Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday approved a proposal to reserve 10 per cent of jobs in the Defence Ministry for ‘agniveers’, who would meet the requisite eligibility criteria. This announcement comes amid the raging nationwide protests against the Agnipath scheme for recruitment in the Indian Armed Forces.
Earlier in the day, a similar announcement was made by the Union Home Ministry, which has promised to reserve 10 per cent vacancies for recruitment in the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) and Assam Rifles for Agniveers.
“The 10 per cent reservation will be implemented in the Indian Coast Guard and defence civilian posts, and all the 16 Defence Public Sector Undertakings. This reservation would be in addition to existing reservation for ex-servicemen,” the Defence Ministry said in a tweet.
“Necessary amendments to relevant recruitment rules will be undertaken to implement these provisions. Defence Public Sector Undertakings will be advised to make similar amendments to their respective recruitment rules. Necessary age relaxation provision will also be made,” it said in another tweet.
Rajnath’s approval comes hours after he held a key meeting with top brass of the Army, Navy and the Air Force. The meeting, which was held at his residence, was attended by Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari, and Vice Chief of Army Staff General BS Raju.
Army Chief General Manoj Pande could not attend the meeting as he is in Hyderabad on an official tour.
‘Agnipath scheme announced after wide-ranging consultations’
Earlier in the day, Rajnath strongly defended the Agnipath scheme and said that the new model was adopted after wide-ranging consultations. Calling the scheme “revolutionary”, Rajnath asserted that no compromise will be made on the quality of training for the agniveers.
“It is bringing revolutionary changes in the recruitment process in the armed forces. Some people are spreading misunderstanding about it. Maybe, there could be some confusion among the people as it is a new scheme,” Rajnath was quoted as saying by the news agency PTI.
“We wanted that there is a sense of discipline and pride for the country among the people.”