Amid widespread protests, the government on Thursday, 16 June, increased the upper-age limit for recruitment under the Agnipath scheme to 23 years from 21 years for the year 2022.
On Tuesday, revealing the scheme, the government had said youngsters between the ages of 17-and-a-half and 21 years would be inducted for a four-year tenure, while 25 percent of the recruits will be retained for regular service.
"Cognisant of the fact that it has not been possible to undertake the recruitment during the last two years, the government has decided that a one-time waiver shall be granted for the proposed recruitment cycle for 2022," the statement issued by the defence ministry read.
"Accordingly, the upper age limit for the recruitment process for Agnipath scheme for 2022 is increased to 23 years," the statement further said.
The new policy has been met with public ire in several states, with aspirants demanding for the rollback of the policy. The protesters questioned the long-term prospects of the job and claimed that they expected regular recruitment rallies to restart after two years, but were instead offered this scheme.
On Wednesday, protests erupted in Bihar and were followed on Thursday by more protests in Haryana's Gurugram, Delhi's Nangloi, and several districts of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
A number of Opposition political parties and a significant number of military experts have also slammed the scheme, saying it will adversely impact the functioning of the armed forces.
(With inputs from PTI.)
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