Agnipath scheme: No question of rollback, violent protests won’t be tolerated, says NSA Ajit Doval

Agnipath scheme: No question of rollback, violent protests won’t be tolerated, says NSA Ajit Doval

India News

As the announcement of the Agnipath recruitment scheme for the armed forces prompted violent protests across the country, National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval Tuesday said the scheme must be looked at from a perspective and not as a standalone scheme.

Speaking to news agency ANI, Doval dismissed speculations that the scheme would be withdrawn. “There’s no question of a rollback. This (Agnipath scheme) is not a kneejerk reaction that has come overnight. This has been discussed and debated for decades… While everybody realised it was necessary, no one had the will or the ability to take the risk. It needed a leader like Prime Minister Narendra Modi who said if this is what will make India strong and secure then no risk is big enough, no cost is high enough.”

Doval asserted that the scheme was in line with one of Narendra Modi government’s prime priorities to make the country secure. This, he said, included a multitude of steps involving equipment, changes in the system and technology, and futuristic policies.

“There’s a need to look at it (Agnipath scheme) from a perspective. It isn’t a standalone scheme in itself. When PM Modi came to power in 2014, one of his prime priorities was how to make India secure and strong. That required many avenues, many steps — a multitude of them,” Doval told ANI.

“Broadly speaking, they come under the four heads. It requires equipment, it requires a change in systems and structures, it requires a change in technology, it requires change in manpower and policies, which have to be futuristic,” he added.

Speaking on protests against the scheme, the NSA said raising voice is justified but vandalism isn’t. “I think that the protests, raising your voice is justified and is permitted in a democracy. But this vandalism, this violence is not permitted and will not be tolerated at all,” Doval said.

Violent protests have erupted in several parts of the country since June 14 when the Agnipath scheme was first announced by the central government with several states witnessing the burning of trains, vandalisation of public property and blocking of national highways by agitators. Aspirants have raised job security and post-service benefits as their major concerns.

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