The Agnipath entry scheme or Tour of Duty entry scheme, is a proposal by the central government, which would allow youngsters to join forces as soldiers for a period of three years. The scheme is part of PM Narendra Modi's reform toward reducing expenditure and the age profile of the defence forces.
While the scheme has not been officially announced yet, however, if confirmed, the soldiers enlisted in forces under the Tour of Duty entry scheme will be called 'Agniveers' (fire warriors) during their three-year stint.
According to news agency ANI, the discussions for the Tour of Duty scheme are in the final stages and the three forces "have been giving presentations on the project-driven from the top."
What is the Agnipath or Tour of Duty entry scheme?
The discussions for the Agnipath entry scheme started nearly two years ago to induct young civilians as soldiers on a short-term contract. They would be trained and deployed in different fields. The short-term recruitment scheme would come at a time when there are currently 1.25 lakh vacancies in the defence forces, as per the official documents.
The original proposal of the scheme was to recruit soldiers for a period of three years for both general and specialised duties. As of now, soldiers are only enlisted into the armed forces on a permanent basis.
According to the scheme, when the three-year period is completed, some soldiers, after getting relieved from the duty, would also get assistance from the forces for further employment avenues. The armed forces would also have the option to retain some of the best 'Agniveers.'
This scheme by the central government can save thousands of crores in pay, allowances, and pension, reports said.
The final contours of the scheme would be finalised by the union government.