Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India]: A day after the Centre extended the upper age limit for the Agnipath scheme, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday (June 17) clarified that it’s a ‘one-time relaxation’ and the decision has been taken to give an opportunity to those aspirants who could not get an opportunity to join the Army due to a snag in the recruitment process in the last two years due to COVID.
The Central government on Thursday extended the upper age limit for the Agnipath recruitment scheme from 21 years to 23 years amid massive protests against the scheme in different parts of the country.
In an exclusive interview with ANI, the minister said, “Due to a snag in the recruitment process in the army for two years, many youths did not get the opportunity to join the army. That is why, keeping in mind the future of the youth and showing sensitivity towards them, with the approval of the Prime Minister, the government has decided that this time the age limit for the recruitment of Agniveers should be increased from 21 to 23 years.”
“This one-time relaxation has been given by the government. This will automatically increase the eligibility of many young people to become Agniveers. The recruitment process is going to start in a few days. I appeal to all the youth to prepare for joining the army and take full advantage of it,” he said.
Singh also vouched for the Central government’s decision to approve the ‘Agnipath’ scheme and said that it gives a golden opportunity to the youth to join the defence system and serve the country.
“The Agnipath scheme by the Central government gives a golden opportunity to the youth of the country to join the defence system and serve the country. ‘I am Agniveer’ with being their unique identity with freshness,” he added.
On June 14, the Union Cabinet approved the recruitment scheme for Indian youth to serve in the Armed Forces, wherein those selected under this scheme will be known as Agniveers. Agnipath allows patriotic and motivated youth to serve in the Armed Forces for a period of four years.
Notably, Singh has been in Jammu and Kashmir since yesterday for a two-day visit to the Union Territory.
The scheme envisaged that the average age profile of the Indian Armed forces would come down by about 4-5 years by the implementation of this scheme. The nation stands to immensely benefit from the infusion of highly inspired youth with a deeper understanding of self-discipline, diligence and focus which would be adequately skilled and will be able to contribute in other sectors. (ANI)