Agnipath Yojana: IAF makes BIG announcement for retired 'Agniveers'

Agnipath Yojana: 

Amid nationwide protests against the ‘Agnipath Yojana’ short-term military recruitment scheme, the Indian Air Force (IAF) on Sunday announced a host of benefits for retired ‘Agniveers’.

According to an IAF statement, 25 percent of those who enroll under the ‘Agnipath Yojana’ will be re-absorbed into the IAF. 

The IAF also announced the creation of an ‘Agniveer Corpus Fund’ and ‘Seva Nidhi’ package for retired ‘Agniveers’.

“Each Agniveer is to contribute 30% of his monthly income to the ‘Agniveer Corpus Fund’. The government will provide interest rate equivalent to the Public Provident Fund on the amount accumulated in the fund,” the IAF statement said.

“On completion  of the engagement period of four years, Agniveers will be eligible to receive ‘Sewa Nidhi’ package which shal comprise their contribution into the ‘Agniveer Corpus Fund’ and matching contribution from the government and and interest on the accumulated amount. The ‘Seva Nidhi’ will be exempt from income tax,” the statement added.

Meanwhile, the central government also announced new reliefs for ‘Agniveers’ who will leave the armed forces after 4 years of service as per the ‘Agnipath Yojana’. The Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Home Affairs has announced reservation for ‘Agniveers’ in the paramilitary forces. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that 10 per cent of the jobs in the paramilatary forces will be reserved for the ‘Agniveers’. 

The Union Home Ministry has also announced 10 per cent reservation for ‘Agniveers’ in the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) and Assam Rifles. A relaxation of 3 to 5 years in the age limit has also been announced.

What are the relaxations and reservations for ‘Agniveers’?

– 10% reservation in Coast Guard and Defense PSUs

– 10% reservation in CAPFs and Assam Rifles; 3 years relaxation in upper age limit

– Preference in police recruitment 

– Employment in merchant navy: 6 new methods of induction announced

– NIOS customized course for 10th pass Agniveers to get 12th certificate

– Education Ministry to recognize credits for in-service training as graduation credits

– IGNOU to launch customized degree courses

– Skill India certification in service

– Ease of lending at affordable rates through public sector banks, insurance firms and financial institutions

– Reservation for ‘Agniveers’ in government jobs

The Defense Ministry said in a statement that the quota of 10 per cent would be applicable in Coast Guard, Defense Civilian Posts and all 16 Defense Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs). This quota will be different from the quota which is given to ex-servicemen. Necessary changes will be made in the Recruitment Rules to give effect to these provisions.

The Ministry of Home Affairs said in a tweet, “It has been decided to give 3 years relaxation in the maximum entry age limit fixed for Agniveers for recruitment in CAPF and Assam Rifles. For the first batch of the Agnipath Yojana, this relaxation will be 5 years. Meanwhile, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said in a program that confusion is being spread about the Agnipath Yojana. After much deliberation, the decision has been implemented. This scheme will revolutionize the recruitment process of soldiers. We should not lower the morale of the soldiers of the country.”

Violent demonstrations against the ‘Agnipath Yojana’ also took place on Saturday for the fourth day. In Bihar, protesters torched a railway station and a police vehicle. Several policemen were injured in stone pelting. In view of the situation, 32 trains passing through Bihar were cancelled. Railways says that no train will run here from 4 am to 8 pm. All trains under the jurisdiction of East Central Railway will run from 8 PM to 4 AM only. 

There were 86 arrests in connection with the arson at Danapur railway station. There are 7 coaching institutes under the scanner of the police. Their WhatsApp groups are being searched. At the same time, demonstrations were held in many parts of Rajasthan. Protesters created ruckus on Jaipur-Delhi highway in Alwar district. Some broke the windows of the bus. Youth in Kerala demanded to conduct the pending written examination for army recruitment at the earliest.

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