“Agnipath has strategically planned and will be a game-changer,” says private security umbrella body

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Amid aggressive protests, fueled by disinformation, that have been seen in different parts of the country over the Agnipath program, the Central Association of the Private Security Industry (CAPSI) on June 17 hailed the recruitment program of the army, stating that the program is strategically planned, and will be a game-changer. It is important to note that CAPSI is the umbrella organization for private security guards.

In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, CAPSI Chairman K Vikram Singh said the private security industry needs a large number of qualified officers to provide quality services to businesses, security community security and hybrid security engagements with CISF.

“Agniveers will be employed as security guards after training them to BIS standards which are being developed with the future of their employability in mind,” he said.

It comes at a time when widespread aggressive protests have been seen across states, with young people demanding a complete cancellation of the army’s recruitment program. Incidents of violence, vandalism, burning of trains, stone throwing and attacks on police personnel have been reported in several parts of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Telangana. Several army aspirants are unhappy with the changes introduced under the new recruiting system, especially the length of service, lack of pension and age limit which makes many of them ineligible.

The protests continued for the third day in a row, despite the Center extending the upper age limit for recruiting Agniveers from 21 to 23. On the other hand, 200 train services have been affected due to the ongoing unrest, while 35 train services are canceled and 13 were briefly interrupted, across the country.

‘Protesters are misinformed,’ Indian army chief says

Meanwhile, Indian Army Chief General Manoj Pande hailed the Agnipath program and said the forces were looking forward to its deployment. Dismissing incidents of protests against the program raging across the country, General Pande said young people were misinformed. “Young people don’t have all the information yet. They did not fully understand the content and implications of the scheme. They will realize that it is good for the nation and the youth once they are informed,” the army chief told ANI.

“Our units and formations are ready to accept this change. They are prepared and extremely passionate about the Agnipath scheme. Our effort will be to make the last soldier aware of this as soon as possible,” the army chief added.

The Agnipath scheme

Under the Agnipath program, Agniveers would be recruited on a short-term contract from the Army, Navy, and Air Force. Under this system, nearly 46,000 young people will be recruited in 2022 and the number of recruits is expected to increase by 5,000 each year.

The soldiers would receive a monthly salary of around 30,000 to 40,000 rupees. Recruitment is expected to begin in 90 days and recipients will also be entitled to awards, medals and insurance. Under the scheme, the first four years will not be taken into consideration for determining the final retirement benefits.

After four years, up to 25% would be retained or rehired in the regular framework based on merit, willingness and medical fitness. The remaining 75% will be eligible for ‘Seva Nidhi’ packages of Rs 11-12 lakh and will receive skills certificates and bank loans for their second career.

(With PTI inputs)

Image: PTI

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