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History of Nepali Soldiers in Indian Army, Aginpath Scheme

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Old 08-06-2022, 07:11 AM
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Default History of Nepali Soldiers in Indian Army, Aginpath Scheme

History of Nepali Soldiers in Indian Army

  • The Indian Army takes in Nepalese soldiers under the tripartite treaty signed between Nepal, India and Britain at time of Independence.
  • Currently, Gorkha regiments make up Indian Army’s 43 Battalions with soldiers from both Nepal and India in seven Gorkha regiments – 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 8th, 9th and the 11th.
  • Nepalis constitute a fixed 60 percent of Gorkhas Regiment while Indians make up the rest, According to sources cited by The Print.
  • India recruits approximately 1,400 soldiers into the Gorkha regiment annually (pre-Covid data), as per The Indian Express report, that said that around 32,000-35,000 Nepal soldiers are serving in the Indian Army at any given time. The Indian Army ex-servicemen community in Nepal is about 1.32 lakh-strong, it added.

  • “Gorkhas still join Indian regiments for traditional ancestral bonding with the parent battalions,” the Tribune reported citing Maj Gen Ashok K Mehta (retd).
  • The 1, 3, 4, 5 and 8 Gorkha regiments are mainly Magars and Gurungs; the 9th are Chhetris and Thakuris; and 11 Gorkhas consist of Rais and Limbus and are all part of the Indian Army, he noted.
  • As per the article, recruitment into Gorkha regiments was initially done at Nautanwa, along the India-Nepal border near Bhairhawa. However, later permanent locations such as the Gorkha Recruiting Depots in Kunraghat, Gorakhpur and Ghoom, near Darjeeling were selected for the process.
  • As per Mehta, recruiters from Nepal, called Galla Wallahs, used to bring young Gorkhas to the recruitment depots, trekking 20 to 24 days for bharti in Bharatiya fauj. But, the system changed later when Indian recruiting teams went to Nepal to pluck hardy youth from inaccessible areas.
  • Recruitment rallies were held in Pokhara, Dharan and other places in west and east Nepal, he wrote.

How Will Nepali Gorkhas Be Recruited?

  • The recruitment of Indian Gorkhas is done through the Army Recruitment Office (ARO) situated in in West Bengal’s Darjeeling and Uttar Pradesh’s Gorakhpur, according to The Print Report
  • Detailing how Nepalis are recruited, sources told the publication that the armies of India, Nepal and the UK first decide on a date for the recruitment rally, and on this particular day, representatives from all three armies conduct a written and physical test at a particular location in Nepal.
  • “Let us say, 100 candidates have turned up at the rally and the British want 20, India 40 and the Nepal Army 50. The top 20 recruits are given the choice of joining the British Army, which offers the highest pay and allowances. The next lot is taken by India, which gives 2.5 times the pay and allowance of the Nepal Army,” a source told The Print.
  • Indian Gorkhas are recruited from Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Darjeeling, Assam and Meghalaya through the Army Recruitment Office (ARO) in these states, Firstpost reported.

Aginpath Scheme

  • Announced on 14 June, the Agnipath scheme initially provided for the recruitment of youths–in the age bracket of 17-and-half to 21 years–for only four years in Indian Army. The scheme has a provision to retain 25 per cent of them for 15 more years.
  • In view of nationwide protest following the announcement of the scheme, the Centre extended the upper age limit to 23 years for recruitment in 2022. The personnel recruited under the new scheme would be known as Agniveers.

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