New MoD short service model recruits “Agniveers” for four-year tenures - Broadsword by Ajai Shukla - Strategy. Economics. Defence.

Home Top Ad


Tuesday 14 June 2022

New MoD short service model recruits “Agniveers” for four-year tenures


By Ajai Shukla

Business Standard, 15th June 22


In what the government has billed as “transformative reform,” the Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on Tuesday a recruitment scheme – named “Agnipath Pravesh Yojana” – which it expects will lower the average age of the armed forces by four-to-five years.


This will be done by recruiting and inducting young men, referred to in filmi-style as Agniveers, for four-year tenures of service in the military. 


As many as 46,000 Agniveers are to be recruited this year, with presumably a similar number in each following year. That adds up to a total of 1,84,000 recruits in four years before the first batch of Agniveers enters the retirement zone.


From each batch of Agniveers, the government will retain the best. Up to 25 per cent of each year’s intake, or 11,500 selected Agniveers, will be chosen to remain in service.


“The dividends of a short military service to the nation, society and the youth of the nation are immense. This includes inculcation of patriotism, team work, enhancement of physical fitness, ingrained loyalty for the country and availability of trained personnel to boost national security in times of external threats, internal threats and natural disasters,” said the MoD.


The opposition, however, has slammed Agnipath as a device to kick the unemployment can down the road.


The Congress Party’s chief spokesperson, Randeep Singh Surjewala said: “What employment will there be for the tens of thousands of youths who will be discharged from service each year? The government cannot provide jobs to millions of able-bodied youths today. Retired Agniveers, trained in using weapons and with no employment in sight will be law and order problems, perhaps even contributing to armed private militias.”


However, some senior retired officers say there is no choice but to switch to a short-service manpower model, which will lower personnel costs and leave more money for equipment.


Former army commander, Lieutenant General HS Panag points out: “At the start of World War 2, the Indian Army was just 200,000-strong. During the war, it built up to 2.5 million soldiers and, by 1946 was demobilized to a strength of just 300,000 soldiers. This shows it is possible to train soldiers for much shorter periods than we currently do and to expand and contract the size of the army according to our requirements and budgets.”


Financing Agnipath


In their first year, Agniveers will be paid a customized package of Rs 30,000 per month, rising incrementally each year to Rs 40,000 in the fourth year. In addition, they will be paid risk and hardship allowances on par with the three services.



Customised Package (Monthly)

In Hand (70%)

Contribution to Agniveer Corpus Fund (30%)

Contribution to corpus fund by GoI

All figures in Rs (Monthly Contribution)

1st Year





2nd Year





3rd Year





4th Year





Total contribution in Agniveer Corpus Fund after four years

Rs 5.02 Lakh

Rs 5.02 Lakh

Exit (after 4 years)

Rs 11.71 Lakh as SevaNidhi Package

(Including, interest accumulated on the above amount as per the applicable interest rates would also be paid)


Throughout their service, 30 per cent of their salary – a sum of Rs 9,000 per month in the first year, rising incrementally to Rs 12,000 per month in the fourth year – will be paid into a so-called “Agniveer corpus fund”. 


By the end of the fourth year, each Agniveer would have deposited Rs 5.02 lakhs into the corpus fund. The government will match that contribution. From this, the Agniveers would be paid an approximate amount of Rs 11.71 lakhs as a “Seva Nidhi package,” supplemented by the interest that would have accrued on this saving.


The Seva Nidhi will be exempt from Income Tax. There shall be no entitlement to gratuity and pensionary benefits. Agniveers will be provided non-contributory Life Insurance Cover of Rs 48 lakh for the duration of their engagement period in the Indian Armed Forces,” stated a MoD release on Tuesday.


“The scheme will lead to much more youthful and technically adept war fighting force by ensuring a fine balance between youthful and experienced personnel in the Armed Forces,” stated the MoD.


  1. Colonel, what happens to the class specific regimental training centres?? Will Nepali Gorkhas continued to be recruited?? 4 years is optimum utilisation of crew training - Armor, artillery, Sappers, Sailors and Airmen?? Will 6 months be enough for training men for battles of the 21st century. I think if CAPF intake guidelines remai same the youth will prefer CAPF to the armed forces ToD.

  2. # the minimum active duty enlistment period in the marines corps of north america's united states is four years. the minimum length of service in britain's army, too, is four years. an officer trained at sandhurst is commissioned to serve for twelve years, however, [s]he can choose to leave after three years. the officer cadet receiving a commission after four years of training at west point is bound to five years of active duty. the french foreign legion initial tour of duty is five years.
    the arms act, 1878, had been enacted to ensure that 'natives' could not acquire weapons, and replay 1857. the act, 1959, similarly limited any military training for 'nationalist volunteers' to some sham musketry with air-guns; and of course drilling with a quarterstaff. now, their cadres can also acquire full military training with the noble aims of inculcation of patriotism, ingrained loyalty for the india, and availability of military trained personnel to boost national security in times of internal threats.
    will the new move mean that no longer can the armed police forces such as the reserve police, industrial security, border security, railway protection, will baldfaced exclude ex-service men from enlisting - on the specious plea that they are well above prescribed maximum age. after four years of military service, and being just 21, 22 years old, the demobbed soldiers applying for recruitment to these forces will stand head and shoulders above other applicants. within a few years, the armed police constabulary will be mostly demobbed military personnel. army headquarters had been for decades demanding that jawans completing their fifteen years colour service should be given preferential berths in the armed police, especially those deployed on the IB for border protection, and have to work in tandem with army's battalions and brigades.
    seems it will be a win-win for all; nagpur-jhandewalan, army headquarters, and raisina hill. of course, there is the apprehension that demobbed soldiers may end up as mujaheed, maoists, and similar underground militia. usually, militants are recruited from those in their late teen and stay on till their early twenties. by twenty five, many choose to take advantage of the surrendered militants cottage industry run very efficiently by publicity seeking high profiles. or become contractors for government entities as they have the muscle power to keep out competitors, ensure all payments are made by the babucracy, intimidate any audit, or vigilance innocents. then others set up NGOs, and join in developmental administration where the funds are lucrative. or simply marry, and set up a family. that a demobbed soldier after four years will be ripe picking for aunty-nationals appears more a contrived distraction. and anyway, after four years of inculcation of patriotism, ingrained loyalty for india will trump.

    1. US, UK, France - does not have two active borders with two nuclear powers. They don't have the insurgency we face in J&K that requires RR battalions. Plus and more importantly the level and pace of technology adoption is at very high level in these armies compared to ours. We have trouble fixing a standard issue rifle for the full infantry. Artillery is nowhere near the current standards offered by technology. The one thing that goes for IA even while being under equipped is the josh, jazba and loyalty of the infantry man. Now there is a strong case for pension and salary liability reduction. Just two steps can achieve the same. #1. Service tenure offer reduced to 10 years extensible by 4 for soldiers who are willing/eligible to be NCOs. Retirement at 10/14 years (without pension) with commissioning only for soldiers who become JCO at the end of 14 years. #2. CAPFs to absorb all soldiers at the end of their 10/14 year tenure and open recruitment for CAPFs only to fill positions that are left vacant after the absorption of ex-soldiers every year.

  3. Financial Analysis of the impact of
    Tour of Duty concept being Implemented by the Armed Forces.

    1. The so called Agneeveers who will
    recruited this year will start their training
    in the year 2023. The soldiers who have
    been recruited till now will continue to
    retire with pension till 2039.
    Hence there will be no reduction in
    the pension liability of the Govt till
    2. The present GDP of the India is
    approx 3.5 Trillion dollars.This is estimated to grow to about 20 Trillion
    Dollars by 2040
    3. Since it is difficult to workout the
    Perspective plans for defence beyond
    the horizon of 10 years ,any kind of
    financial perspective plans beyond
    5 to 10 years will be a wild guess.
    4.There will be atleast three kinds
    additional expenses in case of
    enrolement of the Agneeveers
    This will increase rather than reduce
    Defence budget expenditures for
    atleast next eighteen years. these
    (a) Expenses in terms of lumpsum
    amount to be paid to 75 percent of the
    of the Agneeveers who are going
    laid off after four years at approx
    5.5 lacs per person
    (b) Additional cost of recruitment
    because their nos will be four times
    the no of persons being recruited
    (c) Additional cost of Training
    these persons.
    5. Considering that on an averagecs
    about 50000 Agneeveers will be
    recruited every additional annual
    burden on defence budget starting
    from FY 2027 -28 for next eighteen
    years will be approx
    5.5*38000 lacs annually interms of
    Lay off benefits (considering that
    about 38000 will be laid off annually)
    6 In another three years time when
    Central govt DA crosses 50 percent
    it will be merged with basic pay.
    As of now it is not clear whether
    the salaries of these contractual
    workers will also increase. In case
    their salaries are also increased that
    will the additional burden. In case
    it is not increased there will be
    further disgruntlement

    7 To get the realistic financial impact
    all these additional expenditures
    will have to be calculated in terms of
    future cost of money as in the year
    2040. This could be approx 5 to 7
    times the total of annual expenditure
    depending on the prevailing rates
    of inflation in future

    Impact of inflation on the income of

    8 Since these persons are not getting
    the benefit of DA the value of their
    take home salaries and lumpsum
    grants will have reduced value in
    in terms of its purchasing power.
    Presently the rate of inflation is about
    9 percent . But even if take a conservative estimate of average 7 percent annual inflation during next
    five years ,the value of their earnings
    will reduce by about 25 percent.
    The value of approx 11.5 lacs that
    they are likely to get after 5 years
    will be about 8 To. 9 lacs in terms
    of today's value of money

    In my opinion a 20 Trillion economy
    will be able to take care of its defence
    modernization and still look after
    it's soldiers welfare if it plans well
    for its future strategic needs and
    creates alliances for its defence .
    It need not venture into a doubtful
    HR adventurism which will only increase
    it's budgetry expenditure for the next
    15 Years with uncertain consequences.

  4. A peon smoking bidis in govt of India takes home over 50000 pm , sweepers , drivers earn same working in govt jobs . The minimum salary must be 50000 pm and 70000 after four years . Time spent be counted as service for assured induction in other govt private jobs . AGNIVEERS must be marketed for civil miltary jobs in America Gulf countries Europe Australia to make it attractive and worthwhile for young men and women who join

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Recent Posts

Page 1 of 10412345...104Next >>Last