BJP rallies its leaders to put stout defence of Agnipath scheme

Facing countrywide protests over the Agnipath scheme, the BJP on Friday rallied its leaders to put up a stout defence of the new recruitment initiative for the armed forces, with its senior leader and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh terming it as a “golden opportunity” for the youth to serve the country. The party leaders also lauded the government’s decision to raise the upper age limit for recruitment under the Agnipath scheme to 23 years from 21 for this year. BJP president J P Nadda said it shows that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is fully seized of the concerns of the country’s youth and is making efforts for their bright future.

The government on Thursday night increased the upper age limit for recruitment under the Agnipath scheme to 23 years from 21 for 2022 amid widespread protest against the new model for enrolment of soldiers into the three services.

Underlining that the intention of the government is very clear, and it is sensitive, Union Minister

Singh said that the recruitment process will start in a few days, and requested all youngsters to start preparing for it.

Appreciating the government’s decision to raise the upper age limit under the Agnipath scheme, Union minister Pralhad Joshi said that this decision will inspire the youth of the country to show courage and serve the nation through Agnipath scheme.

“Our ‘Agniveer’, dedicated to the service of ‘Bharat Mata’, will prove to be an invaluable fund for the nation,” he said.

Amid protests, Union minister Anurag Thakur posted a video on his Twitter, in which he was seen interacting with a group of youngsters in his constituency Hamirpur and clearing their doubts about the scheme.

“Cleared the doubts and made youngsters aware of the vision of the Government of India behind this scheme,” Thakur said while adding that he informed them the Agnivpath scheme is an innovative attempt to make youth serve the country through the army and provide them employment-skill opportunities.

During the four years of job under the Agnipath scheme, Agniveers would get around Rs 20 lakh in salary besides other benefits and a lump-sum amount of Rs 10-12 lakhs on completition of tenure, Thakur said.

Unveiling the scheme on Tuesday, the government said youths between the ages of 17-and-a-half and 21 years would be inducted for a four-year tenure while 25 per cent of the recruits will be retained for regular service. The upper age limit was raised to 23 years on Thursday.

The new scheme for the recruitment of soldiers in the Army, Navy and 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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