If trained & young military manpower released is not absorbed it could join terrorists or insurgents, Maj Gen G D Bakshi said in a series of tweets
NEW DELHI, June 16 (The CONNECT) – The government’s new scheme called AGNIPATH to train youths as Agniveers in the Armed Forces for a period of four years has come for severe criticism from unexpected quarters with Maj Gen G D Bakshi saying “this new model will badly affect popularity of armed forces as a career.”
If trained & young military manpower released is not absorbed it could join terrorists or insurgents, Maj Gen G D Bakshi, a staunch supporter of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and critic of the Congress, said.
Gen Bakshi said he was “flabbergasted” by the Agniveer scheme. “I thought initially it was a trial being done on a pilot basis,” he tweeted. This is an across the board change to convert Indian armed forces to a short tenure quasi- conscript force like the Chinese, he said and commented: “For God’s sake PLEASE DONT do it.”
Gen Bakshi's twitter account description says: "Combat veteran,Phd in Strategic Studies. Author of 40 books, Editor Indian Military Review,Motivational Speaker. Country comes First Always & Everytime".
Per an official announcement, The AGNIPATH scheme has been designed to enable a youthful profile of the Armed Forces. It will provide an opportunity to the youth who may be keen to don the uniform by attracting young talent from the society who are more in tune with contemporary technological trends and plough back skilled, disciplined and motivated manpower into the society. As for the Armed Forces, it will enhance the youthful profile of the Armed Forces and provide a fresh lease of ‘Josh’ and ‘Jazba’ whilst at the same time bring about a transformational shift towards a more tech savvy Armed Forces – which is indeed the need of the hour. It is envisaged that average age profile of Indian Armed forces would come down by about 4-5 years by implementation of this scheme.
But Gen Bakshi said in his series of tweets, “Let’s not destroy our institutions in a time of great threats from China&Pak. Armed forces have performed well. Just for Saving money let us not destroy what we have. Armed forces need a mixture of youth & Experience.4-year tenure forces could be risk averse. Learn from Russia.”
He said All militaries have their organisational culture and Ethos. India has had a tradition of all volunteer full colour service armies. “Switching to a 4 year virtual tour of duty model overnight would be a highly disruptive change,” Gen Bakshi opined.
The government claimed that the nation stands to immensely benefit by infusion of highly inspired youth with deeper understanding of self-discipline, diligence and focus who would be adequately skilled and will be able to contribute in other sectors. The dividends of a short military service to the nation, society and the youth of the nation are immense. This includes inculcation of patriotism, team work, enhancement of physical fitness, ingrained loyalty for the country and availability of trained personnel to boost national security in times of external threats, internal threats and natural disasters.
This is a major defence policy reform introduced by the Government to usher in a new era in the Human Resource policy of the three Services. The policy, which comes into immediate effect, will hereafter govern the enrolment for the three services.
Agniveers will be given an attractive customised monthly package along with Risk and Hardship allowances as applicable in the three services. On completion of the engagement period of four years, Agniveers will be paid one time ‘SevaNidhi’ package which shall comprise their contribution including accrued interest thereon and matching contribution from the Government equal to the accumulated amount of their contribution including interest.
Gen Bakshi seemed to disagree when he said, Accountants can’t be allowed to run amok with OPERATIONAL Effectiveness of a force. This is being done to save money in revenue budget to enhance capital budget . “Pl don’t destroy Effective organisations to save money,” he said and demanded: “Increase defense budget to 3% of GDP.”
If trained & young military manpower released is not absorbed it could join terrorists or insurgents, Gen Bakshi warned. He felt that the 4-year contractual period militates against Integration in unit and could make men RISK AVERSE. Cater for 6 months training period and 8 months annual leave residual service will be just 3years with high threat From China and Pak this is NOT opportune time to generate great ORGANISATIONAL TURBULENCE, the war veteran said.
The government earlier explained that the Agniveers will be imparted with various military skills and experience, discipline, physical fitness, leadership qualities, courage and patriotism. Post this stint of four years, the Agniveers will be infused into the civil society where they can contribute immensely towards the nation building process.