a new program to rejuvenate soldiers and save on pensions

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In India, the government launched a new program to recruit 50,000 troops per year. These young recruits for a period of four years should allow for a more flexible workforce and to save on retirement costs. The opposition condemned the attack on the prestige of the military institution.

With our correspondent in Bangalore, Como Bastin

The program is called Agneepath, path of fire in Hindi, a reference to a poem by renowned writer Harivansh Rai Bachchan. Not for the Indian army to have more troops but to radically change the recruiting process.

At the end of this four-year stint in the army, only 25% of the army will be integrated into the permanent army. Candidates must also be between 17 and 21 years old, to bring down the average age of soldiers, which is now 32.

Every year, the Indian government spends around 16 billion euros paying its retired soldiers, who also often have an advantage in terms of housing.

Get flexibility

For veteran Major General Shashi Asthana, who has become a defense analyst, this new process will allow soldiers to save money and gain flexibility.

New military equipment is getting more technical, explained the soldier. However, it’s easier to train a 17-year-old in new technology. Moreover, only 25% of the most talented were kept and the others returned to civilian life. It works great in Israel, so why not in India ? »

Some veterans fear, however, that unelected young people will return to society unemployed. ” Many officers feel that this decision plays a game on the dignity, sense of belonging and discipline of the Indian Armed Forces said Congress party spokesman Randeep Surjewal.

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