On Industrialist Anand Mahindra’s ‘Agnipath’ Pitch, Some Questions Raised

Many on social media asked Mr Mahindra how many ex-officers the Mahindra Group has hired.

New Delhi:

Following industrialist Anand Mahindra’s pitch for ‘Agnipath’ and offer to hire ‘Agniveers’, several social media users, some of them military veterans, asked if the Mahindra Group has hired former servicemen earlier in key positions.

Amid nationwide protests against ‘Agnipath’, Mr Mahindra on Monday had said that the Mahindra Group would welcome the opportunity to recruit people trained under the scheme.

“Saddened by the violence around the #Agneepath program. When the scheme was mooted last year I stated-& I repeat-the discipline & skills Agniveers gain will make them eminently employable. The Mahindra Group welcomes the opportunity to recruit such trained, capable young people,” Mr Mahindra had tweeted.

While many appreciated Mr Mahindra’s gesture, some, including former servicemen, asked him how many ex-officers the Mahindra Group has hired.

“Why await this new scheme? Has the Mahendra Group, so far, reached out to thousands of highly skilled & disciplined ex-Servicemen (Jawans & Officers), retiring every year & desperately seeking a 2nd career. It would be nice to get some statistics from your Group,” wrote Mr Arun Prakash, former Indian Navy chief and ex-Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee, replying to Mr Mahindra’s tweet.

“.@anandmahindra Sir, could we have some stats as requested by the ex Naval Chief? I have retired after forty years in service listening to such promises,” wrote Mr Manmohan Bahadur, former Air Vice Marshal of the Indian Air Force.

Earlier on Monday, RPG Group chairman Harsh Goenka had echoed Mr Mahindra’s sentiment.

“The RPG group too welcomes the opportunity to employ the Agniveers. I do hope other corporates will also join us to take this pledge and assure our youths of a future,” Mr Goenka had tweeted.

The country witnessed massive protests after the centre announced the ‘Agnipath’ scheme under which defence aspirants between the 17.5-21 age group will be recruited for four years.

After the completion of the four years, 75 per cent of the new recruits will be relieved of their duties with a sum total of about Rs 12 lakh but no pension benefits. The remaining 25 per cent will be retained and go on to serve a 15-year tenure in the armed forces.

Despite the massive protests against this scheme, the centre has categorically refused to roll it back.

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