Congress concerns future of recruits through Agnipath scheme, alleges center of ‘toying’ recruitment of armed forces

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NEW DELHI: Once again raising his voice against the Agnipath Scheme, Congress leader Sachin Pilot expressed concerns about the future of armed forces personnel retiring after four years of service and accused the centre of “toying” with the recruitment process of armed forces.

In June 2022, the government rolled out the Agnipath recruitment scheme for short-term induction of personnel into the armed forces, intending to bring down the age profile of the three services.

It provides for recruiting youths between the age bracket of 17-and-a-half years and 21 years for four years, with a provision to retain 25 per cent of them for 15 more years.

“Basically, there is nothing certain about the future of people who will retire after four years of service – at a young age. They won’t get a pension and half of the gratuity of Rs 11 Lakhs is being deducted from their salary. So, in the name of cost-cutting, we are toying with the recruitment process of our armed forces,” said Pilot while addressing a press conference on Monday.

Further, Pilot also mentioned that Congress national president Mallikarjun Kharge had written a letter to the president of India highlighting the “injustice” done to the youth of India.

“There is no match for the Indian armed forces’ valour and hard work. We are one of the finest fighting forces in the world. Our Army and defence forces are second to none. But their valour, strength, dedication to the nation should be regarded and respected for future generations…I think the Government did this in haste and we oppose it. Party’s national president Mallikarjun Kharge has written to the President,” added Pilot.

Mallikarjun Kharge on Monday wrote a letter to President Droupadi Murmu highlighting the “gross injustice” done to the country’s youths seeking regular employment in the armed forces due to the Agnipath scheme and urged her to ensure justice for them being the supreme commander of Armed forces.

Almost two lakh young men and women were informed that they had been accepted into the three armed services: the Indian Army, the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force, said Kharge in his letter.

Until 31 May 2022, they believed that they had fulfilled their dreams and were awaiting only their joining letters. On that day, their dreams were shattered by the Government of India’s decision to end this recruitment process and replace it with the Agnipath Scheme, added the letter. (ANI)

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