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Congress leader and MP Manish Tewari praised the new Agnipath scheme as a much-needed reform in the right direction, emphasizing that the armed forces should not serve as an employment guarantee program.

The government unveiled the Agnipath scheme on Tuesday, which will recruit soldiers for the Army, Navy, and Air Force on a four-year short-term contractual basis, marking a significant overhaul of the decades-old selection process.

Tewari expressed his support for the reform, stating, “This is a much-needed and positive step in the right direction.”

In a tweet, he also empathized with the concerns of youth regarding the Agnipath recruitment process, emphasizing the need for a younger, technologically-savvy armed force equipped with state-of-the-art weaponry, and noting that the armed forces should not be seen as an employment guarantee program.

Tewari’s remarks differ from the stance of his party, which has criticized the government over the scheme and called for wider consultations with experts and others before moving forward.

Under the Agnipath scheme, youths aged 17 and a half to 21 will be recruited into the three services, with the option to retain 25% of the recruits for regular service after completing the four-year tenure.

The government has stated that the new model will bring new capabilities to the armed forces and create opportunities for youth in the private sector.

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