Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Friday demanded the Central government to withdraw the ‘Agnipath’ scheme with immediate effect following protests in parts of the country over the scheme.
Acknowledging the gravity of the protests, the Centre on Thursday had decided to bring a change in the upper age limit for recruiting Agniveers. Granting a one-time waiver, the Centre on June 16, 2022, announced that the Agniveer upper age limit for recruitments via Agnipath Scheme has been extended to 23 years from 21 years.
In view of the above developments, the Congress leader took on her Twitter handle and said, “Not even 24 hours have passed within which the BJP government had to change the rules of new army recruitment scheme. It means that the plan is being imposed on the youth in a hurry. PM Narendra Modi ji, please withdraw this scheme immediately. At first, you should give an appointment (letters) and result in the recruitment of the Air Force. Do army recruitment (with age relaxation) as before.” Violent protest over the Central government’s ‘Agnipath’ scheme for recruitment in armed forces continued across Bihar on Thursday with hundreds of aspirants disrupting rail and road traffic while police fired tear gas shells to disperse them.
On Wednesday also, aspirants staged protests at Muzaffarpur, Begusarai and Buxar districts over the scheme, disrupting road and rail traffic movement. On June 14, the Union Cabinet approved an attractive recruitment scheme for Indian youth to serve in the Armed Forces. The scheme is called Agnipath and the youth selected under this scheme will be known as Agniveers. Agnipath allows patriotic and motivated youth to serve in the Armed Forces for a period of four years.
The Ministry of Defence, in its statement, said that the scheme has been designed to enable a youthful profile of the Armed Forces. It will provide an opportunity to the youth who may be keen to don the uniform by attracting young talent from the society who are more in tune with contemporary technological trends and plough back skilled, disciplined and motivated manpower into the society. As for the Armed Forces, it will enhance the youthful profile of the Armed Forces and provide a fresh lease of ‘Josh’ and ‘Jazba’ whilst at the same time bringing about a transformational shift towards a more tech-savvy Armed Forces – which is indeed the need of the hour.
It is envisaged that the average age profile of the Indian Armed forces would come down by about 4-5 years by the implementation of this scheme. 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 June 16, 2022, announced that the Agniveer upper age limit for recruitments via Agnipath Scheme has been extended to 23 years from 21 years.