• Sunday, June 26, 2022

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Amid ‘Agnipath’ row, India offers quota in defence ministry jobs; did Modi give in?

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi (Photo by JEAN-RICHARD ALAIN,PRAKASH SINGH/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

WITH the violent protests against the Narendra Modi government’s ‘Agnipath’ recruitment plan for the armed forces showing little respite, the authorities decided to reserve 10 per cent of jobs in the country’s defence ministry to absorb ‘Agniveers’ or the candidates who serve under the scheme.

Indian defence minister Rajnath Singh announced this on Saturday (18) amid the protests. His announcement came after four days of deadly protests across India over worries of job security at the end of four years for which the military aspirants can serve in the armed forces. One life was lost in Secunderabad in the southern Indian state of Telangana while properties worth millions were destroyed and damaged.

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“The 10% reservation will be implemented in the Indian Coast Guard and defence civilian posts, and all the 16 Defence Public Sector Undertakings. This reservation would be in addition to existing reservation for ex-servicemen,” Singh’s office tweeted.

“Necessary amendments to relevant recruitment rules will be undertaken to implement these provisions. Defence Public Sector Undertakings will be advised to make similar amendments to their respective recruitment rules. Necessary age relaxation provision will also be made,” it added.

The Modi government offered more concessions to the protesters in the morning in a bid to calm them down. It declared 10 per cent reservation for the ‘Agniveers’ in the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) and the Assam Rifles which comes under the defence ministry.

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The Indian home ministry has also announced an age relaxation of three years beyond the upper age limit for the ‘Agniveers’ for joining the CAPFs and the Assam Rifles.

“The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) decides to reserve 10% vacancies for recruitment in CAPFs and Assam Rifles for Agniveers,” a tweet of the home minister’s office said.

On the age-relaxation issue, it said, “The MHA also decides to give 3 years age relaxation beyond the prescribed upper age limit to Agniveers for recruitment in CAPFs & Assam Rifles.”

“Further, for the first batch of Agniveer, the age relaxation will be for 5 years beyond the prescribed upper age limit.”

At the moment, 73,000 posts are vacant in five wings of the paramilitary forces , namely, 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), India’s NDTV reported.

Besides, 73,219 posts are vacant in CAPFs and the Assam Rifles, the home ministry data have shown.

[With agency inputs]

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