Agnipath Scheme: Government will review the Agniveer scheme, Army also conducted a survey!


Agniveer Scheme Review: There are preparations to make changes in the Agnipath scheme launched for army recruitment. The newly elected NDA government has entrusted the responsibility to the secretaries of various ministries. The soldiers selected under the Agnipath scheme are called Agniveers. According to media reports, the secretaries of 10 major ministries have been asked to review the Agnipath scheme. They will also have to give suggestions on how to make the Agnipath scheme more attractive. The three armies have also conducted an internal survey in which some aspects related to the scheme have been identified.


The issue of recruitment of Agniveers was raised a lot in the Lok Sabha elections 2024. Some constituent parties of the ruling coalition also advocated for changes in the Agneepath scheme. After this, the government led by PM Narendra Modi decided to review the scheme. The review of the scheme was also included in the 100-day agenda of the new government. The panel of secretaries will prepare a presentation which will be presented to the PM after returning from Italy. The PM will take a decision after talking to all the stakeholders.

Agneepath Scheme: What can change for Agniveers?

According to media reports, the government panel may recommend more financial benefits for Agniveers. In the survey conducted within the army, increasing the percentage of retention of Agniveers has been discussed prominently. Currently, 25 percent of Agniveers are regularized. There is a consideration to increase it to 60-70 percent for general soldiers and 75% for technical and specialist soldiers.

According to the feedback received by the Army, there is a lack of harmony and camaraderie among the Agniveers. They have a tendency to compete rather than cooperate, which is leading to a lack of trust among the Agniveers.

There is also a discussion within the army about increasing the training period of Agniveers. Earlier, the training of soldiers used to last from 37 to 42 weeks. In the Agneepath scheme, the training period was reduced to 24 weeks. According to the feedback received by the army, this badly affected the overall training of Agniveers. The army is thinking of making the training period as before.

The overall service period of Agniveers can also be increased from four years to seven years so that they can get gratuity and ex-servicemen status. There is also a suggestion that the seniority of Agniveers should be maintained upon recruitment in central police forces.

Agnipath Scheme: How much does one Agniveer spend?

The Agnipath scheme was launched in June 2022. Army recruitment was halted for two years due to COVID-19, after which this scheme was started. Under this, youth are inducted into the army for four years after training. During this time, they get an initial salary of Rs 30,000 per month which increases to Rs 40,000/month by the fourth year. After four years, Agniveers get Rs 12 lakh as an 'Army Fund Package'. The armies can also retain 25% of Agniveers as per their requirement.

According to a study by the Observer Research Foundation (ORF), the government has to spend Rs 1.75 lakh annually on an Agniveer as compared to a full-time soldier. The total savings on a batch of 60 thousand Agniveers amounts to Rs 1,054 crore.

The biggest difference between a normal soldier and an Agniveer is that a regular soldier gets a pension, but Agniveers do not get any pension after four years. About one-fourth of the defense budget is spent on pensions. An attempt was made to cut down such expenditure through the Agneepath scheme.