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Rajnath envisions Agnipath as keystone of a rising India

The government launched Agnipath scheme on June 15, 2022, to recruit both male and female aspirants into the ‘below the officer’s rank’ cadre of the three services for a period of four years as Agniveers

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has once again affirmed that Agnipath is a game-changer not only for the Armed Forces but for a rising India. 

He stressed that the scheme is going to act as a force multiplier in making the Indian military one of the best in the world with a youthful, high-tech, and ultra-modern outlook.

Singh outlined the Agnipath scheme, which marks a paradigm shift is going to transform the Armed Forces into a tech-savvy, well-equipped, and combat-ready unit to face future challenges.

He made these comments during an event that saw the Ministry of Defence (MoD), Ministry of Education (MoE), Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MoSDE), and all three Services sign exchange MoUs with various stakeholders.

The agreements will facilitate continued education of Agniveers while serving in the Armed Forces and award of appropriate skill certificates in accordance with their expertise/experience.

Under these MoUs with the National Institute of Open School (NIOS) and Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), suitable 12th Class certificates and Bachelor’s degrees will be awarded to the Agniveers, respectively.

Singh stated that with the signing of these MoUs, Agniveers will be able to complete their education in a timely manner and develop additional qualities and skills. When Agniveers return to society after being equipped with all these qualities, they will contribute to nation-building, he said.

He added that helping ‘Agniveers’ would be a win-win situation for all as they will not only become ‘Surakshaveers’ for the nation by rendering their services in the Armed Forces but also become ‘Samriddhiveers’ by contributing to the nation’s prosperity. They will be beneficial for the whole society contributing to the nation building through their education, skill, discipline, and other qualities. In addition to it, they would inspire the youth to become Agniveer, he said.

Indian Army

The ceremony was also attended by senior officials of the Ministry of Defence, and various ministries, including the Chief of Defence Staff and also Chiefs of all three Services.

The job roles/skill sets of Agniveers, while being trained and deployed with the Armed Forces, have been mapped with National Occupational Standards (NOS), in coordination with National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and Sector Skill Councils (SSCs). Based on these qualifications, market-ready and industry-accepted, ‘Kaushal Praman Patra’ will be issued to Agniveers at the time of their exit from the Armed Forces.

Various departments of MoSDE have extensively collaborated in the Armed Forces and awarded Dual Category recognition as the Awarding Body (AB) and Assessment Agency (AA) by the National Council of Vocational Education and Training (NCVET) to seamlessly facilitate the process.

In addition, the Directorate General of Training (DGT) under MoSDE would also facilitate the award of the National Trade Certificate (NTC) to Agniveers.

Complimenting the  Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Railways, state governments, and the private sector for extending support to Agniveers in various services, the Defence Minister called upon the rest of the ministries, state governments, and the corporate sector to come forward with more enthusiasm and provide new opportunities to the Agniveers as far as possible. He termed it as the responsibility of the system to provide newer opportunities to the Agniveers who dedicate their life in the service of the nation.

In a video message at the event, Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said that these MoUs/agreements would empower the serving Agniveers to get the maximum benefit from their academic education and skill development. He added that NOS will help them to pass the 10th and 12th exams, while enrolled Agniveer in university could complete 50% syllabus of general higher studies, the rest credit could be earned through skill development training provided by defense institutions. They could get a bachelor’s degree from IGNOU and with two years completed with the necessary credit, they could get an Agniveer diploma. This degree would help Agniveer to get employment and higher education at the national and international levels.

The government launched Agnipath scheme on June 15, 2022, to recruit both male and female aspirants into the ‘below the officer’s rank’ cadre of the three services for a period of four years as Agniveers. Candidates between the age group of 17.5 to 21 years are eligible to apply for the scheme. These Agniveers would undergo optimised basic military training and specialised trade training followed by up-skilling courses, as required.

The scheme provides a unique opportunity for transforming the Yuva Shakti into Agniveers and facilitates potential youth to realise their dream of serving the Nation through the Armed Forces. Exposure through Agnipath Scheme and fostered allegiance to ‘Naam, Namak and Nishan’, would shape Agniveers into nation builders.

There has been a whole national approach to empower the Agniveers with suitable academic qualifications and skills, while serving in the Armed Forces, to help those Aginiveers who wish to start a second career option outside, with other governmental organisations, industry or even as startup entrepreneurs.

Also Read: Agnipath initiative is a futuristic reform for fighting hi-tech wars of tomorrow — Doval