Punjab & Region

Amarinder Singh suggests reviewing Agnipath scheme, says 4-year service too short for soldier

Chandigarh, June 17
Former Punjab Chief Minister and Punjab Lok Congress president Captain Amarinder Singh has suggested reviewing the ‘Agnipath’ scheme for recruitment in defence forces saying “it will dilute the long-existing distinct ethos of regiments.” Captain Amarinder Singh, an ex-serviceman, said that “four-year service is too short for a soldier.” He wondered why the government of India needed to make such radical changes in the recruitment policy, which has been working so well for the country for so many years. “Hiring soldiers for four years, with effective service of three years, is not at all militarily a good idea,” he remarked. The former Chief Minister strongly opposed the “All India, All Class” recruitment policy saying it will dilute the ethos of the regiments. He noted that different regiments like the Sikh Regiment, the Dogra Regiment, the Madras Regiment and so on have their own distinct ethos which is very important from the military point of view and which seems to have been overlooked. According to a release, Amarinder Singh, who is also a reputed military historian, noted that the system has worked so well all these years. Besides, he added, it will be very difficult for recruits from different cultural backgrounds to adjust to a culturally different environment that is exclusive to a particular regiment and that too within such a short span of time, “which effectively comes to less than three years”. He said the existing short-duration tenure system of seven and five years is fine, but four years, which once training and leave period are excluded, effectively comes to less than three years, will not be workable. “It will never be workable for a professional army which is faced with tough challenges on both eastern as well as western theatres,” he remarked. Amarinder Singh’s party had fought the last assembly polls in Punjab in alliance with BJP. The union cabinet had cleared Agnipath scheme for recruitment of youth in the armed forces on Tuesday. (ANI)