New Delhi: Amid the continuing nationwide protests, the Indian Air Force and the Indian Army said Friday that they would start the recruitment process under the “Agnipath” scheme within this month. The Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal V.R. Chaudhari, said the Air Force recruitment will begin on June 24.
“Happy to announce that the upper age limit (for recruitment) has been revised to 23 years. This will benefit the youth. The recruitment process for the Indian Air Force will begin on June 24,” he said.
The Army Chief, Gen. Manoj Pande, on Friday said the training of the first “Agniveers” will begin in December 2022 and their active service will begin in the middle of 2023. “The recruitment process will begin soon. Within the next two days, a notification will be issued on the official website. After that, our Army recruitment organisations will declare a detailed schedule of registration and rally,” the Army Chief added. “As far as the question of Agniveers going to recruitment training centres is concerned, the training of the first Agniveers will begin this December (in 2022) at the centres. The active service will commence in the middle of 2023,” he said.
The Indian Army had stopped the recruitment process for the last two years due to the Covid-19 restrictions.
“The Indian Navy is ready to welcome the first batch of Agniveers in our service, for which the recruitment process will start very soon. We call upon all young men and women of our country to join the Indian Navy as Agniveers and contribute to national security and nation building,” the Navy said in a statement on Friday.
The Centre on Thursday had announced a one-time waiver for 2022 to increase the upper age limit for the recruitment of Agniveers in the armed forces to 23 years. It will facilitate the entry of those who could not join the armed forces due to the temporary stoppage of recruitment during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Defence minister Rajnath Singh said the Centre’s Agnipath scheme offers a golden opportunity to the country’s youth to join the defence forces and serve the country. “The government has announced a one-time upper age limit relaxation for the recruitment process through the Agnipath scheme for 2022 to 23 years. The relaxation of age indicates that the government cares for our youth. The department of military affairs, ministry of defence and the services are committed to begin the recruitment process at the earliest. We invite the youth of our country to join the Indian armed forces and serve the nation through Agnipath,” Mr Singh added.
The government had said the armed forces will hire 46,000 jawans in the armed forces in this year under the four-year short-term scheme. Of this, some 40,000 will be for the Army and 3,000 each for the Air Force and the Navy. In four years, the Army will recruit 1.75 lakh soldiers, the Navy 12,500 and Air Force 15,400. From the fifth year onwards, the recruitment will be on the basis of the personnel released from service.