However, we found that the viral screenshot is not an authentic one and that the Army hasn't changed the age criteria for recruitment.
The Zee News bulletin that shows a 'Breaking News' alert with an image of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat, mentions the new rule for Army recruitment 2022. It states that the age criteria has been relaxed by two years for 'Army GD'.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
We went through few recent bulletins uploaded on Zee News' YouTube handle and found that the current 'Breaking News' template is different from the one seen in the viral image.
For instance, we compared the Zee News bulletin uploaded on 9 November with the viral image and noticed several differences.
In order to find whether the news channel previously used the template seen in the viral screenshot, we ran a keyword search on Zee News' YouTube handle.
This search led us to a bulletin uploaded on 26 April mentioning about Prime Minister Narendra Modi's meeting with CDS Bipin Rawat regarding the preparations being undertaken by the Armed forces during the coronavirus pandemic.
On comparing the April bulletin with the viral image, we noticed several similarities and differences.
For example, the font and placement of 'Breaking News', placement of channel's logo, design of the background behind the text are same in both.
However, when we looked at the text in the red box on the right hand side of both the images, we noticed a discrepancy in terms of the font.
The font used in both the header 'Sena Bharti 2022' and body of the text in the viral image is different when compared to the one seen in the Zee News bulletin.
HAS THE AGE CRITERIA FOR ARMY RECRUITMENT BEEN RELAXED?
The website of 'Join Indian Army' mentions the age criteria for soldier (General Duty) (All arms) as 17.5 years- 21 years. The age criteria for other categories can be viewed here.
But, has this age limit been relaxed recently? Let's find out.
We came across a notification uploaded on the website of 'Join Indian Army' regarding an Army Recruitment Rally that was held in Ratnagiri, Maharashtra in November 2019 and found that the age criteria was same even then.
Further, in earlier notifications issued in 2016 and 2015, one can see that the age criteria hasn't been changed. These notifications available on Tamil Nadu government's portal and website of West Bengal's Uttar Dinajpur can be viewed here and here respectively. (Note: Swipe right to see the images.)
A 2016 notification showed that the age criteria has been the same.
(Photo: Altered by The Quint)
Evidently, a morphed screenshot of a Zee News bulletin was circulated on social media to falsely claim that the age criteria for Army recruitment has been relaxed by two years.