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A plea has been filed in the SC seeking directions to constitute a Special Investigation Team to enquire into the violent protests

In a bid to control the damage that has happened following the announcement of the Agnipath Recruitment Scheme, the Union Home Ministry on Saturday said 10 per cent post-service reservation and age relaxation has been made for ‘Agniveers’ in the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) and Assam Rifles.

This is in addition to the existing reservation available to ex-servicemen for contractual appointments of three years in CAPFs, such as the Central Reserve Police Force, Border Security Force, Indo-Tibetan Border Police, Central Industrial Security Force, and Sashastra Seema Bal, sources told BusinessLine.

The National Security Guard (NSG), however, does not have its own cadre and has a workforce drawn on deputation from other armed forces, police as well as other CAPFs, pointed out a senior officer of NSG.

Meanwhile, a plea has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking directions to constitute a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to enquire into the violent protests against the ‘Agnipath Recruitment Scheme’.

The Office of the Union Home Minister Amit Shah announced the sops through a couple of tweets on Saturday morning. It stated that the Ministry has decided to give five years of age relaxation for the first batch of post-service Agniveers beyond their prescribed upper age limit. “For the second batch of Agniveers, the age relaxation would be for three years,” it said.

The MHA also decides to give 3 years age relaxation beyond the prescribed upper age limit to Agniveers for recruitment in CAPFs & Assam Rifles. Further, for the first batch of Agniveer, the age relaxation will be for 5 years beyond the prescribed upper age limit.

— गृहमंत्री कार्यालय, HMO India (@HMOIndia) June 18, 2022

The eligible age for recruitment is 17.5 to 21 years. However, the Ministry of Defence gave a one-time waiver by relaxing the upper limit to 23 since no selection took place for the last two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Even prospective candidates are protesting, saying that many have already qualified or were mid-way in the recruitment process, and they should have been given preference before initiating the Agnipath scheme of contractual appointment for four years for the non-officer grade.

Other ministries have also come up with their own blueprint for the absorption of ex-Agniveers. With youths damaging public property including trains, buses, and railway stations, the government has pressed its heavyweights to allay social and economic apprehensions arising out of the temporary appointments in the armed forces.

Responses from chiefs of armed forces

The Army, Navy and Air Force on Friday announced the dates of rolling out recruitment rallies to ensure that prospective candidates can concentrate on the induction tests. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and three Chiefs of Armed Forces have been repeatedly reaching out to the masses to point out the positives of the recruitment scheme.

Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari again told the media on Saturday that Agniveers have two-three options after they complete their term.

“First, they can compete and re-enroll in IAF for a service that will grant them a pension. Secondly, in case they leave, and decide to pursue higher education or setup entrepreneurship, they can set up on their own or can be assured of jobs in public, government or private sector,” said the IAF Chief.

Published on June 18, 2022