Source : Times Now
Nationwide protests against the Centre’s Agnipath scheme have turned violent in states like Bihar, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan. Two people have died in the agitations, one of them in police firing. Several others have been injured since the protests broke out after the Cabinet Committee on Security took the “major armed forces policy reform” on Tuesday.
Public property was vandalised, buses and trains were targeted halting road and rail connectivity in parts of the country. Protestors stormed railway stations and several coaches of at least 10 trains were set on fire.
As the demonstrations gathered steam over the week, the government attempted to cool tempers and announced relaxations and other job security assurances – the upper age limit for the first batch of Agniveers was raised to 23 and the recruits will get 10 per cent reservation in the CAPF and Assam Rifles on completion of their 4-year tenure.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah said in a tweet: The MHA also decides to give 3 years age relaxation beyond the prescribed upper age limit to Agniveers for recruitment in CAPFs & Assam Rifles. Further, for the first batch of Agniveer, the age relaxation will be for 5 years beyond the prescribed upper age limit.
As the government firefights the volatile situation, armed forces chiefs have said that recruitment is set to commence soon. The Indian Air Force will start its selection process on 24 June and the Army will notify its schedule by Monday with an aim to start training the first batch by December.Navy chief Admiral R. Hari Kumar has said he did not anticipate protests of the kind India is witnessing over the scheme. “We worked on the Agnipath scheme for almost a year and a half. It’s the single-biggest human resources management transformation in the Indian military. Protests are happening due to misinformation and misunderstanding of the scheme,” he said.The Agnipath model is followed by many other nations that have been recruiting personnel for contractual terms for years.
United States of America
The United States, which is the strongest military power in the world, recruits personnel for a four-year term during which time they are on “active” duty. Personnel serve another four years on “inactive” duty which means they can be recalled if the need arises. The usa.gov website says that after an individual has completed active duty time, he or she can either extend the contract or re-enlist if they want to continue serving. Soldiers are eligible for pension after they serve 20 years in the military. Those who opt out before are eligible for certain perks and allowances.
China has the world’s largest army in terms of manpower, and India ranks second. But a large standing army is not the requirement of modern warfare and knowing that China has been downsizing its military’s human resources and adding more firepower to its strength.The Chinese military is based on conscription which makes military service obligatory for all men aged above 18 years. However, CNN reported that it is usually not the case since many poorer Chinese opt for the military voluntarily.As per Chinese law, the term of service for conscripts is three years in the Army and four years in the Navy and the Air Force. For volunteers, the term of active service is eight years and no more than 12 years.In recent years, China has been trying to reduce conscription and recruit more educated and technically proficient soldiers in an effort to modernise its forces.
Russia follows a hybrid contract and conscript model. All males aged 18 to 27 are subject to conscription for a year of military duty after an 8-month training period. During Russia’s twice-a-year conscription season, failure to register by eligible candidates is punishable by fines and up to 2 years’ imprisonment. Contract soldiers are given advanced training and deployed in strategic units. Despite conscription to create a reserve army, Russia has fallen short of men on the ground amid its war in Ukraine and has been reportedly hiring foreign fighters.
Conscription is a model Israel follows since its formation in 1948 to defend its territories from what was then a largely hostile neighbourhood. However, that is largely a “myth” now since Israel too has made a moved on from a conscription-based army to a leaner professional army as dynamics in the middle-east change.The Ultra-orthodox and Arab Israelis are exempted from conscription.Adult Israeli men must serve for 32 months and women for 24 months after which they are in a pool of reserves who can be called for service if required. 10 per cent of the conscripts are retained and given a contract for seven years. Those who serve a minimum of 12 years receive the benefits of a pension.