National Security Advisor of India Ajit Doval stated on Tuesday that the government’s decision to scrap the Agnipath plan for armed services recruitment was “not a knee-jerk response that came overnight,” but had been researched and discussed for decades.

NSA Doval told ANI in an exclusive interview on Tuesday that various committees over the years have advised lowering the average age of the military services. “There is no possibility of a rollback” (of the Agnipath scheme). I’ll tell you something. This is not a spur of the moment reaction. “This has been argued and discussed for decades,” he explained.

“In the 1970s, we had committees that discussed reorganising and restructuring the army, including the use of personnel, technology, and others,” he said.

Several political parties have condemned the Agnipath programme and requested that it be scrapped.

Doval stated that under the Agnipath system, every young person in the nation who has the desire, drive, and feeling of devotion to protect the country is given a chance. “His enthusiasm and ability are being utilised to strengthen our country,” the NSA stated.

Protests against the Agnipath initiative have occurred in several areas, and the government has promised assistance measures to calm concerns.

Lieutenant General Anil Puri, Additional Secretary, Department of Military Affairs, told the media on Sunday that a reform plan like Agnipath has been in the works for a long time.

“With this change, we hope to introduce youth and experience. Today, many jawans are in their 30s, and officers are promoted considerably later than in the past “He had stated.

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 youths between the ages of 17 and a half and 21 into the Armed forces for only four years, with a provision to retain 25% of them for another 15 years.

The Centre later increased the upper age restriction for recruitment in 2022 to 23 years.

On June 14, the Union Cabinet also authorised the Agnipath programme, and the youngsters selected under this scheme would be called as Agniveers.

The government has announced the recruitment of 46,000 Agniveers this year. It said that the armed forces will have a “younger, fitter, and more varied profile” to meet future challenges.

On Monday, the Indian Army published its first recruiting announcement under the Agnipath initiative.