In the quest to make an Indian Armed Forces lean and more technologically advanced, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in an official announcement said that in the age bracket of 17.5 to 21 “Agniveers'” will be given a distinct class in the Armed Forces and will have an individual insignia.
The new recruitment policy for transformation launched by the Indian government in time of the closing of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) has opened the doors to women to be enrolled in the Indian Armed Forces. The process of recruiting will begin 90 days after the date of the announcement and by 2023 , nearly 46,000 youngsters will be recruited , including those from certain castes.
In the quest to make an Indian Armed Forces lean and more technologically-savvy, The Ministry of Defence (MoD) in a statement made public stated that for the age range of 17.5 to 21 Agniveers will be the first to be granted an entirely separate rank in the Armed Forces and will have an individual insignia. They will be inducted into the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force.
When he announced the scheme’s new format, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that after their departure from the military after their four-year tenure they will be offered employment opportunities not just in a few departments, but also in public sector companies too.
He also denied that the scheme was designed to reduce the cost of pensions. The massive pension bill is an issue for the government and under this plan, it will increase the strength of 13 lakh soldiers of India smaller.
A New era for Indian Army
But , the arguments, in one shape or another that have been a part of the debate from the moment the concept known as Tour of Duty then, was floated by the then Prime Premier Narendra Modi in December 2015 and was vigorously pursued by the late Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and the late chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat (he was even highlighting it as Chief of Defence Staff). Army of the Chief).
Parrikar as well as Rawat believed that the plan should first be implemented on The Indian Army. Although the plan announced will apply to all three of the services, it is the Army will be the one to be evaluated the most extensively for practical reasons.
The main concern for the Indian government been “manpower costs are taking a bite out of the capital budget to the army in order to pay for the revenue demand.” Budgetary constraints are likely to be a major factor in this choice. For example, the defense budget of India for 2022-23 amounts to 5.25 lakh crore out of which 1.2 lakh crore goes to the pensions, not to mention the salary.
As Amit Cowshish is a former senior military official states in the defense budget this year 44.37 percent is set aside for expenses for revenue, 29.01% for meeting their capital requirements and 22.79 percent is allocated to defense pensions. The pensions and salaries make up 55.3 percent of the overall revenue expenditure.
The Indian Army, the largest of the three service, pay is a larger portion of the budget for revenue. From 69.16 percent during the fiscal year currently in effect year, the figure rises to 70.78 percent in FY23. In order to put this in perspective the figure was 60.92 percent in 2010-11.
Cowshish’s argument is that the pensions and wages of the three service categories (armed soldiers, troops auxiliary and civilians employed at defense facilities) have been steadily increasing as part of the revenue budget. The increase has been from 61.98 percent in FY22, to 64.1 percent in FY23.
With this in mind it is estimated that the “prospective lifetime savings” on the cost of engagement for jawans who retire at the age of 17 after 16 years’ work, with pension benefits and other benefits in comparison to the Agniveer Army Bharti the equivalent of 11.5 crore.
Budget management for national defense is vital. There must be an appropriate percentage allocated to Capital acquisitions. The world’s largest economies cannot afford to maintain negative ratios of revenue to capital expenditure or proportions of the pension bill. Modernizing the forces is vital.
The best methods of achieving the above is to cut the number of employees. In actuality, over the past 25 years, the major forces of all armed forces have reduced their workforce.
What’s the Biggest Change?
In the past, the system of recruitment which was more than 200 years old was based on geographic areas and the same gene pool. In the meantime, Rajput Regiment, Jat Regiment, Maratha Regiment and Sikh regiments, will continue to draw their strength from these communities. The class specific regiments will evolve from their present class-based character to become ” All India, All Class structure.” This means that class specific regiments such as Jats and Rajputs, Marathas and Rajputs, and Sikhs are going to be affected this new method of recruiting as youngsters from different classes will be admitted.
In response to queries from media about the issue, Army Chief General Pande declared that 75 percent of units within the Army are in fact All India All Class” and restricted classification.
Then, “The class and regimental system are two different concepts. In the future, the base for recruitment will expand and offer an equal chance to all. It will not be a sacrifice to the values of Naam Namak Nishaan.”