The Armed Forces are close to finalising the broad criteria for assessing the 25 per cent of Agniveers who would be retained in the services at the end of their four-year tenure—which is likely to include a 1,000-mark system, special weightage for “soldierly qualities”, and sports skills.
Under the newly launched Agnipath scheme, 46,000 Agniveers will be recruited into the Armed Forces. From which, 40,000 for the Army, and 3,000 each for the Navy and IAF. Every year more Agniveers will keep adding in the future.
As per the sources, Assessments will be done on the basis of their performance during their tenures such as their performances in Battle Preparedness Efficiency Test (BPET), Physical Proficiency Test (PPT), firing and drill and Tradesman such as drivers, and gunners among other trades across the services will be constantly assessed on their technical expertness.
A government source said the Agniveers will also be assessed on various “soldierly qualities” such as loyalty, integrity, camaraderie, responsiveness, and responsibility. “There would be additional weightage for those who are outstanding sportsmen, gallantry awardees or in instances of them suffering injuries in operations, while there could be negative marks for poor discipline or punishments under the service acts,” the source said.
As of now, the plan is to mark the Agniveers with a total of 1,000 marks. The Agniveers would be assessed by a three-tier system including the commanding officer under whom they are serving.
While these are the broad criteria being finalised, sources said the professional and technical standards or qualifications would vary between the three services. The process of assessment will be a continuous process of four years of their service, including a training period of six months.
According to the Vice Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen BS Raju that the Agniveers would be assessed through four years on multiple objective and subjective parameters before a final merit list is drawn for their selection as permanent soldiers.
To keep the process transparent, he had said that all the performance-related data will be collected and uploaded into the system, without any human intervention, and that Agniveers will be counselled and will be given performance reviews during their training period.
As reported this week, the Centre last month amended the Defence Services Regulations to include the rank of Agniveer amid preparations to induct men and women into the Army, Navy, and the Indian Air Force, as per which, the rank of Agniveer will be the last in the order of precedence after JCOs, WOs, NCOs, Sepoys, Riflemen and their equivalents in the other branches of Indian defence services.