The Indian Air Force (IAF) on Tuesday said it has received 7.5 lakh applications under the “Agnipath” recruitment scheme.
The scheme’s registration period started on June 24 and ended on Tuesday. Several states had violent anti-scheme protests for nearly a week after it was presented on June 14. Opposition parties urged its reversal.
The IAF announced via Twitter that, “The online registration process conducted by IAF towards Agnipath Recruitment Scheme has been completed.”
“Compared to 6,31,528 applications in the past, which was the highest in any recruitment cycle, this time 7,49,899 applications have been received,” it added.
Under the Agnipath programme, those between the ages of 17 and a half and 21 would be enlisted for a four-year service in the armed services, with 25% of them thereafter being enlisted for regular duty.
Despite widespread opposition to the Agnipath initiative, these figures demonstrate the excitement of young people all around the nation. On June 16, the central government unveiled Agnipath Scheme 2022. Since then, criticism has arisen, and rallies have been organised calling for a reversal of the plan.
The government announced a number of appeasement measures, including a preference for “Agniveers” in central paramilitary forces and defence public sector undertakings upon retirement, on June 16, raising the upper age restriction for enlistment under the plan from 21 to 23 for the year 2022.
The “Agniveers” — troops enlisted under the Agnipath programme — would be given preference for recruitment in the state police forces, according to a number of BJP-ruled states.
Armed forces officials have stated that anyone who have participated in violent protests and fires in opposition to the new recruiting plan would not be admitted.