In a huge step to bolster the recruitment through the recently announced Agnipath scheme for the armed forces, the Ministry of Home Affairs has decided that 10% of the vacancies in the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) and Assam Rifles will be reserved for Agniveers after the completion of their duty period under the Agnipath scheme.
In addition, the ministry has declared that Agniveers would be offered a three-year age relaxation above the specified maximum age restriction for service recruitment in CAPF. The ministry has also declared that 5 years of age relaxation will be provided for the first batch of Agniveers.
The MHA also decides to give 3 years age relaxation beyond the prescribed upper age limit to Agniveers for recruitment in CAPFs & Assam Rifles. Further, for the first batch of Agniveer, the age relaxation will be for 5 years beyond the prescribed upper age limit.— गृहमंत्री कार्यालय, HMO India (@HMOIndia) June 18, 2022
This move comes at a juncture when a lot of misinformation and apprehension is being spread against the scheme and its utility. By making this decision, the government has reiterated its former position that Agniveers would be provided with a variety of opportunities once their Tour of Duty is complete.
Several state governments have independently declared various perks for Agniveers apart from the announcement by MHA. Yogi Adityanath, the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, has announced that Agniveers will be given preference in police recruitment and other government offices in the state. Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that individuals who return from the Agnipath scheme after four years will be prioritised in the Assam Arogya Nidhi project. This project gives financial support of up to Rs 1,50,000 to BPL families and families with less than Rs 10,000 in monthly income for general medical treatment.
Several other states, including Karnataka, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, and Haryana, have announced that Agniveers will be given preference in government positions once their duty is over.
The Agnipath Scheme
The Government of India launched the Agnipath Scheme for the recruitment of youth into the Indian Armed Forces on June 15. Candidates recruited under this scheme will be referred to as Agniveers. They will be regulated by the Acts of the individual Armed Forces, Army, Navy, and Air Force once enrolled. They will be given a unique rank in their respective Armed Forces, distinct from the existing ranks.
The Agnipath initiative would first recruit over a four-year period. Following that, according to the requirements and rules of the individual Armed Forces, up to 25% of Agniveers from any given batch will be offered a regular cadre position based on their performance throughout their four-year engagement period.
Agniveers would be paid Rs 30,000/- a month for the first year, with an annual increase in salaries. A contribution to the Agniveer Corpus Fund of 30% of the salary will be withheld. The government will equal the money earned by Agniveers, and Agniveers would get around Rs 11.5 lakhs in hand as a Seva Nidhi package upon completion of their service. The amount that Agniveers get under Seva Nidhi will be tax-free.