Agnipath Scheme

Why in News?

  • Recently, The Supreme Court has dismissed petitions challenging the Delhi HC’s judgement that upheld the Agnipath scheme for recruitment to the armed forces.


  • Promissory estoppel is a concept developed in contractual laws. It prevents a “promisor” from backing out of an agreement on the grounds that there is no “consideration.”
  • The doctrine Is invoked in court by a plaintiff (the party moving court in a civil action) against the defendant to ensure the execution of a contract or seek compensation for failure to perform the contract.
  • The Supreme Court pointed out that “promissory estoppel is always subject to overarching public interest”.
  • It also added that “this is not a contract matter where promissory estoppel in public law was applied, it is a public employment” and that “the question of applying this principle will not arise in this case”.
  • It allows patriotic and motivated youth to serve in the Armed Forces for a period of four years.
  • The youth joining the army will be called Agniveer.
  • Under the new scheme, around 45,000 to 50,000 soldiers will be recruited annually.
  • However, after four years, only 25% of the batch will be recruited back into their respective services, for a period of 15 years.
  • It is expected to bring down the average age profile of the Indian Armed Forces by about 4 to 5 years.
  • The scheme envisions that the average age in the forces is 32 years today, which will go down to 26 in six to seven years.
  • Upon the completion of the 4-years of service, a one-time ‘Seva Nidhi’ package of Rs 11.71 lakhs will be paid to the Agniveers that will include their accrued interest thereon.
  • They will also get a Rs 48 lakh life insurance cover for the four years.
  • In case of death, the payout will be over Rs 1 crore, including pay for the unserved tenure.
  • The government will help rehabilitate soldiers who leave the services after four years. They will be provided with skill certificates and bridge course
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