At least one business giant is ready for India’s controversial new military jobs scheme

Finding potential.
Finding potential.
Image: REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth
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A top Indian business leader has welcomed a newly announced, but deeply controversial, military jobs scheme announced by prime minister Narendra Modi’s government last week.

Anand Mahindra, chairman of the Mahindra Group today, (June 20) said his conglomerate would recruit people trained under the Agnipath scheme.

The industrialist also shared details regarding the positions within which the said candidates will be hired.

Some also questioned the rationale behind Mahindra’s claim.

2 earnest questions, Mr. @anandmahindra:

1. How many ex-servicemen does the Mahindra Group currently employ? What % of your total workforce consists of ex-servicemen?

2. Will the Mahindra Group step up & reserve a % of jobs for Agniveers to back up your statement here?

— Saket Gokhale (@SaketGokhale) June 20, 2022

The announcement of the scheme on June 14 triggered a massive wave of protest across multiple states. Several instances of violence have been reported, with at least one person reportedly dying during the disturbance. A few groups have also called for a nationwide shutdown today to register their opposition.

The scheme will see 46,000 soldiers being recruited over the next three months. The personnel will have an initial tenure of four years after which around 25% of them will be enrolled for a longer term in the military services.

The others will have to return to civilian life. The prospects of a shorter tenure with relatively fewer benefits in comparison to full-term soldiers are seen as a key trigger among the protesters.

The government has so far refused to withdraw the scheme, although it has amended a few terms to pacify the protesters.