HomeNATIONAgnipath Scheme: Govt increases upper age limit of Agniveers to 23 years

Agnipath Scheme: Govt increases upper age limit of Agniveers to 23 years

Amid escalating violent protests against the radical new Agnipath scheme to recruit soldiers only for four years, the government late on Thursday night announced the upper age limit for candidates will now be increased to 23 from 21 as a one-time waiver.

While announcing the Agnipath scheme, the government had said citizens between the ages of 17-and-a-half and 21 will be eligible to apply for a four-year “Tour of Duty” in the armed forces. Twenty-five per cent of those who complete the Tour of Duty will be eligible to apply as regular personnel.

However, the short-term recruits, or Agniveers, will not be eligible for pension or gratuity benefits and will be given a sum of Rs 11.71 lakh at the end of their service.

Several States, including Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Jharkhand, have witnessed protests against the new scheme.

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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.

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