Agnipath scheme : Reform was long pending, no place for protesters in army: Lt Gen Anil Puri

New Delhi : Lt. General Anil Puri, Additional Secretary, Department of Military Affairs, on Sunday said that reform was long pending in the defence recruitment process, and vandalism and protesters have no place in the Army.

Before launching the new recruitment scheme, two years of study was undertaken to decide on the lowering of age, he said.

“We want to bring youthfulness and experience with this reform. Today, a large number of jawans are in their 30s and officers are getting command much later than in the past, ” said Additional Secretary while addressing media here on the Agnipath scheme.

He said, “We have been planning this since 1984 and now have come up with this idea. The reservation for retired army personnel was pre-planned.”

Lt. Gen. Anil Puri said that the ‘Agniveers’ would get the same allowance in areas like Siachen and other places which are applicable to the regular soldiers serving at present. There will be no discrimination against them in the service conditions, he added.

“Agniveers’ will get a compensation for Rs 1 crore if he sacrifices his life in service of the nation, ” he added further.

Talking about the apprehension about the training for Agniveers, he said that all cadets trained in one year only. Youth will be skilled for multiple avenues after their exit, he added.

Lt. General Puri also clarified that all recruitments will be through Agnipath scheme only.

On the ongoing agitation, he said that vandalism has no space in the Army.

“All individuals, who want to join as Agniveers, will have to pledge that they had no involvement in the agitation and protests. They will have to write a pledge for not being involved in the protests which will be verified by the police, ” he said.