The government granted 10% reservation for 'Agnives' in the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) and Assam Rifles today, as demonstrations against the new military recruitment policy extended to eight states. Agniveers will be granted a three-year age waiver above the authorised upper age restriction for enlistment into the two paramilitary forces, according to the Ministry of Home Affairs.
It was announced that the first batch of Agniveer will be given a five-year age relaxation beyond the specified upper age restriction.
The announcement comes only days after Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that 'Agniveers' in the CAPFs would be given priority. The Centre has previously declared that the age limit for the new military recruitment plan will be raised to 23 from 21 for a "one-time" modification. The decision was made since there had been no recruitment in the previous two years.
Over 73,000 positions in the paramilitary forces' five wings - Border Security Force (BSF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Shastra Seema Bal (SSB), and Central Industrial Security Force - are now vacant (CISF).
According to data from the Union Home Ministry, there are 73,219 vacancies in the CAPFs and Assam Rifles. In addition, there are 18,124 vacancies in police units in the Union Territories.
The CAPF, which employs tens of thousands of people, is one of the home ministry's main job creators.
Despite pledges from Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Home Minister Amit Shah, and the Army chief, protests over the new short-term military recruitment scheme, Agnipath, have turned into a serious issue for the government, with protests now extending to eight states.
In Telangana, a person was killed by police after a mob set fire to trains and damaged property, causing a security panic. Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, and Madhya Pradesh have all recorded acts of violence. In Bihar, the house of Deputy Chief Minister Renu Devi was attacked amid the protests.
The demonstrators are upset about the new recruitment scheme's alterations, especially the duration of service and the lack of pension arrangements for those released early.
On Tuesday, the government announced Agnipath, a "transformative" system for recruiting soldiers into the Army, Navy, and Air Force. The Congress, on the other hand, believes that the idea is "controversial," that it "carries many hazards," that it "subverts long-standing traditions," and that it could be a case of "penny wise and security stupid."