NEW DELHI : The Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways (MoPSW) on June 18 announced six service avenues for smooth transition of Agniveers in various roles of the Merchant navy, post their stint with the Indian Navy.
According to an official statement, the scheme will enable Agniveers to acquire necessary training, with naval experience and professional certification to join the remunerative merchant navy across the world.
The announcement comes amid widespread protests against the recently unveiled ‘Agnipath’ scheme for recruitment of soldiers in the armed forces on a short-term contractual basis. The soldiers recruited under this scheme will be called ‘Agniveers’.
According to the statement, these schemes for Agniveers include transition from ratings in Indian Navy to certified ratings in Merchant Navy, transition from electrical ratings in Indian Navy to certified electro-technical ratings in Merchant Navy, transition from ratings in Indian Navy to certified class IV-NCV CoC holder in Merchant Navy.
Besides, transition from electrical ratings in Indian Navy to certified electro technical officers in Merchant Navy and transition from cook in Indian Navy to certified cook in Merchant Navy.
The statement said some of the schemes are devised for Agniveers with a diploma in mechanical or electrical engineering or ITI trade certificate in electronic or Electrical stream – either joining with these qualifications or acquiring these during their tenure with the Indian Navy.
It said the MoPSW will issue ‘Indian National Database of Seafarers’ (INDOS) and Continuous Discharge Certificate (CDC) for those Agniveers who intend to explore in any of the said schemes through Indian Navy.
In an attempt to pacify the protesters, the government on Thursday night increased the upper age limit for recruitment under the ‘Agnipath’ scheme to 23 years from 21 years, for the year 2022.
Unveiling the scheme on June 14, the government had said youth between the ages of 17-and-a-half and 21 years would be inducted for a four-year tenure, while 25% of them will be subsequently inducted for regular service.
A major objective of the scheme is to bring down the average age of military personnel and cut the ballooning salary and pension bills. The announcement of the new scheme came against the backdrop of recruitment in the military being stalled over the coronavirus pandemic for over two years.