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 the 'Agnipath' Scheme has been extended to 23 years from 21 years.
In view of the above developments, the Congress leader took to Twitter 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 said that this will provide an opportunity to young talent from 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 four or five years by the implementation of this scheme.
The '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, announced that the 'Agniveer' upper age limit for recruitments via 'Agnipath' Scheme has been extended to 23 years from 21 years.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)