Lieutenant General B.S. Raju – News18 Punjab

The newly launched Agnipath Recruitment Scheme will conduct continuous evaluation of firefighters joining the Indian Armed Forces on a number of objective and personal criteria in four years before final merit list for selection as permanent soldiers is prepared. Deputy Army Chief Lt. Gen. B.S. Raju gave this information to News18.

In an exclusive interview, the army official sought to allay fears of a non-transparent selection process for 25 percent of firefighters who would be selected to serve in the military after four years.

“We understand that at the end of four years, Agniveer must be convinced that he has gone through a transparent process,” he said. We have made very special arrangements to check recruitment in each of the weapons and services. It will be a continuous assessment. “

Explaining how the Army would ensure that firefighters as permanent recruits could be selected in an outgoing manner without any bias or unhealthy competition, Lt. Gen. Raju said that a firefighter can complete his six months training period. Will make its first assessment at the end of

“Then at the end of each year, he will be assessed on the basis of various criteria such as his physical fitness, firing skills and other exercises,” he said.

He said there would also be some personal assessment on criteria like attitude. And qualifications by the people he will interact with, such as his platoon commander, company commander, and commanding officer.

“It will all be collected and at the end of the year, it will be collected and uploaded into the system without any human intervention,” he said. The same process will be followed at the end of the second and third years, and at the end of the four years, complete data will be collected and then the merit list will be created. “

“It will also give us confidence that we are choosing the best soldiers.”

Lt. Gen. Raju said that during his training period, a firefighter would be counseled and performance would be evaluated.

“The whole idea is of continuous evaluation,” he said. This will be extended to the assessment period, which includes separate weightage for the training period and subsequent years.

Asked about the inclusion of women soldiers in the army as firefighters, she said that women would be recruited into the Army in the Corps of Military Police (CMP) through the Agnipath scheme. Like other recruitments, recruitment of women in CMP has been stopped for two years after the initial batches.

‘Four years is enough for proper training’
Talking about his training as a soldier, Lt. Gen. Raju said that there is a long period of four years for his training.

He said that they would be given six months intensive training and based on the requirements, the battalion commander would provide necessary training to each person to develop different skill sets.

“He will be given enough training to meet the operational needs of the battalion and we can go to war with the same person tomorrow,” he said.

He said that for an advanced course, such as an instructor, one needs to be a firefighter. More skills can be acquired after four years.

“Upskilling will take place in four years, but an instructor says special training to become an Agniveer will be given after four years,” he said.

‘The project is being implemented in a controlled manner’
Lt. Gen. Raju said the way the Agneepath project is being rolled out is “in a very controlled manner” and that is why it can be considered a pilot project.

“It will also give us time to better assess it and make changes if needed,” he said. No change is needed immediately, but along the way, if some tweaking is needed, it can be done. “

He emphasized that there was a provision for the Defense Minister to seek further changes in the plan.

Despite strong public opposition to the announcement of the plan, VCOAS said there was no doubt that people would come in large numbers to join the armed forces as usual.

“The whole program will get a positive response,” he said.

Talking about the expenses and savings from implementation of the scheme, he said that the changes required for managing human capital and achieving early age profile, selection and training system parameters and other such tasks were given priority. Was

He said that no immediate revenue would be spent under this scheme as the training capacity of the Army was more than the enlisted numbers.

“There may be a need to increase training capacity after the 6th or 7th year and the infrastructure can be scaled based on the assessment of the situation at that time,” he said.

On reducing manpower
Lt. Gen. Raju said the army would address the manpower shortage through the scheme.

There has been no recruitment in the last two years and this has reduced some strength. Now, we are recruiting a certain number with an exit policy. This will have some effect on the overall strength, but as we move forward, we will increase the numbers so that the strength of the army can be maintained at the required level.

On Agniveer Skills Certificate
The senior Army officer said that for those who join the force with a diploma, the additional skills acquired during the program make them eligible for the degree course.

He said Agniveer would accumulate credit points during his tenure in the Army, which could be redeemed in a few years to complete his graduation.

Asked how the Army would persuade Indian rural youth to join the force without a guarantee of a permanent job and pension, he said the scheme was designed to give the youth a chance to join the armed forces for four years. Has gone Enjoy serving the country through the hardships of serving in the army.

“He will be financially compensated during this tenure, will receive a lump sum from the Seva Nidhi package at the end of his tenure and will have plenty of career opportunities to choose from,” he said.

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