Agnipath Protests: Why Are Job Aspirants Protesting? Here’s Everything You Need to Know About The Army Recruitment Scheme And Opposition Against it

Agnipath Recruitment Row: Armed Forces Aspirants Set a Train Ablaze in Bihar in Protest Against the New Recruitment Scheme of Indian Army (Watch Video)

Defence Minister announced the launch of a recruitment scheme named ‘Agnipath’ on 14 June to recruit youth in the armed forces for four years. The youth selected under the scheme will be called ‘Agniveer’ and this year there are plans to induct about 46,000 youth into the Sahastra forces. However, after this announcement of the central government, there has been dissatisfaction against it in different states of the country. The protests which started in Bihar has now spread to Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh. Violence was reported from Chhapra, Jehanabad, Munger and Nawada in Bihar.

Under the Agnipath Recruitment scheme of the Centre, this year 46 thousand youth are to be inducted into the Sahastra forces. According to the scheme, the youth will be recruited for four years and they will be called ‘Agniveer’. The age of Agniveers will be between 17 to 21 years and salary will be 30-40 thousand per month. According to the plan, 25 percent of the recruited youth will get further opportunity in the army and the remaining 75 percent will have to leave the job. 

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The central government on Thursday extended the upper age limit for the Agnipath scheme from 21 years to 23 years amid massive protests against the scheme throughout the day. The age waiver will be given only one time for the proposed recruitment cycle for 2022.

Youth are protesting against this scheme in many states of the country. Bihar has witnessed the maximum number of protests. The side of the youth preparing to join the army is that they work hard for many years and prepare to join the army. In such a situation, they do not accept a job of four years. The protesting students have appealed to the government to immediately withdraw this recruitment scheme.

Job security and pension are two major issues being cited by protesters. Under the previous system, troops joined for a 17-year period, which could be extended for some personnel, and it resulted in a lifelong pension. The new scheme, however, envisages just a four-year tenure for most, and the Agniveers will not be eligible for pension benefits.

In the last 24 hours, protests have spread to Jammu, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and several other parts of Bihar. In Haryana, protesters laid a virtual siege on bus stands and roads, crippling on the Gurugram-Jaipur highway. In Bihar, angry aspirants blocked tracks, damaged rail property and threw burning tyres on roads. A 1,000-strong mob vandalized property at the Gwalior railway station forcing the police to resort to lathicharge.

(The above story first appeared on Fresh Headline on Jun 17, 2022 12:02 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website