New Delhi : There is no question of rightsizing or downsizing of the Indian Army through Agnipath scheme, senior military official Lt Gen Anil Puri said on Tuesday while stressing that the objective behind the scheme is to bring youthfulness in the armed forces.
“The whole objective behind introducing the scheme is to bring youthfulness to the forces. There is no question of rightsizing or downsizing the armed forces. That’s not the aim… just not the aim,” he said.
The Additional Secretary in the Department of Military Affairs (DMA) was speaking on Agnipath scheme at a press conference along with HR heads of the three Services.
Gen Puri said that before deciding on Agnipath scheme, the government and the armed forces had a lot of brainstorming with all the stakeholders.
Giving out statistics, the senior military official said 150 meetings of the three services took place to discuss Agnipath scheme. Similarly, there were 60 meetings of the Defence Ministry and 44 ‘Whole of Govt’ meetings over the recruitment scheme.
“It is not possible that various kinds of meetings do not take place before bringing such a huge reform. The work was being done for the past two years involving the erstwhile chiefs of three armed forces. Before that the Agnipath scheme was being studied only on papers,” he said.
He said that the armed forces conducted discussions with various ministries including Home, Finance, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Education and Law in the run up to launching the scheme.
Gen Puri said that the armed forces though studied the recruitment models of other countries too.
“No other country except India has or will have a demographic dividend like India in the near future. And as such, Indian problems will need Indian solutions. In the coming years, India will be the only nation to have 50 per cent of the population under the age of 25 years,” he said.
He assured that there has been no change in the recruitment process.
“I can assure you that there is no difference between the recruitment process which took place five years ago and the process which is going to take place five days later for Agniveers.
“We are in the profession of soldiering. Any solution that we go ahead with would be for the security of the nation. Our solutions will always be soldier-centric, youth-centric and focussed on security of the country,” he said.