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'Agnipath' scheme will play pivotal role in enhancing Indian Navy's effectiveness: Admiral Kumar

NEW DELHI (PTI):  Indian Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar has said the 'Agnipath' recruitment scheme is a "visionary move" which will play a pivotal role in enhancing the "effectiveness and efficiency" of India's naval prowess.

The Admiral on Tuesday also said it will provide the 'Agniveers' with a unique experience of working on the warships, submarines, aircraft carriers, military aircraft and the latest weapons and sensors.

The government unveiled the 'Agnipath' scheme for the recruitment of soldiers in the Army, Navy and the Air Force on a short-term contractual basis for four years to ensure a youthful profile of the armed forces.

The youths recruited under the scheme will be known as 'Agniveers'. After completion of the four-year tenure, 25 per cent of the recruits from each specific batch would be offered regular service.

"I want to say that the Agnipath scheme is a new thinking of the new era," the Navy Chief said at a joint media briefing along with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and

"We all know that present and future challenges are continuously evolving and to adequately address these challenges it is essential that we change our outlook and capabilities, along with lessons learned and best practices," he said.

The Navy Chief said the scheme will bring "balance" to the aspirations of the youth and the future requirements of the armed forces.

"In navigating the turbulent tides of competition and conflict across the world, we cannot afford to merely continue along the beaten path. Doing more of the same is no more an option. Therefore, for the fight of tomorrow, a change is also necessary," he added.

"As far as the Navy is concerned, the 'Agniveers' will provide a steady and continuous infusion of unbridled vitality, enthusiasm and new-age abilities of youth," the Navy Chief said.

He said the scheme will hold the youths in good stead for the rest of their lives while also contributing to society and community development.

"On completion of four years of service in uniform, they will be a vital element in India's growth story, contributing to nation-building through grooming, skilling, and inspiring our future generations whilst instilling and reinforcing a greater sense of nationalism and patriotism," Admiral Kumar said.

He said the 'Agniveers' will play a "pivotal role" in enhancing the "effectiveness and efficiency of the Navy and the country as both grow and rise to the challenges".

The Navy chief said the scheme has been rolled out after extensive deliberations with all stakeholders.

"The outcomes of these deliberations have only reaffirmed my conviction that this step will be truly transformational. Moreover, it will lead to a fine balance of the wisdom of experience and the exuberance of youth," he said.

"I would like to emphasise that all the plans have been made for the smooth transition of this new system. Note, women will also be involved in the Agniveer scheme of the Navy," he added.

The Navy Chief also described the scheme as a "visionary move".

"Indian Navy is all set to make 'Agniveers' a part of its 'Team Navy' seamlessly," he added.

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