics,) and another woman who sticks a 1-inch size red dot on her forehead during street protests to grab media attention as she stops a bulldozer in action to show of her ‘boy in front of battle tank at Tiananmen Square’ moment!

I also dislike another opposition leader, man for a change, who screamed and danced like a guerrilla in heat… not too long ago… to oppose PM of India’s right to reply or introduce a new bill in Parliament!  Was this guerrilla trying to show to his constituents what type of work he does during a Parliament session? Was he showing off his talent to do a circus act? By the way, he did get a few laughs by those watching him online and offline. 

OPINION AND WISH:

How I wish there was something similar to AGNIPATH scheme, during growing up days of such politicians to enroll, before they joined politics.

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Zee News Desk has summarized the 5 benefits of joining AGNIPATH scheme. Here are the benefits:

1) 25 per cent staff to be retained: The biggest benefit of this scheme is that as many as 25% of people will be retained in their armed forces positions. That means, lakhs of people will ultimately get permanent jobs.

2) Experience and financial backing: The Agniveers who will not be retained (in the armed forces of India) will get a hands on experience of serving the armed forces. Undoubtedly, they will become more disciplined and skilled at the end of their service. Not only this, these individuals will have financial backing of Rs 12 Lakhs (saved in heir bank accounts at end of 4-yrs…) with such saved funds, they can start their own business or utilize the funds for further education or for any purpose.

3) Priority in recruitment at state forces: Another mega benefit for ‘Agniveers’ will be a priority (preference) if they wish to join State government’s security forces. Many states have given nod for the same. The Agniveers will get a certificate – known as ‘Agniveer Kaushal’ certificate.

4) Priority in recruitment for CENTRAL ARMED POLICE FORCE (CAPF) and ASSAM RIFLES:

The Union government has said that Agniveers will be given priority when it comes to hiring at CAPF & ASSAM RIFLES.  

5) The central government has said that more and more people will get a chance to serve the nation through the Agneepath scheme.

5.1) Every four years, newcomers will join the armed forces, and the same will reduce armed forces’ average age to 26 years from 32 years. 

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Suresh Rao

Mellowed out and enlightened septuagenarian. Tech savvy. Social writing is just a pastime to kill time. I keep contributing to several developmental projects in the area of engineering education, IT and Healthcare projects launched by my kith and kin. I am too lazy to write a book, 'cause I think my life itself is a book! I am also at www.facebook.com/sureshnrao
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