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BIG STORY                                                                JUNE 24, 2022  |    The Indian Eye                     4

                       AGNIPATH FOR MILITARY


            The Indian government goes into damage control mode as violent protests over the new recruitment
                       scheme shake the country. Is it a sign of warning over India’s unemployment crisis?

        OUR BUREAU
        Patna/New Delhi/Lucknow
              s a major announcement, Ag-
              nipath Scheme was launched
        Aby the government on June 14
        in an effort to bring a change in the
        recruitment process of the Armed
        Forces.  But  just  in  two  days,  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 waiv-
        er, 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.
            However, the scheme did not go
        down well with the youth waiting for    Flames and smoke billow out of the Farakka Express Train after it was set on fire by the protesters at Danapur Railway Station,
        the resumption of the military recruit-                                 in Danapur on Friday. (ANI Photo)
        ment for the last two years and polit-
        ical parties too extended support to
        the protesters demanding immediate   should give ‘Agniveers’ 20-30 per cent   were  suspended  in  Fardiabad’s  Bal-  the meeting is likely to take place be-
        withdrawal  of  the  scheme.  Notably,   reservation in other jobs once they are   labhgarh for 24 hours.  fore the monsoon session. A total of
        COVID-19 halted the Army’s recruit-  out of service after four years under   Meanwhile,  unhappy  members   twenty-four  members  of  Lok  Sabha
        ment for over two years. In 2019-2020,   the  ‘Agnipath’  scheme”,  said  a  pro-  of  Parliament  consultative  commit-  and Rajya Sabha are members of the
        the Army recruited jawans and there   tester.                       tee for defence, reacting over the   Member of Parliament Défense Advi-
        has been no entry since then. On the   Amid violent protests in states   nationwide violence on the Agnipath   sory Committee.
        other hand, the Indian Navy and the   like  Bihar,  UP,  Uttarakhand,  Telan-  scheme said that the recruitment   Taking to social media Telangana
        Indian Air Force had both recruited   gana and Haryana, a Student Union   scheme is an “ill-conceived move by   Minister for IT and Industries K T
        in the last two years respectively.   in Delhi on Friday protested against   Central Government.”     Rama Rao on Friday called the vio-
            Nationwide protests against the   the Agnipath scheme demanding the   Notably,  the  members  of  the   lent protests against Agnipath scheme
        Agnipath Scheme continue and sev-  withdrawal of the same. All India Stu-  Defence Consultative Committee es-  an “eye opener” and an indicator of
        eral  railway  bogies  were  burnt  as  a   dents’  Association  staged  a  protest   pecially the All India Trinamool Con-  “unemployment  crisis”  across  the
        mark of protest.                  against the Agnipath scheme in Del-  gress (AITC) raised concern over the   country.
            Violent protest over the Central   hi following which the Delhi Metro   Agnipath  scheme  “Agneepath  is  an   “The  violent  protests  against
        government’s  ‘Agnipath’  scheme  for   Rail Corporation (DMRC) shut some   ill-conceived move and we will take   #AgniveerScheme is an eye-opener
        recruitment in armed forces contin-  gates of ITO station, Dhansa Bus   up  the  matter  in  Défense  Advisory   and acute indicator of the magnitude
        ued across Bihar on Thursday with   Stand Metro station and Jama Masjid   Committee  meeting  before  the  up-  of the unemployment crisis in the
        hundreds of aspirants disrupting rail   Metro station for some time.   coming Parliament session,” commit-  country,”  he  tweeted.  “Pehle  Desh
        and road traffic while police fired tear   In view of the developments, Del-  tee member Saugata Roy told ANI.   ke Kisan Ke Saath khilvaadd’ Aur Ab
        gas shells to disperse them.      hi Police said that the law and order   Another TMC MP and floor leader   Desh ke Jawan Ke Saath khilvaadd’
            On Wednesday also, aspirants   in the capital city will be maintained   of the party in Lok Sabha Sudip Ban-  (First they messed with the country’s
        staged  protests  at  Muzaffarpur,  Be-  under all circumstances. The Guru-  dopadhyay  also  clarified  the  party’s   farmer, and now with the soldier).
        gusarai and Buxar districts over the   gram  authorities on Friday imposed   stand and said, “We will take up the   From  One  Rank  -  One  Pension  to
        scheme, disrupting road and rail traf-  Section  144  in  the  district  barring   Agnipath issue in the upcoming meet-  proposed  No  Rank  -  No  Pension!”
        fic  movement.  The  recruitment  of   the gathering of more than four per-  ing with Rajnath Singh at an appro-  the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS)
        ‘Agniveers’  would  begin  in  the  next   sons as a pre-emptive measure. After   priate forum.”      minister added in the tweet.
        90  days  and  the  first  batch  will  be   Thursday’s protests in Haryana’s Pal-  Defence Minister Rajnath Singh   KTR’s  remarks  came  after  the
        ready by July 2023. “The government   wal, mobile internet and SMS services   is the chairman of the committee and   Continued at next page... >>

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