Agnipath Row: Protests broken out in many states over Centre’s new recruitment scheme for armed forces.
Congress MP KC Venugopal on Friday urged Parliament’s Standing Committee on Defence Chairman Jual Oram to convene an urgent meeting of all stakeholders and defence experts to discuss in detail the recently announced Agniveer scheme by the Central government.
Noting that violent protests are continuing across the country over the recently announced recruitment scheme, the Congress MP in his letter said, “As you are aware, violent protests are continuing across the country over the recently announced Agniveer Recruitment Scheme by the Central Government. There is widespread anger among the youth with regard to this scheme particularly due to its temporary nature, lack of pension and health care benefits.”
Pointing out the drawback of the scheme, Mr Venugopal, a member of Parliament’s Standing Committee on Defence said, “Significantly, it is also pointed out that the scheme carries multiple risks including the subversion of the long-standing traditions of the armed forces. There is also wide apprehension that the soldiers recruited under the scheme may lack required training in the proposed short span of six months. For all obvious reasons, it is evident that the scheme is poorly conceived and hastily drawn up without any wide consultations with stakeholders.”
He further urged to convene an urgent meeting of the Standing Committee on Defence at the earliest to discuss and deliberate upon the Agnipath scheme in detail.
“In this regard, I urge you to convene an urgent meeting of the Standing Committee on Defence at the earliest to discuss and deliberate upon the Agnipath scheme in detail. It is also requested to invite all major stakeholders and defence experts for their opinion and input on the same,” he added.
Protests have broken out in various parts of the country against the new recruitment scheme in the Armed Forces. In some places, the protests turned violent as trains were set ablaze.
Meanwhile, one person died in Telangana’s Secunderabad on Friday as protests against the newly announced military recruitment policy, Agnipath, turned violent.
Earlier, protesters torched compartments of a train in Bihar’s Samastipur and those in another train at Lakhisarai station.
Notably, Agnipath Scheme was launched by the government, on June 14, in an effort to bring a change in the recruitment process of the Armed Forces. With the new military recruitment scheme facing a backlash by Opposition, the Centre has decided to bring a change in the upper age limit for recruiting Agniveers.
Granting a one-time waiver, the Centre on June 16, 2022, announced that the Agniveer upper age limit for recruitments via Agnipath Scheme has been extended to 23 years from 21 years.
The scheme is called Agnipath and the youth 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.
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