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IAF Lays Down Criteria For Inducting Agniveers Amid Nationwide Agnipath Protests

The Indian Air Force released a brief laying down the various aspects of the scheme, including eligibility criteria, selection process and benefits. 

Indian Air Force (Representative image)
Indian Air Force (Representative image) PTI

Amid nationwide protests against the Agnipath scheme, the Indian Air Force has released a list of details on the new recruitment plan. The Agnipath scheme, which was announced by the Centre on Tuesday has sparked criticism among Army enthusiasts and the youth, with the opposition demanding a rollback of the scheme. 

The Air Force released a brief laying down the various aspects of the scheme, including eligibility criteria, selection process and benefits. 

The document states, "Agniveers once enrolled into the Indian Air Force, will be governed under the Air Force Act 1950, for a period of four years. Endeavour will be made to enroll candidates as Agniveers from all parts of the nation, utilising contemporary technology (online STAR exam and associated testing methods), specialized rallies and campus interviews at recognized technical institutes such as Industrial Training Institutes, NSQF etc. Agniveers would form a distinct rank in the IAF, different from any other existing rank."

For those under the age of 18, their enrollment document must be signed by their guardian or parents. 

"Post the period of four years, all Agniveers will go back to the society. However, based on organizational requirements and policies promulgated by the IAF, Agniveers who have exited will be offered an opportunity to apply for enrolment in the IAF in the regular cadre. The skills gained by each Agniveer will be captured in a certificate to form part of his resume. These applications will be considered by a centralized board in a transparent manner and not more than 25% of the strength of the specific batch of original Agniveers will be enrolled in the IAF based on performance during their four-year engagement period as Agniveers," the document added. 

Candidates will be selected on an 'All India All Classes' basis and the eligible age will be in a range from 17.5 years to 21 years. Other educational qualifications and physical standards would be issued by the Indian Air Force.

Agniveers enrolled under this entry are liable to be assigned any duty in organizational interest, at the discretion of the IAF.

IAF will endeavour to maintain a centralized high-quality online database of ‘Agniveers’ and will follow a transparent common assessment methodology. An objective assessment system to ensure fair and impartial assessment will be introduced. Skills attained by Agniveers will be systematically recorded. Broad guidelines will be framed before the appointment of the first batch of Agniveers and the same along with any subsequent changes would be circulated.

Individuals enrolled under this Scheme will be paid an Agniveer package of Rs. 30,000 per month with a fixed yearly increment. In addition, Risk and Hardship, Dress and Travel allowances will be paid. A non-lapsable dedicated ‘Agniveer Corpus Fund’ will be created in the interest-bearing section of the Public Account head. The fund will be administered and maintained under the aegis of the Ministry of Defence. Each Agniveer is to contribute 30 per cent of his monthly income to the ‘Agniveer Corpus Fund’. The Government will provide an interest rate equivalent to the Public Provident Fund on the amount accumulated in the fund.

 



On completion of the engagement period of four years, Agniveers will be eligible to receive the ‘Seva Nidhi’ package, which shall comprise their contribution (into the Agniveer Corpus Fund) and a matching contribution from the Government and interest on the accumulated amount. In the case of individuals who are subsequently selected for enrolment into the IAF as regular cadre, the ‘Seva Nidhi’ package to be paid to them will comprise only of their contribution including accrued interest thereon. The ‘Seva Nidhi’ will be exempt from Income Tax.

At the end of the engagement period, a detailed Skill-set certificate will be provided to the Agniveers, highlighting the skills and level of competency acquired by them during their engagement period.

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