The Centre Government’s new Agnipath recruitment scheme for soldiers into the Arm Forces, the Army, Navy, Air Force, has the big news ever since it was announce.
Government and the defence forces have support the historic scheme, which will see youths of the age of 17-and-a-half to now 23 being contract for a period of four years, there has widespread opposition to it from military veterans, political leaders and Arm Forces aspirants.
The supporters of the scheme argue that the induction of younger people will make the forces fitter and also plug the shortages that the three branches are currently experiencing.
The Agniveers after finishing their four-year contracts will become prime contenders for jobs in the private sector.
All has protests over Agnipath, with many resorting to violence and burning of public property.
Defence aspirants claim that the scheme is making a ‘fool of them’ and that after four years they will be left unemployed.
India isn’t the only country to now recruit soldiers on a contractual basis.
Other Countries Recruit Soldiers for their Defence Forces.
United States of America
According to Defense Department personnel data of 2017, America has a total of 1.3 million active duty military and more than 800,000 reserve forces.
Recruitment in the US is on a voluntary basis and there are thousands of recruiting stations across the United States.
During World War I, World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War, America had impose conscription, making it mandatory for all men to join the military.
America enrols personnel for four years, which is follow by a four-year reserve duty period where they can be recall in case the need arises.
Soldiers are eligible for pensions in the US after serving for 20 years and those opting out earlier are eligible for certain allowances and perks on a case by case basis.
China follows the norm of conscription, which makes military service with the People’s Liberation Army obligatory for all Chinese males above the age of 18.
Article 55 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China prescribes conscription by stating :
“It is a sacred duty of every citizen of the People’s Republic of China to defend his or her motherland and resist invasion. It is an honoured obligation of the citizens of the People’s Republic of China to perform military service and to join the militia forces.”
As per Chinese law, the term of service for conscripts is three years in the Army and four years in the Navy and the Air Force.
For volunteers, the term of active service is eight years and no more than 12 years.
Russia has follow a hybrid model of conscription and contract to recruit soldiers into their Armed Forces.
Conscripts have a term of one year and are then put into reserve.
As of 2021, all male citizens age 18–27 are subject to conscription for one year of active duty military service in the Armed Forces.
New conscripts undergo up to eight months of training before being sent to designate units.
Conscription seasons run twice a year in Russia, from 1 April until 15 July (spring) and between 1 October and 31 December (autumn).
During these periods, men age between 18 and 27, with no health issues or outstanding convictions could be call on to serve.
After many checks, mostly medical, some get conscript and others don’t.
Failure to appear at the registration office is punishable by large fines and a two-year prison sentence.
The Russian Army has historically use conscription to ensure they have reserves with military training, in case there is a need to mobilise for a major war.
Israel follows the conscription model, which has in place since the country’s independence in 1948.
It is interesting to note here that Arab citizens of Israel are allow to enlist voluntarily, they are not conscript.
Compulsory military service for males is now 30 months from the previous 32 months while women are require to serve 24 months unless they volunteer for a unit that requires additional service time.
As per the Economic Times reports that up to 10% of the conscripts are retain into the Armed Forces and are given a contract for seven years.
Pension is given after serving for a minimum of 12 years.
According to a SIPRI report of 2017, France has the largest arm forces in size in the European Union.
In 1996, President Jacques Chirac’s government announce the end of conscription and in 2001, conscription formally was end.
Today, the youth of France joins the Armed Forces, call as the Forces armées françaises, on a voluntary and contractual basis.
The volunteer can sign a one-year contract, which can be extend to five years.
Soldiers are given training for three months and those who serve for over 19 years are eligible for state pension.