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India Inc backs Centre on Agnipath, says large potential to provide disciplined, trained workforce to industry

On Monday, India Inc rallied around the Centre's Agnipath plan, led by Mahindra Group CEO Anand Mahindra and Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran, saying it had a big potential to deliver a disciplined and skilled workforce to the industry.

June 20, 2022 / 09:14 PM IST
Representative Image

Representative Image

India Inc, led by Mahindra Group chief Anand Mahindra and Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran, on Monday rallied behind the Centre's Agnipath scheme, saying it has a large potential to provide disciplined and trained workforce to the industry.

Mahindra also expressed dismay over the violence against the scheme while asserting that the farm equipment-to-aerospace conglomerate welcomes the opportunity to recruit trained, capable and young people under the programme. The Agnipath scheme for the armed forces, announced on June 14, provides for the recruitment of youths between the age bracket of 17-and-half years to 21 only four years, with a provision to retain 25 per cent of them for 15 more years. The others would retire without gratuity and pension benefits.

Later, the government extended the upper age limit to 23 years for recruitment in 2022. Protests have erupted in several states against the Centre's scheme. Expressing his opinion on the scheme, Mahindra said there is a large potential for employment of 'Agniveers' in the corporate sector.

"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," Mahindra tweeted. The Mahindra Group welcomes the opportunity to recruit such trained and capable young people, he further said.

When asked by a Twitter user what post will be given by the Mahindra Group to Agniveers, he responded, "Large potential for employment of Agniveers in the Corporate Sector. With leadership, teamwork & physical training, Agniveers provide market-ready professional solutions to industry, covering the full spectrum from operations to administration & supply chain management." Expressing similar sentiments, Chandrasekaran said in a statement, "Agnipath is not just a great opportunity for the youth to serve the nation's defence forces but it will also make available a very disciplined and trained youth for the industry, including the Tata Group."

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He added, "We at the Tata group recognise the potential of the Agniveers and welcome the opportunity this represents." Other corporate leaders like RPG Enterprises Chairman Harsh Goenka, Biocon Ltd Chairperson Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw and Apollo Hospitals Group, Joint Managing Director Sangita Reddy also came out in support of the scheme.

Responding to Mahindra's tweet, Goenka said, "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." Similarly, Mazumdar-Shaw tweeted: "I firmly believe that Agniveers will have a distinct advantage in recruitment in the industrial job market."

Apollo Hospitals Group's Sangita Reddy said in a tweet, "I firmly believe the discipline & skills that #Agniveers will gain will provide market-ready prof sol 4 R industry I sincerely hope r (sic) industry support recruiting such capable young people…" TVS Motor Company Managing Director Sudarshan Venu had on Friday said the 'Agnipath' scheme will have a significant positive impact on the society, and contribute greatly to nation building.

"Agniveers will play a key role in furthering economic growth and strengthening society in the coming years," Venu had said in a statement. Last week, stormy protests had rocked several states, including Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana and Telangana, while peaceful agitations were held in several places against the scheme.

The Indian Railways had endured the brunt of the violence. On Monday, more than 500 trains were cancelled due to the protests. A number of Opposition political parties and a significant number of military experts have also slammed the scheme, saying it will adversely impact the functioning of the armed forces.
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