Fri, 17 Jun 2022 12:35 PM IST
New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday came out in defence of the Agnipath recruitment scheme and said that it will provide a "golden opportunity" for youth to serve the country as the protests against the new model continue to intensify.
Speaking to news agency ANI, Rajnath appealed to the youth to "take full advantage" of the new scheme, noting that the recruitment process under it will begin soon. He also spoke about the one-time relaxation provided by the Centre, saying it will automatically increase the eligibility of youngsters to become Agniveers.
"Due to a snag in the recruitment process in the army for two years, many youths did not get the opportunity to join the army. This is a fact. That is why, keeping in mind the future of the youth and showing sensitivity towards them, with the approval of the Prime Minister, the government has decided that this time the age limit for the recruitment of Agniveers should be increased from 21 to 23 years," he said.
In addition to Rajnath, Army chief General Manoj Pande also hailed the Agnipath scheme and the Centre's decision to increase the upper age limit under the new model to 23 for the year 2022, asking youth to avail this opportunity to join the Indian Armed Forces.
"This decision will provide an opportunity for many of our young, energetic and patriotic youth who, despite the COVID pandemic, were preparing to join the recruitment rallies, which couldn't be completed in the last two years due to COVID restrictions," General Pande told ANI, adding that the schedule of the recruitment process will be announced shortly.
Agnipath Scheme was recently launched by the government in an effort to bring a change in the recruitment process of the Armed Forces. With the new military recruitment scheme facing a backlash by Opposition, the Centre has decided to bring a change in the upper age limit for recruiting Agniveers.
Granting a one-time waiver, the Centre on Thursday announced that the Agniveer upper age limit for recruitments via Agnipath Scheme has been extended to 23 years from 21 years.
"Consequent to the commencement of the Agnipath scheme, the entry age for all new recruits in the Armed Forces has been fixed as 17.5 to 21 years of age. 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. Accordingly, the upper age limit for the recruitment process for the Agnipath scheme for 2022 is increased to 23 years," said the Defence Ministry.
(With ANI inputs)