No Gorkha recruitment into Indian Army 3rd time in a row

No Gorkha recruitment into Indian Army 3rd time in a row
No Gorkha recruitment into Indian Army 3rd time in a row

New Delhi: Amid ongoing deadlock between India-Nepal over the Agnipath scheme, Indian Army will not be recruiting any Gorkha soldier from Nepal for the third time since last June.

The Nepal government blocked recruitment of Nepalese Gorkhas for the Army's 43-battalion-strong Gorkha Regiment under the Agnipath scheme, claiming that it violated the 1947 Tripartite Agreement signed between the two countries and the UK.

The scheme, which was unveiled last June, is a modified recruitment policy under which the armed forces are recruiting individuals below the rank of officer. Only 25 percent of the total recruits will be regularised upon the completion of four years of service. 

When Agnipath scheme was first launched, Nepal's Foreign Minister Narayan Khadka conveyed to India's Ambassador to Nepal Naveen Srivastava that recruitment under it was a deviation from the original Tripartite Agreement.

The government in Kathmandu also conveyed its disappointment with New Delhi for not having consulted it over the introduction of the Agnipath scheme and expressed its desire for political consultations to be held with all parties in Nepal in this regard.

It was explained to the Nepalese that the service conditions remain the same for soldiers of Nepalese origin and Indian origin since the new rule applies to both.

India currently has 44 Gorkha battalions with soldiers from both Nepal and India in seven Gorkha regiments – 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 8th, 9th and the 11th.

There are around 40,000 to 45,000 Gorkha soldiers in the Indian Army across seven regiments. Nepalis comprise around 60 per cent of India's 44 Gorkha battalions – each made up of around 1,000 soldiers – according to The Times of India.

According to Foreign Policy, around 1,400 Gorkha soldiers join the Indian Army every year.

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