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Govt Goes in for a Damage Control Exercise as “Agnipath” scheme Misfires

10% job reservation for Agniveers in govt establishments including the Indian Coast Guard

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Raju Vernekar
Raju Vernekar
Raju Vermekar is a senior Mumbai-based journalist who have worked with many daily newspapers. Raju contributes on versatile topics.

INDIA. MUMBAI: With the recently announced scheme “Agnipath” for short-term recruitment in Defence Forces evoking angry protests in parts of the country, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh told a 10 per cent job reservation for “Agniveers’ in certain Defence establishments on Saturday.

Soon after the scheme, “Agnipath”, was announced on June 14, the misguided youth torched trains and police outposts in some parts of the country, including Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Telangana. The agitation sparked the misunderstanding that henceforth the recruitment will be made in Defence forces only on contract basis for short term duration.

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However, the Government clarified that the “Agnipath” scheme is over and above existing recruitment schemes, and “Agnipath” offers patriotic and motivated youth the opportunity to serve in the Armed Forces for four years.

Given nearly two years lost in the Corona pandemic, the Government also extended the age limit for recruitment to 23 years as against 17.5 to 21 years earlier. There had been no fresh recruitment in Defence establishments in the last two years.

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“Agniveers” will be recruited to serve in the Armed Forces for four years, and they will be absorbed if found suitable based on terms and conditions. To begin with, the Government plans to recruit 46000 “Agniveers” this year to bring about a transformational shift towards a more tech-savvy Armed Forces.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh approved a proposal on Saturday to set aside 10% of job vacancies in the Ministry of Defence for “Agniveers” who meet the required qualifications. The 10% reservation will be imposed on the Indian Coast Guard, all 16 Defence Public Sector Undertakings, and defence civilian positions (DPSUs).

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The DPSUs include Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML), Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL), Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE) Limited, Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL), Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL), Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders (MDL), Mishra Dhatu Nigam (Midhani) Limited, Armoured Vehicles Nigam Limited (AVNL), Advanced Weapons & Equipment India Ltd. (AW&EIL), Munitions India Limited (MIL), Yantra India Limited (YIL), Gliders India Limited (GIL), India Optel Limited (IOL) and Troop Comforts Limited (TCL). This reservation would be in addition to existing reservations for ex-servicemen.

In order to implement these regulations, necessary changes to relevant recruitment rules will be made. The DPSUs will be urged to make similar changes to their recruitment policies. According to the official statement, suitable age relaxation will be provided to allow for the recruitment of “Agniveers” to the above positions.

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  • Raju Vernekar

    Raju Vermekar is a senior Mumbai-based journalist who have worked with many daily newspapers. Raju contributes on versatile topics.

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