New Delhi: After Amid massive protests against the scheme in different parts of the country, The Central government on Thursday extended the upper age limit for the Agnipath recruitment scheme from 21 years to 23 years.
In a notification, the Defence ministry said, “Consequent to the commencement of the Agnipath scheme, the entry age for all new recruits in the Armed Forces has been fixed as 17.5 to 21 years of age. The Government has decided that a one-time waiver shall be granted for the proposed recruitment cycle for 2022. Accordingly, the upper age limit for the recruitment process for the Agnipath scheme for 2022 is increased to 23 years.”
Earlier on Tuesday, The Centre unveiled the ambitious scheme for recruitment of the youth aged between 17 and a half and 21 in the Army, Navy and the Air Force, largely on a four-year short-term contractual basis. The youth recruited under the scheme will be known as ‘Agniveers’. After the completion of the four-year tenure, 25 per cent of the recruits from each specific batch will be offered regular service.
After this announcement The Agnipath scheme has received a huge backlash from a significant number of military experts, saying it will adversely impact the functioning of the armed forces. Besides, youngsters in several states including Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Uttarakhand, and Jharkhand also protested against the recruitment model into three armed forces.
Under this scheme, a newly recruit soldier will be able to service the country for only for years.The four-year tenure under the new scheme will include a training period of around two-and-a-half months to six months.The recruits will be provided a non-contributory life insurance cover of ₹48 lakh for the duration of their engagement period in the armed forces.
The monthly salary of an “Agniveer” in the first year of employment would be ₹30,000 and the in-hand amount would be ₹21,000 as ₹9,000 would go to a corpus with an equal contribution from the government.
Subsequently, the monthly salary in the second, third and fourth years will be ₹33,000, ₹36,500, and ₹40,000.Each “Agniveer” will get an amount of ₹11.71 lakh as the “Seva Nidhi Package” and it will be exempted from income tax. The scheme is also expected to cut the ballooning salary and pension bills of the armed forces as there will be no entitlement to gratuity and pensionary benefits.The recruitment process under the Agnipath scheme would start in 90 days.