Review Agnipath Scheme

Review Agnipath Scheme


Recently, two BJP allies, Janata Dal (U) and Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas), have called for a review of the Agnipath scheme for short-term recruitments to the armed forces, citing dissatisfaction among certain sections.

  • Meanwhile, the importance of a caste-based census, referencing the Bihar government’s initiative was put forward, suggesting that it is an urgent need supported by multiple parties.


GS-02 (Government policies and interventions)

 Agnipath Scheme

  • The Agnipath scheme marks a significant reform in defense policy by altering the recruitment process for the Indian armed forces.
  • Young men and women, termed Agniveers, are recruited under this scheme, which operates on a short-service manpower model.
  • It offers young individuals to contribute to the Armed Forces for a duration of four years.
  • Termed as “Agniveers,” these youth will have the opportunity to enlist in the army for a short stint. With an annual recruitment target ranging from 45,000 to 50,000 soldiers, most participants will exit the service after the stipulated four-year period.
  • Following this term, only 25% of the cohort will be re-enlisted into their respective services for an extended period of 15 years.

Eligibility Criteria

  • This scheme is exclusively designed for personnel below officer ranks, excluding those who enter the forces as commissioned officers, the highest-ranking officials within the army.
  • Candidates aged between 17.5 and 23 years are eligible to apply.


  • The primary aim of the Agnipath Scheme is to provide an avenue for motivated youth to serve in the Armed Forces, fostering a spirit of enthusiasm and commitment.
  • Additionally, it seeks to reduce the average age profile of the Indian Armed Forces by approximately 4 to 5 years, envisioning a transition from the current average age of 32 years to 26 years within the next six to seven years.

Related Concerns

  • Challenges such as difficulty in securing alternative employment after the four-year term and the absence of pension benefits raise concerns among participants.
  • Additionally, the potential underutilization of training received during the service period may result in a loss of experienced personnel within the Armed Forces.

Significance of the Scheme for the Country

  • The Agnipath Scheme aims to cultivate “future-ready” soldiers while simultaneously increasing employment opportunities.
  • By leveraging the skills and experience gained during their service, participants can explore diverse fields of employment, contributing to a higher-skilled workforce and fostering economic growth.