The ministry of education announced on Wednesday a special three-year skill based bachelor degree programme for serving Agniveers that will enhance the future career prospects of the soldiers and equip them for various job roles in the civilian sector.
Unfazed by a slew of objections and protests in response to its Agniveer programme, the government today announced that the in-service training received by Agniveers under the agnipath recruitment scheme to be considered as credits for graduation.
This, the government said, will help enhance the future career prospects of ‘Agniveers’. The specially-designed degree programme designed by Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) will consider 50 per cent of the credits required for a graduate degree from the skill training (both technical and non-technical) received by the Agniveer, and the rest from a basket of courses.
“50 per cent of the credits required for a graduate degree will come from the skill training – both technical and non-technical – received by the Agniveer, and the remaining 50 per cent will come from a basket of courses that cover a wide variety of subjects like languages, Economics, History, Political Science, Public Administration, Sociology, Mathematics, Education, Commerce, Tourism, Vocational Studies, Agriculture and Jyotish, as also Ability Enhancement Courses on Environmental Studies and Communication Skills in English,” a statement from Education Ministry stated.
At the end of the four-year tenure, a detailed ‘Skill-Set Certificate’ will be provided to the Agniveers which will showcase the comprehensive skills and level of competency acquired by them during their engagement period.
The way forward for Agniveers
The Ministry of Education will launch the special three-year skill based bachelor degree programme for serving defence personnel (Agniveers) that will enhance the future career prospects of the soldiers and equip them for various job roles in the civilian sector.
The programme is aligned with University Grants Commission (UGC) norms and with the National Credit Framework and the National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF) as mandated under the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.
Further, the programme also has provision for multiple exit points as Undergraduate Certificate will be provided on successful completion of the first year courses, Undergraduate Diploma after completion of the first and second year courses, and Degree on completion of all the courses within a three-year time frame.
The framework of the programme has been duly recognized by All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and National Council for Vocational Education and Training (NCVET) and UGC.
The Degree will be awarded by IGNOU as per UGC nomenclature (BA; B. Com.; BA (vocational); BA (Tourism Management), and will be recognized both in India and abroad for employment and education. The army, navy and the air force will sign Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with IGNOU for implementation of the scheme.
The Union Cabinet on 14 June 2022 approved ‘Agnipath’ recruitment scheme for selecting Agniveers. The scheme will be open to aspirants between 17.5 and 21 years of age. Once selected, aspirants will go through training for six months and will then be deployed in the services for three and a half years.
In a parallel development, the union home minister Amit Shah tweeted that the ‘Agniveers’ would get preference in CAPF jobs post four years of service.
Paving way for the future of ‘Agniveers’ after their four-year service in the armed forces, the union home minister announced that the ministry of home affairs will give priority to them in getting recruitment to the central armed police forces (CAPFs) and the Assam Rifles.