New Delhi: Centre on Saturday swung into action to quell the disquiet among the young aspirants against “Agnipath”, the new recruitment policy for soldiers in the defence forces, and announced a slew of job opportunities in various sectors for the “Agniveers’ after they complete their four-year stint.
The defence and home ministries announced a 10 per cent reservation in jobs for Agniveers in the Indian Coast Guard, defence civilian posts, 16 defence public sector undertakings (DPSU), Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) and Assam Rifles.
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 the requisite eligibility criteria. The 10 per cent reservation will be implemented in the Indian Coast Guard, defence civilian posts and all the 16 DPSUs.
This reservation in jobs would be in addition to existing reservations for ex-servicemen.
The defence ministry will bring out the necessary amendments to the relevant recruitment rules to implement these provisions. The DPSUs will be advised to make similar amendments to their respective recruitment rules. The defence ministry said that necessary age relaxation provisions will also be made to enable the recruitment of Agniveers.
The home ministry, on Saturday, said that it has also decided to reserve 10 per cent of vacancies for the recruitment in CAPFs and Assam Rifles for the Agniveers, completing four years under the Agnipath scheme. The ministry has decided to give three years of age relaxation beyond the prescribed upper age limit to Agniveers for recruitment in CAPFs and Assam Rifles. Further, for the first batch of Agniveer, the age relaxation will be for five years beyond the prescribed upper age limit.
The CAPFs include the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Border Security Force (BSF), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) and Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force (ITBP).
The civil aviation ministry in a tweet said that it will offer opportunities to Agniveers in various fields, including air traffic services, aircraft technician services, maintenance, repair and overhaul of aircraft, meteorological and air accident investigator services and in-flight safety, among others.
The Directorate General of Shipping under the ministry of ports, shipping and waterways (MoPSW) on Saturday announced six service avenues in which Agniveers from the Indian Navy will be inducted into the Merchant Navy.
Anurag Thakur, Union minister for information and broadcasting and youth affairs and sports, said that the ministry of youth affairs and sports is also mulling to do something for the Agniveers. “To provide some crash courses and to provide training to those who want to become physical education teachers. 15 lakh physical education teachers’ posts are lying vacant in various states. We’re thinking in this direction also,” he said.
Several state governments, including UP, Haryana, Uttarakhand and Assam, have said that they will give preference to Agniveers in the police forces of their respective states.
In order to identify ways in which the banks and financial institutions can support the Agniveers on completion of their tenure of duty, Department of Financial Services (DFS) secretary has held a meeting with chief executives of public sector banks (PSBs), public sector insurance companies (PSICs) and financial institutions (FIs). In the meeting, it was decided that PSBs, PSICs and FIs would explore employment opportunities for Agniveers in suitable capacities based on their educational qualifications and skills through suitable benefits and relaxations.
It was also decided that banks would explore the possibility of supporting Agniveers through suitable credit facilities for skill upgradation and education for setting up businesses and to take up self-employment. The existing government schemes such as Mudra and Stand Up India would be leveraged for extending such support to Agniveers.
The defence minister on Saturday held a meeting at his residence with the service chiefs on the Agnipath scheme. Navy chief Admiral R. Hari Kumar and IAF chief Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari were present during the meeting.
Air Chief Marshal Chaudhari on Saturday termed the Central government’s decision to reserve vacancies for Agniveers in CAPFs and Assam Rifles as a “very positive step” and asked the protesting youth to gather “correct information” and get their doubts about the scheme clarified instead of resorting to violence.
“It’s a very positive step. This is one assurance that the people, who are going to leave services after four years of tenure, were waiting for this. I’m sure that this will be followed by many other such announcements and will definitely assuage issues that have been brought up by the youth,” he said.
The defence ministry has already 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 decision was taken in view of the fact that recruitment was not possible for the last two years due to COVID-19.
The 16 DPSUs where 10 per cent reservation in jobs will be given to Agniveers are — Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML), Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL), Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE) Limited, Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL), Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL), Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders (MDL), Mishra Dhatu Nigam (MIDHANI) Limited, Armoured Vehicles Nigam Limited (AVNL), Advanced Weapons & Equipment India Ltd. (AW&EIL), Munitions India Limited (MIL), Yantra India Limited (YIL), Gliders India Limited (GIL), India Optel Limited (IOL) and Troop Comforts Limited (TCL).