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Defense Minister Rajnath Singh again holds meeting with army chiefs amid growing opposition to ‘Agneepath’ army recruitment

New Delhi, June 19 (Agency)

Defense Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday met the chiefs of the three services amid growing protests against the ‘Agneepath’ military recruitment scheme in many parts of the country. Singh held meetings with the Chiefs of the Army, Navy and Air Force for the second consecutive day on the matter. No official statement has been issued regarding the meeting. It is being told that the ways to pacify the protesters were discussed in the meeting.

Singh had on Saturday approved a proposal for 10 per cent reservation in Defense Ministry jobs for ‘agniveers’ who fulfill the essential eligibility criteria. The Home Ministry has also announced 10 per cent reservation in Central Armed Police Forces and Assam Rifles for ‘agniveers’ after completing four years of tenure under the new recruitment scheme.

The Indian Air Force gave detailed information regarding the new plan on Sunday. Indian Navy and Army can also do the same soon. The government on Thursday night raised the upper age limit for recruitment under the ‘Agneepath’ scheme from 21 to 23 years for the year 2022 in an effort to pacify the protesters. It had launched the scheme on Tuesday, saying youths in the age group of seventeen-and-a-half years to 21 years would be inducted for a four-year term, while 25 per cent of them would be inducted into regular service later. The youth to be recruited under the new scheme will be called ‘Agniveer’. One of the main objectives of this scheme is to reduce the average age of military personnel and to cut the rising salary and pension bill.

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