Defence ministry to recruit about 46,000 soldiers for three wings of the armed forces

VISAKHAPATNAM: The defence ministry will allocate about 35 per cent of its naval forces to the Vizag-based Eastern Naval Command (ENC) under the newly launched scheme, Agnipath, ENC commanding-in-chief vice admiral Bishwajit Dasgupta has said. The soldiers recruited under this scheme are called "Agniveer."

Dasgupta told the media at the ENC headquarters here on Wednesday that the defence ministry would recruit about 46,000 soldiers for the three wings of the armed forces. The share of the Indian Navy is about 3,000 Agniveers. About 35 per cent of the Navy’s stake is with ENC. Recruitment across the country would start in six months.

The defence ministry unveiled the scheme to do the recruitment on a four-year contract. The selected candidates will have at least six months’ training.

"There are opportunities to consider women under this scheme, a transformative initiative by the government to infuse young blood into the armed forces," Dasgupta stated.

With a corpus fund of 11.71 lakh, the first year salary package is Rs 4.76 lakh which would reach Rs 6.92 lakh in the fourth year.

If necessary, the Armed Forces may induct, on a long-term basis, some 25 per cent of the first batch at the end of the fourth year. After release from the services, candidates can move on to other jobs in fields such as fisheries, tourism, para medical etc, he added. The new scheme was announced after extensive discussions over the last two years.