Angry protests have erupted in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and other states against the Centre’s “Agnipath” scheme — a radical new recruitment plan for India’s armed forces.
The Agnipath scheme, announced on Tuesday, seeks to recruit soldiers in the Army, Navy and the Air Force on a short-term contract of four years. The central government says the scheme aims to bring down the average age of personnel and reduce pension expenditure.
However, several defence aspirants, military veterans and opposition leaders have raised reservations over the revamped process. They say that the new scheme can potentially affect the future of serving personnel, hit the professionalism, ethos and fighting spirit of the forces and possibly lead to militarisation of civil society.