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Tejashwi Yadav asks Centre: Is Agnipath MNREGA for educated youth

News Agencies | Updated on: 19 June 2022, 17:03 IST
Tejashwi Yadav

Taking a potshot at the Centre over the Agnipath scheme, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav on Sunday said the government is introducing 'No Rank-No Pension' instead of One Rank One Pension while asking the centre whether Agnipath is an MNREGA for educated youth.

Speaking to reporters, Yadav said, "The central government should inform the youths who would be reinstated for four years whether they will get regular leave like the personnel who join the army regularly. In this scheme, why only a soldier is being kept for four years? Why not senior officers are inducted like this?"

"Is this scheme (Agnipath) an MNREGA for educated youth? Or is this a hidden agenda of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)? Instead of 'One Rank One Pension', No Rank No Pension was introduced. If BJP likes this contract system so much, then BJP ministers should get their children to resign from government jobs," added the RJD leader.

The Union Cabinet on June 14 approved a recruitment scheme for Indian youth to serve in the three services of the Armed Forces called Agnipath and the youth selected under this scheme will be known as Agniveers.

Under the scheme, people between the age of 17.5 years and 21 years will be inducted into the services for a four-year tenure. During this period, they will be paid a monthly salary between Rs 30,000-40,000 plus allowances, followed by compulsory retirement for most without gratuity and pension benefits.

Following the announcement of the scheme, agitations broke out and a tense situation prevailed in various states. The protests took place in several states including Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Telangana, Odisha, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Jharkhand and Assam so far.In a few states, the protests turned violent, which included setting trains on fire and stone-pelting incidents, and arrests were made.

In Uttar Pradesh at least 250 people have been arrested and six FIRs were lodged till Friday. One died in Telangana's Secunderabad district.

Protesters expressed concerns about their future after four-year of contractual employment in Indian Army, hence, demanded immediate rollback of the scheme.

In response, the Centre has stepped up its efforts to appeal to the protestors not to protest and understand the new recruitment programme of the military. The governmnet explained to the youths that they will get an exit package worth Rs 11.71 lakhs after their tenure and priority in government services.

In a bid to provide supportive measures to the Agniveers after their 4-year service ends in the Armed Forces, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday approved a proposal to reserve 10 per cent of the job vacancies in the Ministry of Defence for Agniveers meeting requisite eligibility criteria.

The government also announced that it has decided to increase the upper age limit for the recruitment of Agniveers from 21 years to 23 years for the recruitment cycle of 2022.

The Union Home Ministry decided to reserve 10 per cent vacancies for recruitment in Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) and Assam Rifles for Agniveers. Home Ministry has further announced that it will give three years of age relaxation to Agniveers beyond the prescribed upper age limit to recruitments in CAPFs and Assam Rifles. For the first batch of Agniveers, the age relaxation will be of five years.

Moreover, there are several state governments like Assam, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Arunachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Karnataka that have come out and announced various supportive measures for the Agniveers who would return to the civil life after their 4-year service in the Defence Forces.

Several state governments have announced that Agniveers, after serving the armed forces for 4 years, will be given preference in filling of vacancies in state police forces.

Owing to the violence, the train services of the East Coast Railway zone were also affected.In states like Bihar, where trains were set on fire in some places, the state police are probing the role of the coaching institutes behind the violence.

Acting against the violence, the Andhra Pradesh Police on Saturday detained a man named Subba Rao who ran Army training centres in Palnadu district on the suspicion that he is the conspirator in Thursday's arson at Secunderabad Railway station in Telangana.


Also Read: Top brass of 3 services to be present at military briefing on Agnipath today

First published: 19 June 2022, 17:03 IST