Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister and BJP leader Jai Ram Thakur on Thursday hailed the Centre's decision to approve the 'Agnipath' scheme for the recruitment of youth in the Armed Forces.
The Chief Minister also questioned the Opposition for opposing the scheme.
"I welcome the decision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding the Agnipath scheme. The Opposition is trying to take this issue in a different direction, politicising it, is not appropriate. It will be an opportunity for the youth across the nation," the Chief Minister told ANI on Thursday.
Thakur, while talking to media persons here on Thursday, said that Agnipath was a visionary scheme, which would provide a unique opportunity to the youth to serve the country and contribute towards nation-building.
"Himachal is known as Veer Bhoomi and many sons of the soil are giving their services in the armed forces. This scheme will further encourage youth of the state and the country to serve in the armed forces. About 46,000 Agniveers will be recruited this year under the scheme, giving a boost to employment opportunities," he said.
On June 14, the Union Cabinet approved an attractive recruitment scheme for Indian youth to serve in the Armed Forces. The scheme is called Agnipath and the youth selected under this scheme will be known as Agniveers. Agnipath allows patriotic and motivated youth to serve in the Armed Forces for a period of four years.
The Ministry of Defence, in its statement, said that the scheme has been designed to enable a youthful profile of the Armed Forces. It will provide an opportunity to the youth who may be keen to don the uniform by attracting young talent from the society who are more in tune with contemporary technological trends and plough back skilled, disciplined and motivated manpower into the society.
As for the Armed Forces, it will enhance the youthful profile of the Armed Forces and provide a fresh lease of 'Josh' and 'Jazba' whilst at the same time bringing about a transformational shift towards a more tech-savvy Armed Forces - which is indeed the need of the hour.
It is envisaged that the average age profile of the Indian Armed forces would come down by about 4-5 years by the implementation of this scheme.
Agnipath Scheme was recently launched by the government in an effort to bring a change in the recruitment process of the Armed Forces. With the new military recruitment scheme facing a backlash by Opposition, the Centre has decided to bring a change in the upper age limit for recruiting Agniveers.
Granting a one-time waiver, the Centre on June 16, 2022, announced that the Agniveer upper age limit for recruitments via Agnipath Scheme has been extended to 23 years from 21 years.