Agnipath Scheme: Centre Announces One-time Waiver, Extends Upper Age Limit Amid Massive Protests

The Agnipath scheme seeks to recruit soldiers in the Army, the Navy and the Air Force on a short-term contract of four years.

By Subhasish Dutta
Fri, 17 Jun 2022 12:13 AM IST
Minute Read
Agnipath Scheme: Centre Announces One-time Waiver, Extends Upper Age Limit Amid Massive Protests
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New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Centre on Thursday granted a one-time waiver in the upper age limit for recruitment under the Agnipath scheme by extending it to 23 years from 21 years for the year 2022. The announcement comes amid widespread protests against the new model for enrolment of soldiers into the three services.

Unveiling the scheme on Tuesday, the government had said the entry age for all new recruits will have to be between 17 and a half and 21 years.

"Cognizant of the fact that it has not been possible to undertake the recruitment during the last two years, the government has decided that a one-time waiver shall be granted for the proposed recruitment cycle for 2022," a Defence Ministry spokesperson said.

"The decision has been taken as no recruitment had taken place in the last two years," the Defence Ministry said.

Protests Over Agnipath Scheme

The Centre's Agnipath recruitment scheme for the armed forces has met with unprecedented levels of agitations and protests in several states across India.

Massive protests erupted on Thursday in Bihar, Rajasthan and some other states against the recruitment scheme, over concerns about job security and other issues.

However, many states have also announced schemes where such 'Agniveers', as the beneficiaries of this move, are dubbed, can get an advantage.

The Agnipath recruitment scheme was cleared by the Cabinet Committee on Security on Tuesday. Under the scheme, around 46,000 youths, aged between 17 and a half and 21, will be recruited into the three services in a contract for four years.

However, after two days, defence service aspirants disrupted rail and road traffic in several parts of Bihar in protest against the recruitment scheme for its limited term of employment followed by compulsory retirement for most without gratuity and pension benefits.

The agitation turned violent in the state's Munger and Jehanabad as agitators burned tyres, vandalised buses and set trains on fire while raising slogans against the scheme.

The protests, which started in Bihar, also spread to Uttar Pradesh and Haryana and other states.

(With inputs from agencies)

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