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Agnipath Scheme Latest Update: Government Raises Upper Age Limit To 23 Years

The Agnipath scheme aims to recruit soldiers for the Army, Navy, and Air Force on a four-year contract.

Laavanya Arya
The Centre's Agnipath recruitment scheme for the armed forces has sparked unprecedented agitation and protests in several Indian states.
The Centre's Agnipath recruitment scheme for the armed forces has sparked unprecedented agitation and protests in several Indian states.

The Centre granted a one-time waiver in the upper age limit for recruitment under the Agnipath scheme on Thursday, raising it to 23 years from 21 years for the fiscal year 2022. The announcement comes amid widespread opposition to the new model for enlistment in the three services.

The government revealed the scheme on Tuesday, stating that all new recruits must be between the ages of 17 and 15 and 21.

Agneepath: What Rajnath Singh, Minister of Defence of India said

"In recognition of the fact that recruitment has not been possible over the last two years," a Defence Ministry spokesperson said. "The decision was made because there has been no recruitment in the last two years," the Defence Ministry stated.

Protests in Bihar, Rajasthan over Agnipath Scheme

The Centre's Agnipath recruitment scheme for the armed forces has sparked unprecedented agitation and protests in several Indian states.

Protests erupted in Bihar, Rajasthan, and other states on Thursday against the recruitment scheme, citing concerns about job security and other issues.

Many states, however, have announced schemes in which such 'Agniveers,' as the beneficiaries of this move are dubbed, can gain an advantage.

The Cabinet Committee on Security approved the Agnipath recruitment scheme on Tuesday. Under the scheme, approximately 46,000 young people aged 17 and a half to 21 will be recruited into the three services over a four-year period.

After two days, however, defence service aspirants disrupted rail and road traffic in several parts of Bihar in protest of the recruitment scheme's limited term of employment followed by compulsory retirement for most without gratuity or pension benefits.

The agitation became violent in the state's Munger and Jehanabad, with protesters burning tyres, vandalising buses, and setting trains on fire while raising anti-scheme slogans. Protests began in Bihar and spread to Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, and other states.

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