Amid the violent protests against the Agnipath scheme for recruitment into armed forces, the Ministry of Defence has decided to extend the maximum age of candidates by two years for the year 2022.
A press release issued by the Press Information Bureau said, “The Government has decided that a one-time waiver shall be granted for the proposed recruitment cycle for 2022. Accordingly, the upper age limit for the recruitment process for Agnipath scheme for 2022 is increased to 23 years.”
The press release said that taking cognizance of the fact that no recruitment could take place in the last two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the government has decided to grant a waiver for the proposed recruitment cycle for 2022.
The Government has decided that a one-time waiver shall be granted for the proposed recruitment cycle for 2022.— PIB India (@PIB_India) June 16, 2022
Accordingly, the upper age limit for the recruitment process for Agnipath scheme for 2022 is increased to 23 years.
However, it is only an one-time waiver for the current year, and from the next year onwards, the age limit for the recruitment of Agniveers under the Agnipath scheme will be minimum 17½ and maximum 21 years, as announced under the scheme.
The Agnipath scheme was announced by Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh on June 14, under which youths will be recruited into the armed forces for a four-year period. After the four-year service period, Agniveers will get preference in PSUs, and State Governments’ jobs, and will be paid a one-time ‘SevaNidhi’ package amounting to ₹11.71 Lakh.
Agniveers will be eligible to apply for regular commission after the four-year period, and around 25% of them will be enrolled in Armed Forces as regular cadres.
The move is seen as an effort to control the burgeoning pension bill for the defence forces, as the Agniveers will not be paid pensions after their four-year service term.
There have been violent protests against this scheme by job aspirants in Bihar and some other states, who are demanding the continuation of the existing army recruitment policy. The protestors in Bihar even burnt down trains.