According to Indian Army Chief General Manoj Pande, if the landlocked nation does not make a decision in a timely manner, India may be obliged to eliminate openings for recruiting soldiers from Nepal under its new Agnipath scheme in the current cycle.
In opposition to the induction of soldiers for only four years without pension and ex-servicemen benefits, Nepal has suspended recruitments under the Agnipath scheme, for which rallies were scheduled to start there on August 25.
Foreign Minister Narayan Khadka spoke with Indian Ambassador Naveen Srivastava about the issue before the recruiting date and informed him that Nepal will take a position on the programme when more extensive political deliberations were done. A senior government official claimed that no arrangements for political advisors had been made thus far.
The official continued that the Indian side has previously been informed at various levels of Nepal’s present stance against the recruitment of Nepali youths into the Indian Army under the Agnipath programme. He predicted that it would still take time.
After recruitment rallies and selection procedures throughout the nation and in Nepal, the Army plans to enlist 40,000 Agniveers in two batches, with training for about 25,000 of them starting in December and 15,000 in February.
The number of Nepalese Gorkhas joining the Indian Army annually had gradually decreased from above 4,000 per year to around 1,500 even before the Agnipath initiative was unveiled in mid-June. Agnipath’s plan will inevitably result in a lesser number.
Given that some groups opposed the Indian Army enlisting young people from Nepal, Gen. Pande stated that Nepal “is unlikely to take any decision before the country’s general elections on November 20.”