With the protests against the new military recruitment scheme spreading to eight states, the government today announced 10 per cent reservation for ‘Agniveers’ in the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) and Assam Rifles. The Ministry of Home Affairs also announced three years’ age relaxation beyond the prescribed upper age limit to Agniveers for recruitment in the two paramilitary forces.
The first batch of Agniveer will get age relaxation of five years beyond the prescribed upper age limit, it said.
The announcement comes days after Union Home Minister Amit Shah announced that preference would be given to ‘Agniveers’ in the CAPFs. The Centre has already announced “one-time” change in the age limit for the new military recruitment scheme to 23 from 21. The decision was taken as no recruitment has taken place in the last two years.
Currently, over 73,000 posts are vacant in five wings of the paramilitary forces – Border Security Force (BSF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Shastra Seema Bal (SSB), and the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF).
As many as 73,219 posts are vacant in CAPFs and Assam Rifles, suggests Union Home ministry data. Besides, 18,124 posts are also vacant in police forces in Union Territories.
The 10-lakh-strong CAPF is one of the largest employment generating agencies under the home ministry.
The protests against the new short-term military recruitment scheme, Agnipath, has boiled into a major issue for the government with protests now spreading to eight states despite assurances by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Home Minister Amit Shah and the Army chief.
A person died in police firing in Telangana as mob set fire to trains and damaged properties, creating a security scare. Violence have also been reported in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, and Madhya Pradesh. In Bihar, the house of Deputy Chief Minister Renu Devi was attacked amid the protests.
The government unveiled Agnipath on Tuesday — calling it a “transformative” scheme– for the recruitment of soldiers in the Army, Navy and the Air Force.