Indian Army Starts Training for First Batch of Agniveers

Indian Army

New Delhi: The government’s ambitious goal of having a young trained manpower began this year as more than 19,000 Agniveers of the Indian Army began training at nearly 40 centres across the country in specially curated courses which involve a heavy focus on simulation.

Sources in the defence establishment said the training methodology and infrastructure were adapted to meet the dual requirement of future-ready soldiers and short duration of engagement of Agniveers. The training, which began on January 1, involves both Basic and Advanced military programmes that have been optimised to a standard 24 to 31 weeks.

A large number of simulators for training on varied weapons and equipment are being established, sources said, adding that infrastructure creation and staffing of specialists in sports medicine and physiotherapy are being carried out as a pre-emptive measure for possible stress injuries at all training centres.

The Agniveers will further undergo seven weeks of on-the-job training (OJT) after their training at the allotted centre. Apart from the training imparted at the centres, which forms the first layer of inculcating discipline, the second phase will take place in the unit to which an Agniveer will be enrolled for four years of employment.

The tasks, training calendar and operational duties will enforce a sense of loyalty and duty to the organisation and the country, the sources said. They said the third phase of training will comprise interactions with peers, senior NCOs/JCOs (non-commissioned officers/junior commissioned officers) and (other) officers, which will add to an Agniveer’s personality and enable him to experience the Army as a “way of life”.

“All these layers will ensure that adequate discipline and ethos is imparted to an Agniveer in his four years of employment,” a source said.

The Centre had in June last year introduced the Agnipath scheme which drastically changed the recruitment procedure for the armed forces. Under this scheme, youth between 17-and-a-half years of age to those aged 21 will be recruited as soldiers (Agniveers) for a period of four years.

While all Agniveers will be given the option to enrol into the regular cadre after four years, only 25 per cent from each batch will be retained after they complete their service duration. The Agniveers will be all-India and all-class, and will form a distinct rank in the armed forces, besides having distinctive insignia.

A total of 96 recruitment rallies were conducted by the Army across the length and breadth of the country to select 40,000 Agniveers. The second batch of over 21,000 recruits will begin training on March 1. Subsequent batches will be inducted in May and November every year, sources said.