New Delhi: Amid protests against the Agnipath defence recruitment scheme, National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval said on Tuesday that it will not be rolled back. “There is no question of rollback,” he told ANI in an interview, arguing that the new system will ensure a younger and more tech-savvy army. “India has among the youngest populations in the world; yet it cannot continue to have an army with a high average age.”
NSA Doval is the latest among those deployed by the government to defend the scheme for recruiting ‘Agniveer’ soldiers on four-year contracts without pension in the three services. Only up to 25 per cent of these recruits may be given regular commission of 15 years thereafter. This has led to violent protests across India ever since the announcement was made on June 14.
In the interview, while denying any possibility of the scheme being scrapped, Mr Doval said, “It is not a kneejerk action. This scheme has been debated and discussed for decades.” He cited a number of army committees and ministerial panels as having deliberated on such a hiring scheme for the armed forces.