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 story : Laissez-faire Agnipath scheme could strike at operational foundations of India’s armed forces #IndiaNEWS A few days before demitting office as the Chief of Army Staff in April, General MM Naravane

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Laissez-faire Agnipath scheme could strike at operational foundations of India’s armed forces #IndiaNEWS
A few days before demitting office as the Chief of Army Staff in April, General MM Naravane made a nuanced appeal to the nation: that the expenditure on the armed forces should not be viewed as a burden on India’s economy. It was more than a sentimental entreaty by an outgoing chief. Instead, it seemed to be a subdued protest against the many measures – explicit as well as disguised – to tighten the purse strings of one of the world’s biggest military establishments.While Naravane has been an integral part of the higher defence management that had conceptualised the policies aimed at facilitating a “lean and mean army?, the caution he expressed might have betrayed the unease in the military circles about radical transformations that could diminish the potency of India’s armed forces. On Tuesday, the government finally announced the Agnipath scheme – an ultra-short-service plan to attract “patriotic and motivated youth to serve in the Armed Forces for four years? – and declared that this policy will “hereafter govern the enrolment for the three services?. With this, the armed forces are being forced into transformative reforms that will significantly alter their manpower profile and fighting capabilities.Long discussed as the “tour of duty? scheme, Agnipath is...Read more


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