‘Without Age Relaxation for UHQ Rally, No Chance to Join Army’

The Army Recruiting Office declined the request to provide relaxation.

My Report
2 min read

Video Editor: Sandeep Suman
Video Producer: Saradha Natarajan
Illustrations: Arnica Kala

The coronavirus lockdown has affected everyone in different ways. Because of the pandemic, army aspirants, particularly the sons of soldiers, are losing their opportunity to join the force through Unit Headquarters Quota (UHQ) Rally. The UHQ Rally is a recruitment programme for blood relations of serving or retired soldiers.

The UHQ recruitments have been postponed several times during the lockdown. The online registration process of army recruitment was available only for the open category, while the UHQ Rally required offline reporting.

The Head Quarters has now published the new recruitment process that will be starting from 28 December with a fresh age cut-off. This leaves a lot of army aspirants in a helpless state.


According to the new recruitment policy, aspirants of age 17-and-a-half to 21 years are eligible to apply for the various post.

Candidates who were born between October 1999-October 2000 will be eligible to apply for the exam, whereas, candidates born between April and September of 1999, whose age limit exceeded during the lockdown, will not make the cutoff.

The recruitment schedule.
The recruitment schedule.
(Photo Courtesy: Amar Kushwaha)

Only for the post of Soldier Tradesmen are the aspirants of age 17-and-a-half to 23 years are eligible to apply.

“A lot of efforts had already been invested by the aspirants towards the preparation to join Indian Army.”
Rahul Dubey, Aspirant

We are now requesting the Ministry of Defence to relax the age requirement given the extraordinary circumstances this year.

“The army recruitment exam, which was to happen this year got postponed. This was my last chance to appear for the exam.” 
Rakesh Kumar, Aspirant

Demands to the Ministry of Defence

Our demands to the Ministry of Defence and Department of Military Affairs include:

  1. Keep the age group intact for the already published Unit Headquarters (UHQ) Rally which were postponed due to pandemic.
  2. Focus upon digitally transforming the registration process for recruitment through UHQ Rally under the Digital India Mission launched in 2015, so that candidates do not face similar issue again.

Petition Raised

I raised a petition on behalf of the ‘sons of soldiers’ keeping forward these demands, because earlier, the Ministry of Defence said that candidates born between April and October 1999 will get the benefit of 6 months extension. Unfortunately, that did not happen.

The Army Recruiting Office on 14 October told us that they cannot relax enrolment age due to Pandemic, and said that the age will be calculated for candidates from October 1999.

(The Quint’s calls to the Army PRO went unanswered.)

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