Agnipath scheme: Can protesters join Indian Armed forces? What top official said

Lt Gen Anil Puri said the government was going ahead with implementing the Agnipath scheme and appealed to the youths to end their protest

Livemint
First Published19 Jun 2022
New Delhi: Department of Military Affairs Additional Secretary Lt. General Anil Puri addresses a press conference regarding the Central government's 'Agnipath' scheme, at South Block, Ministry of Defence, in New Delhi, Sunday, June 19, 2022. 
New Delhi: Department of Military Affairs Additional Secretary Lt. General Anil Puri addresses a press conference regarding the Central government’s ’Agnipath’ scheme, at South Block, Ministry of Defence, in New Delhi, Sunday, June 19, 2022. ;(PTI)

Lt. General Anil Puri, Additional Secretary, Department of Military Affairs on Sunday addressed the media and issued clarification on the newly rolled out Agnipath recruitment scheme. 

The nation has been riddled with massive violent protests in various states, as military aspirants have vandalised public property, torched railways coaches, thereby disrupting Railway services in the country. 

One 19-year old has died when the violence broke out in Telangana's Secundrabad. 

On Sunday, Anil Puri, who was closely involved in the formulation of the Agnipath scheme addressed a press conference. 

Puri strongly defended the scheme, saying that reducing the age profile of the three services has been on the table for quite some time and even the Kargil review committee had made observations on it.

At a press conference, Lt Gen Puri said the government was going ahead with implementing the Agnipath scheme and appealed to the youths to end their protest.

During the conference, he said that aspirants who are willing to apply through the short-term contractual Agnipath Scheme will have to submit a written pledge that the were not involved in the violent protests against the plan. 

"Indian Army's foundation in discipline. No space for arson, vandalism. Every individual will give a certificate that they were not part of protest or vandalism. Police verification is 100%, no one can join without that."

"And if any FIR lodged against them, they can't join...They (aspirants) will be asked to write as part of the enrollment form that they were not part of the arson, their police verification will be done," said Lieutenant General Anil Puri, additional secretary, department of military affairs.

Giving details of the Navy's plan to induct Agniveers under the scheme, Vice Admiral Dinesh Tripathi said the naval headquarters will come out with a broad guideline for the recruitment by June 25. The first batch of recruits will join the training programme by November 21, he said.

He said the Navy is recruiting both men and women as Agniveers under the scheme.

About the Indian Air Force's plan for induction of recruits under the Agnipath scheme, Air Marshall S K Jha said the registration process will start on June 24 and the process for online examination for phase one of the recruitment will begin on July 24.

"We are planning to start the training for the first batch of recruits by December 30," Air Marshall Jha said.

About the Army's recruitment plan, Lt Gen Bansi Ponappa said the Army will issue a draft notification on Monday and subsequent notifications will be issued by various recruitment units of the force from July 1 onwards.

Recruitment rallies under the Agnipath scheme will take place across India in August, September and October, he said.

Lt Gen Ponappa said the first batch comprising 25,000 personnel will join the training programme in the first and second week of December. The second lot of recruits will join their training around February 23.

He said a total of 83 recruitment rallies will be organised across the country to select around 40,000 personnel.

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