Agnipath Scheme: In-depth Guide

Editorial Analysis for IAS - Agnipath Scheme: In-depth Guide

An Overlook into the Agnipath Scheme


  • Massive protests demanding the rollback of the Agnipath scheme has continued across the country.
  • Hundreds of people have been injured in various places in the violence that marked the agitation against the new armed forces recruitment scheme.

Economic Aspect:

  • India faces threat from two adversaries mainly China and Pakistan and other threats internally in Kashmir and the northeastern States. 
  • So, there has always been an idea of modernisation of the armed forces and increase defence spending.
  • In the recent budget, the allocation for salaries and pensions accounted for 54% of the total budget.
  • This trend has remained consistently from decades In the current financial year, ₹1,19,696 crore has been budgeted for pensions, along with another ₹1,63,453 crore for salaries.
  • The argument is that, the savings in the pensions will encourage more spending on modernisation of the defence forces.
  • It is estimated that Indian Air Force requires 42 squadrons of fighter jets but currently the there are only 30 squadrons.
  • This is also similar in the case of Indian navy which requires upto 200 warships currently has 130 and the army is also short of 1,00,000 soldiers.
  • So, it is clear that the introduction of Agniveer scheme is to tackle the economic hurdles in the defence sector.

Social and Political Challenges:

  • To prevent the domination of a particular group based on state, linguistic community or ethnicity, the army had an idea of a State-wise quota for recruitment.
  • It was based on the idea on the Recruitable Male Population of that State which was implemented from 1966.
  • So, there is an apprehension that introduction of Agniveer scheme, this idea of state wise representation will wane.
  • According many researches ethnic imbalance in the armed forces will increase the chance of civil wars and can be a threat to democracy.

Other Consequences:

  • As this is new to the armed forces, the exact consequences of short term recruiting is still not known.
  • But there are apprehensions that it will hamper the professional capabilities of the armed forces.
  • The government has to handle the high turnout of young soldiers and invest heavily on their training and increase the administrative setup.
  • The Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy employ their airmen and sailors in very specialised roles, which require technical skills, and a high degree of training and experience.
  • They form the backbone of the system that keeps the warships at sea, the fighter jets in the air, and high-tech weapons and platforms operational.
  • Because the short-term contractual soldier model (the Agniveer scheme) is going to take a few years to fully play out at an organisational level, the actual degradation of operational capability will only be known then.


           Source The Hindu