'Agniveers' are not only 'Surakshaveers' of Nation, but also 'Samriddhiveers' contributing to the Nation's prosperity: Defence Minister
Defence Minister calls upon other Ministries, State Governments and private sector to provide new opportunities to Agniveer
Agnipath is a game changer scheme for the Armed Forces which is going to act as force multiplier in making Indian military as one of the best in the world with youthful, high-tech and ultra-modern outlook. This was stated by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh during his virtual address at the MoU Exchange Ceremony ‘Outreach Programme with Ministry of Education (MoE) & and Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MoSDE’) in New Delhi on January 3, 2023. He elaborated on the paradigm shifting changes the Agnipath scheme is going to make in transforming the Armed Forces into a tech-savvy, well-equipped and combat ready unit to face future challenges.
During the event, Ministry of Defence (MoD), Ministry of Education (MoE), Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MoSDE) and all the three Services signed/exchanged MoUs/Agreements with various stakeholders to facilitate continued education of Agniveers while serving in the Armed Forces and award of appropriate skill certificates in accordance with their expertise/experience. Under these MoUs with National Institute of Open School (NIOS) and Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), suitable 12th Class certificates and Bachelor’s degree will be awarded to the Agniveers respectively.
The Job Roles/Skill Sets of Agniveers, while being trained and deployed with the Armed Forces, have been mapped with National Occupational Standards (NOS), in coordination with National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and Sector Skill Councils (SSCs). Based on these qualifications, market-ready and industry-accepted, ‘Kaushal Praman Patra’ will be issued to Agniveers at the time of their exit from the Armed Forces.
To seamlessly facilitate the process, various departments of MoSDE have extensively collaborated in the Armed Forces and awarded Dual Category recognition as the Awarding Body (AB) and Assessment Agency (AA) by the National Council of Vocational Education and Training (NCVET). In addition, Directorate General of Training (DGT) under MoSDE would also facilitate award of National Trade Certificate (NTC) to Agniveers.
Rajnath Singh stated that with the signing of these MoUs, Agniveers will be able to complete their education in a timely manner and develop additional qualities and skills. When Agniveers return to the society after being equipped with all these qualities, they will contribute to nation building, he said.
The Defence Minister added that helping ‘Agniveers’ would be a win-win situation for all as they will not only become 'Surakshaveers' for the nation by rendering their services in the Armed Forces, but also become 'Samriddhiveers' by contributing to the nation's prosperity. They will be beneficial for the whole society contributing to the nation building through their education, skill, discipline and other qualities. In addition to it, they would inspire the youth to become Agniveer, he said.
Complimenting the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Railways, state governments and the private sector for extending support to Agniveers in various services, the Defence Minister called upon the rest of the Ministries, State Governments and the corporate sector to come forward with more enthusiasm and provide new opportunities to the Agniveers as far as possible. He termed it as the responsibility of the system to provide newer opportunities to the Agniveers who dedicate their life in the service of the nation.”
In a video message, Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said, this MoUs/Agreements would empower the serving Agniveers to get maximum benefit from their acdemic education and skill development. He added that NOS will help them to pass 10th and 12th exam, while enrolled Agniveer in university could complete 50% syllabus of general higher studies, the rest credit could be earned through skill development training provided by defence institutions. They could get bachelor degree from IGNOU and with two year completed with necessary credit they could get Agniveer diploma. These degree would help Agniveer to get employment and higher education at national and international level.
The Government had launched Agnipath scheme on June 15, 2022 to recruit both male and female aspirants into ‘below the officer’s rank’ cadre of the three services for a period of four years as Agniveers. Candidates between the age group of 17.5 to 21 years are eligible to apply for the scheme. These Agniveers would undergo optimised basic military training and specialised trade training followed by up-skilling courses, as required.
The scheme provides a unique opportunity for transforming the Yuva Shakti into Agniveers and facilitates potential youth to realise their dream of serving the Nation through the Armed Forces. Exposure through Agnipath Scheme and fostered allegiance to Naam, Namak and Nishan, would shape Agniveers into Nation Builders.
There has been a whole of nation approach to empower the Agniveers with suitable Academic Qualifications & Skills, while serving in the Armed Forces, to help those Aginiveers who wish to start a second career option outside, with other Governmental organisations, Industry or even as Startup Entrepreneurs.
The ceremony was attended by senior officials of Ministry of Defence, various ministries, including Chief of Defence Staff and also Chiefs of all three Services.