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4-year service too short for a soldier: Captain Amarinder suggests reviewing Agneepath scheme


Former Punjab Chief Minister and a veteran of Sino-Indian and Indo-Pak wars, Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday suggested the Centre to review the ‘Agneepath’ policy of recruitment in defence forces.

“It will dilute the long existing distinct ethos of regiments,” Captain Amarinder said in a statement today, while remarking, “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.

He strongly opposed the ‘All India, All Class’ recruitment policy saying it would dilute the ethos of the regiments. He pointed out, 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 a military point of view and this seems to have been overlooked.

The former chief minister, who is also a reputed military historian, pointed out 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 in an 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.

Captain Aamrinder said, the already 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 feasible.

“It will never work for a professional army which is faced with tough challenges on both eastern as well as western theatres,” he remarked.

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