Amidst widespread protest against the Indian military's new recruitment policy Agnipath, the Army Chief General Manoj Pande has said that the recruitment process will begin soon.
"Recruitment process is going to begin soon. Within the next two days, a notification will be issued on http://joinindianarmy.nic.in. After that our Army recruitment organisations will declare a detailed schedule of registration and rally," the Army chief said, while adding the training of the first lot of new recruits or agniveers will begin by December this year at all training centres. He further said that the schedule of the recruitment process will be announced shortly. " we call upon our youth to avail this opportunity for joining the Indian army as agniveers," he said.
IAF will be the first service to kick off selection under the new Agnipath recruitment model, process begins on June 24 even as angry protesters demand a rollback of the scheme.
General Pande also said in a statement that the decision of the government has been received to grant a one-time waiver, increasing the entry age of recruitment to 23 years, for the recruitment cycle of 2022.
Meanwhile, the angry mob set trains on fire and clashed with police in several states as the protest entered the third consecutive day against the new recruitment policy. While in Bihar, where protestors set ablaze train coaches, smashed window panes of buses and stormed into BJP's offices, in Uttar Pradesh, a mob entered a railway station in Ballia and set a train coach on fire.
One person died and 13 others were injured at Secunderabad railway station during a protest on Friday.
According to sources, the intelligence wing had already briefed the government about possible widespread protests after the announcement of the Agnipath scheme.
On Tuesday, the union government unveiled the Agnipath scheme by calling it a "transformative" scheme, for the recruitment of soldiers in the Army, Navy and the Air Force, largely on a four-year short-term contractual basis.
A youth who had been preparing for army recruitment for the last five years committed suicide in the Rohtak district of Haryana. Another army aspirant ended his life in the Balasore district in Odisha.
"Relaxation of age indicates that the Government cares for our youth. we invite youth of our country to join Indian Armed Forces and serve the Nation through Agnipath Scheme," defence minister Rajnath Singh said.