June 17, 2022
The government increased the upper age limit for recruitment under the “Agnipath” scheme to 23 years from 21 years for the year 2022 amid widespread protests against the new model for enrolment of soldiers into the three services.
According to a statement issued by the defense ministry, it said “Cognisant of the fact that it has not been possible to undertake the recruitment during the last two years, 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.”
Several states, including Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Jharkhand, have witnessed protests against the new scheme. A number of opposition political parties and a significant number of military experts have also slammed the scheme, saying it will adversely impact the functioning of the armed forces.
The new scheme for the recruitment of soldiers in the Army, the Navy and the Air Force was projected by the government as a major overhaul of the decades-old selection process to enhance the youthful profile of the three services. After the scheme was rolled out, the Army said it would ensure an enhanced youthful profile of the force and result in a “reduction in the average age from 32 to 26 years over a period of time”. The three service chiefs have also strongly backed the scheme and said it was unveiled after over two years of deliberations.
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