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NSA Doval's message for youth on Agnipath scheme: 'Be positive, have faith in nation, in yourself'

New Delhi : In his message to the youth regarding the Agnipath scheme, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on Tuesday said they should remain positive, have faith in the country's leadership as also themselves. In an exclusive interview with media, NSA Doval said people join armed forces not just for money but for their partiotism and a feeling of what they can do for the country. He said the scheme is not for those who do not have such feeling. Doval also noted that Agniveers will have age as an asset, they have their future secured and do not need to worry about anything. "As far as the message for the youth is concerned, one thing is clear, nobody is working in the armed forces just for money. People work with the spirit of enthusiasm. People work for the nation. People invest their energies for the nation," he said. "In this scheme, it is important to have the right skill set, training and physical fitness. But what is more important is the ideology behind pursuing a career in this field. The youth, who wish to become Agniveers should be positive, have faith in the nation, the leadership, the society and also in yourself," he added. The NSA laid stress on the youth having self-confidence. "Swami Vivekananda used to say that an atheist is the one who does not believe in any religion. Our 'new religion' says that atheist is the one who does not believe in himself, herself," he said. The "transformative" Agnipath scheme, announced by Union Minister Rajanath Singh on June 14, in the presence of the three service chiefs provides for the recruitment of into the armed services of youths in the age bracket of 17-and-a-half-years to 21 for only four years with a provision to retain 25 per cent of them for 15 more years. The Centre later extended the upper age limit to 23 years for recruitment in 2022. The Union Cabinet had also approved Agnipath scheme on June 14 and the youth selected under this scheme will be known as Agniveers. The government had announced that 46,000 Agniveers to be recruited this year. It had said that armed Forces will have "a younger, fitter, diverse profile" to face future challenges. There have been protests against the Agnipath scheme in some states and the government has announced support measures to allay apprehensions. The Indian Army issued its first notification on Monday for recruitment under Agnipath scheme. Lieutenant General Anil Puri, Additional Secretary, Dept of Military Affairs, had told the media on Sunday the reform in the form of scheme like Agnipath was pending for long. "We want to bring youthfulness and experience with this reform. Today, a large number of jawans are in their 30s and officers are getting command much later than in the past", he had said.

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