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Army to skill Agniveers as per their talent: Lt Gen Bhinder

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Jaipur, June 15 (Ajit Weekly News) Terming the newly-announced ‘Agnipath’ scheme as a great opportunity for the youth, Lieutenant General Amardeep Singh Bhinder, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, South Western Command, said on Wednesday that the army will skill the candidates depending on their qualification and talent.

Also, after four years, while 25 per cent candidates will be absorbed in the army on merit basis, the remaining 75 per cent who go back to the society will be given skill certificates so that they get government or private jobs on the basis of their skills,” Lt Gen Bhinder said while addressing a press conference here.

The Union Cabinet on Tuesday approved the Agnipath recruitment scheme for Indian youth to serve in the armed forces. Soldiers recruited under the scheme will be inducted into the armed forces as ‘Agniveers’.

The ‘Agnipath’ model will foresee the recruitment of personnel below officer rank (PBOR) in army, air force and navy for four years, including six months of training.

Answering a query by Ajit Weekly News as to where these youth can look for jobs after serving the forces for four years as Agniveers, he said, “We are not just looking at the candidates’ four years in service but their remaining lives as well.”

Elaborating further, Bhinder said, “Those who are 10th pass will be allowed to complete their Class 12 and those who have cleared 12th will be imparted with a diploma or a degree depending on the educational qualification they come with.”

“We are in an advanced stage of discussion with various educational institutions to ensure these Agniveers get advantage with one step higher degree/diploma than the qualification they come with. Secondly, we are looking at skill mapping. The Indian Army is a diverse system where many skills are required.

“Accounting, storekeeping, equipment maintenance are replicated in the system of the army. So the idea is to map these skills within the national skilling and qualification framework provided by the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship,” he added.

The forces will ensure that the industry gets a ready person who is groomed, trained and certified and has better exposure to the world with proper physical fitness and discipline, and most importantly, works in the national interest, Bhinder said.

It will be a win-win situation for both, he said.

Speaking about the scheme, Bhinder said, “The army is looking at adding youthfulness to its profile. The average age of the Indian Army as of now is 32-36 and we are looking to bring it down to 26. This will give a major boost to the youthfulness of the Indian Army.”

The officer added, “There is a large number of youth who come from technical institutes like ITIs and may not be willing to join the services for 15-17 years or more, but are willing to join for four years. This gives us a better technical threshold that we can develop for the army. So our ministry is in touch with other ministries to look into how courses in ITIs can be adjusted so as to meet the requirements of the Indian Army. Again, it is a win-win for both sides.”

The officer said that for the youth, it is a great opportunity to join the army to serve the nation and then go back as a person with better exposure.

“We will send back to the society a set of people who are patriotic, disciplined and trained. As for the armed forces, the scheme will provide a fresh lease of ‘Josh’ and ‘Jasba’ while bringing about a transformational shift towards a more tech-savvy forces, which is indeed the need of the hour,” he added.

–Ajit Weekly News
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