The recruitment process remains unchanged, the regimentation system continues: Tri-services on Agnipath

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The armed forces said on Tuesday that “credible” information about the “Agnipath” program recently dispelled misinformation about the initiative and claimed that young people preparing to become soldiers had resumed physical activities in several places.

Amid concerns over the recruitment process, Lt. Gen. Anil Puri, additional secretary of the Department of Military Affairs, said the recruitment process will remain unchanged and the traditional regimentation system in the military will continue.

The program, which provides for a four-year term for 75% of recruits, is the result of a long period of consultation within the three services and the Ministry of Defense as well as deliberations between several wings of government. It is a much-needed reform, he told a tri-service press conference.

Various committees since 1989 had made recommendations along these lines, he said, adding that all stakeholders were involved in finalizing the Agnipath program.

With young people in several places resorting to violence to protest the scheme, Puri said all “Agnipath” contestants will have to pledge not to be part of any violence.

“There is no place for arson and violence in the armed forces,” he said.

Referring to police verification, he noted that it has always been part of the recruitment process.

Over the years, the profile of military commanders has become younger. From now on, the profile of the soldiers will become younger, he said.

Supporting the project, an official said that “Agnipath” would not weaken but improve the combat capabilities of the army.

Protests against the program, which was unveiled on June 12, have diminished in recent days.

Officials told the presser that “Agniveers,” a term for those recruited into the program, will be eligible for gallantry awards and that the program is being rolled out to ensure the armed forces attract top talent.

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