The announcement comes amid widespread protests against the recently unveiled ‘Agnipath’ scheme for recruitment of soldiers in the armed forces on a short-term contractual basis. The soldiers recruited under this scheme will be called ‘Agniveers’
New Delhi: The Home Ministry Saturday announced to reserve 10 per cent vacancies for recruitment in the Central Armed Police Forces and Assam Rifles for Agniveers, the Home Minister’s Office said.
The announcement comes amid widespread protests against the recently unveiled ‘Agnipath’ scheme for recruitment of soldiers in the armed forces on a short-term contractual basis. The soldiers recruited under this scheme will be called ‘Agniveers’.
“The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) decides to reserve 10% vacancies for recruitment in CAPFs and Assam Rifles for Agniveers,” the Home Minister’s Office said in a tweet.
The MHA also announced age relaxation for ‘Agniveers’ for recruitment in the CAPFs and Assam Rifles.
In its second tweet, the Home Minister’s Office said, “The MHA also decides to give 3 years age relaxation beyond the prescribed upper age limit to Agniveers for recruitment in CAPFs & Assam Rifles. Further, for the first batch of Agniveer, the age relaxation will be for 5 years beyond the prescribed upper age limit.”
The Ministry also announced a 3-year age relaxation above the upper age limit for the recruitment of ‘Agniveers’ in the two forces. The first batch of ‘Agniveers’ will get an age relaxation of five years beyond the upper age limit, the ministry tweeted on Saturday.
While many have lauded the government for its recruitment model in which the youth aged 17-and-a-half years to 21 will be recruited for a period of four years on a contractual basis, there are others who see flaws in this programme.
For many who are against the Agnipath scheme, their main grouse is that only up to 25 per cent of the Agniveers, the soldiers recruited through this model, will be given regular commission after the four-year contract, leaving 75 per cent of those recruited without a job and without proper educational qualifications.
However, the Centre has clarified that will not be the case, as the retiring Agniveers will be given preference in government jobs and will be absorbed into the private sector. Additionally, the government also stated that a special three-year skill based bachelor degree programme has been launched.
A number of opposition political parties and a significant number of military experts have also slammed the scheme, saying it will adversely impact the functioning of the armed forces.
The new scheme for the recruitment of soldiers in Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force was projected by the government as a major overhaul of the decades-old selection process to enhance the youthful profile of the three services.
After the scheme was rolled out, the Army said it would ensure an enhanced youthful profile of the force and result in a “reduction in the average age from 32 to 26 years over a period of time”.
The three service chiefs have also strongly backed the scheme and said it was unveiled after over two years of deliberations.
With inputs from agencies
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