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Monday, June 27, 2022

Agnipath Protest Highlights: PM Modi will have to withdraw Agnipath scheme, says Rahul Gandhi

Agnipath Scheme Protest Highlights, June 22, 2022: The railway operations, hit by violent protests, seemed to be limping back to normalcy, with less than 300 trains cancelled on Tuesday.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: June 23, 2022 7:23:57 am
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi addresses party workers on Wednesday. (Screenshot/YouTube)

Agnipath scheme protests Highlights: Stating that the Centre is “weakening the army with its Agnipath recruitment scheme, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government would have to withdraw the scheme just like they rolled back the farm laws.

“When there is a war results of this will be evident…they are weakening the army, it will harm the country and they call themselves nationalists,” Gandhi said while addressing party workers. “I had said about farm laws that Modiji will have to take them back and he did. Now, the Congress is saying PM Modi will have to withdraw the Agnipath scheme and all the youth are standing with us on this,” he said

Amid the ongoing protests against the Agnipath recruitment scheme for the armed forces, the Indian Air Force issued its notification, stating that registration will start from June 24. Meanwhile, the three service chiefs separately met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday and briefed him about their plan to implement the Agnipath scheme. To address misgivings about the scheme, senior officers of the three services held a press conference for the second time in three days. Lt Gen Anil Puri, Additional Secretary, Department of Military Affairs, said several deliberations were held before the scheme was announced. There were about 150 meetings, adding up to 500 hours of discussions, among the services, he said.

Live Blog

Agnipath scheme protests Highlights: Service chiefs meet PM Modi; IAF issues recruitment notification; follow latest updates here

22:29 (IST)22 Jun 2022
Moily slams govt for 'Agnipath' scheme, says it will result in 'flood of unemployed' youth

Attacking the government over the Agnipath scheme, senior Congress leader M Veerappa Moily on Wednesday said that after a four-year stint, the 'Agniveers' will remain devoid of the status of ex-servicemen with "no skills" transferable to civil life.

The former Union minister also said the recently launched military recruitment scheme will lead to a scenario under which there will be a "flood of unemployed youths" thrown into the market.

In a statement, Moily alleged that the scheme is one of "exploiting the youth of this nation" and will "impinge" upon the professionalism, operational capabilities and combativeness of the armed forces. He said the scheme has been announced without any serious study. (PTI)

21:20 (IST)22 Jun 2022
Agnipath scheme should be rolled back: Samyukta Kisan Morcha

The Agnipath scheme for short-term recruitment in armed forces is "not in favour of the youth" and should be rolled back, a leader of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) said on Wednesday.

The SKM had spearheaded an agitation against the Centre's now-scrapped agri laws. Farmer leader and a member of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha Abhimanyu Kohar said the organisation in a meeting earlier this week had decided to stage nationwide protests on June 24 to oppose the scheme.

The Agnipath scheme is not in favour of the youth and should be rolled back, he said. (PTI)

20:16 (IST)22 Jun 2022
RLP's Jodhpur rally against Agnipath scheme to be trailer for Centre: Beniwal

Rashtriya Loktantrik Party chief and Nagaur MP Hanuman Beniwal on Wednesday said their rally in Rajasathan's Jodhpur on June 27 against the Centre's Agnipath scheme will be a "trailer" for the Union government, which will have to bow down to people's wish.

The Centre had last week introduced the scheme that aims at the recruitment of the youth aged between 17 and a half and 21 in the armed forces for a four-year on contractual basis, triggering a protest across the country.

Beniwal said he will also meet people in Pali and Nagaur on June 23 ahead of the Jodhpur rally. "A massive rally will be organised in Jodhpur on June 27. It will be a trailer for the Centre. If needed, we will move to Jaipur and New Delhi. It will be a democratic protest. I appeal the youth to have patience and do not create a situation like Bihar," Beniwal told reporters. (PTI)

19:18 (IST)22 Jun 2022
Some people ‘spreading anarchy' to ‘remove' PM Modi, Shah from power: Ramdev

Terming protests against the Agnipath scheme as 'meaningless politics', yoga guru Swami Ramdev on Wednesday alleged that a few people are “spreading anarchy” in the country to “remove” Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah from power.

Addressing a yoga event at Delhi University, Ramdev said that there should be yoga in politics, but there should be no politics in yoga.

"If they (protesters) had done yoga, they wouldn't have resorted to arson. They should also perform yoga. It (protests against Agnipath) is a meaningless politics. Basically, a few people are running an agenda to spread anarchy in the country. They want to spread anarchy to remove Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah from power," he said. (PTI)

15:34 (IST)22 Jun 2022
PDP holds protest against Agnipath scheme in Jammu; demands its rollback

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) staged a protest demonstration here on Wednesday, demanding immediate rollback of the recently launched Agnipath military recruitment scheme.

Scores of PDP activists came out of the party headquarters at Gandhi Nagar and started marching towards nearby Jammu-airport road, shouting slogans against the BJP-led central government and in support of the demand for immediate rollback of the Agnipath scheme, officials said. However, they were stopped by a large posse of police. The participants later returned to the PDP office after staging a peaceful demonstration.

"Our protest is against the Agnipath scheme which has triggered unrest among the youth in the country and led to street protests and arson… We support the demand of the youth for the immediate rollback of the scheme," PDP spokesperson Varinder Singh Sonu told reporters. (PTI)

14:26 (IST)22 Jun 2022
PM Modi will have to withdraw Agnipath scheme, says Rahul Gandhi

Stating that the Centre is “weakening" the army with its Agnipath recruitment scheme, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government would have to withdraw the scheme just like they rolled back the farm laws.

“When there is a war results of this will be evident…they are weakening the army, it will harm the country and they call themselves nationalists,” Gandhi said while addressing party workers. “I had said about farm laws that Modiji will have to take them back and he did. Now, the Congress is saying PM Modi will have to withdraw the Agnipath scheme and all the youth are standing with us on this,” he said.

13:34 (IST)22 Jun 2022
Telangana minister lashes out at Centre over BJP leaders’ remarks on employing Agniveers as security guards, drivers

Telangana IT and Industries Minister K T Rama Rao on Tuesday lashed out at the Centre over the Agnipath scheme after BJP leaders, including Union minister G Kishan Reddy, allegedly said that those who completed their four-year term in defence forces as part of it can later be employed as security guards, drivers, barbers, electricians and so on.

“A Modi cabinet minister is saying that Agniveers can become security guards, drivers, carpenters, electricians later. Is this why youths join the army?’’ Rama Rao said during a public event in Hyderabad. 

Earlier on Sunday, BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya said that if he had to hire a guard for his party office in Indore, he would prefer to hire an Agniveer. Reddy, who holds the tourism and culture portfolios in the Union government, allegedly said that Agnipath recruits will be trained as drivers, electricians, washermen and barbers and they would be helpful for these posts later. Read more

12:43 (IST)22 Jun 2022
'Agnipath' may not be roiling Bihar anymore but JD(U)-BJP ties remain on the rocks

Violent protests against ‘Agnipath' scheme for recruitment in the armed forces may have fizzled out in Bihar within a week of eruption but the discord these triggered between Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's JD(U) and ally BJP seems to have cast a long shadow on the coalition. 

The JD(U), which has taken as an affront to its leader the criticism of the BJP of the administration's handling of last week's depredations, is now insistent on reviving the “coordination committee” that existed during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee era and served as a platform where differences among allies were ironed out. 

“The NDA coordination committee, back then, used to be chaired by our leader George Fernandes. It used to meet every month. Now, in the absence of such a platform, people tend to voice their differences of opinion before the media instead of before each other,” JD(U) chief national general secretary K C Tyagi told PTI. 

Tyagi also took strong exception to “second-rung BJP leaders in Bihar belittling our leader every now and then”, asserting that “nobody in the JD(U) has ever been disrespectful towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi”. (PTI)

12:20 (IST)22 Jun 2022
Jobs for ‘Agniveers’: Haryana joins the queue, claims first to promise ‘guaranteed employment’

Claiming to be the first state in the country to do so, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar announced Tuesday that the state government would give “guaranteed employment” to those recruited through the short-term military hiring Agnipath scheme after they leave the defence forces in four years. 

“I announce that anyone (the Agniveers) who wants to join Haryana government services will be given a guaranteed job. No one will go without a job. We take guarantee for this,” Khattar said at a state-level International Yoga Day function in Bhiwani, later posting the same on his Twitter handle. Read more

12:13 (IST)22 Jun 2022
Do they deserve to be in Army: Yogi Adityanath on Agnipath protesters

Amid the protests against Agnipath, the new military recruitment scheme, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Tuesday said those who destroy the nation’s assets don’t deserve to be in Army. “Tell me one thing. Those who are damaging the properties of the country, do they deserve to go in Army? Should they join Army and the police force?… Sena mein rashtra bhakt jata hai, rashtra ki sampatti ko nuksaan pahuchane wala nahi jata hai (a patriot goes to the Army, not the one who damages the assets of the nation),” Adityanath said at a BJP rally in Rampur while campaigning for the party’s candidate in the Lok Sabha bypoll there.

He also accused the Opposition of “misleading the youths” and added that ‘for the very same reason, people are teaching the Opposition parties lessons”.  Read more

12:03 (IST)22 Jun 2022
In Opinion | Arun Prakash writes: Agnipath, between the lines

"Given the transformed nature of warfare, down-sizing of the Indian army, by substituting manpower with smart technology and innovative tactics, has become an imperative need. Against this backdrop, a scheme on the lines of Agnipath, appropriately constituted, and focused on enhancing “combat effectiveness” rather than “effecting savings” or “generating employment,” could have triggered a reformative process. But a number of caveats need to be borne in mind in this context." Read more

11:49 (IST)22 Jun 2022
‘Arson attempt’ at Nadda residence gate thwarted, action against Agnipath protesters

More than 10 people reached BJP president J P Nadda’s house on Tuesday afternoon and raised slogans against the Agnipath recruitment scheme. They also set on fire a long stick they were carrying and put it on the main gate. Legal action has been taken against them, police said. 

Special CP (southern zone) Sagar Preet Hooda said, “Around 10-12 persons reached the residence at Moti Lal Nehru Marg. They were shouting slogans and carrying a long stick with some inflammable material. They put the material on fire and put the burning material on the entrance gate. However, security personnel came out and thwarted the incident. Suitable legal action is being taken against those mischievous elements.” Read more

10:12 (IST)22 Jun 2022
No rollback of Agnipath; good for Army, youth: NSA Ajit Doval

There will be no roll back of the Agnipath scheme as it is for the good of the armed forces and even the youth who get trained through it, National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval said on Tuesday. He also said there would be ample employment opportunities for Agniveers as by the time they retire from the forces, India will have a $5 trillion economy and industries will be vying to employ disciplined, trainable youth. 

“There is no question of any rollback. This is not a knee jerk reaction. This has been discussed for decades. In 1970s, we had General Krishna Rao Committee of which General Chhibber and General Sundar were members. They talked about reforming the Army, including the manpower policy. Then there was the Arun Singh report in 1989 and then there was a Group of Ministers report… there was Subramaniam Committee report, the Kargil Committee report… All had this consistent refrain that go for a younger Army. But there was a problem. While everybody realized it was necessary, no one had the ability and the will to take the risk,” Doval said in an interview to ANI. Read more

10:07 (IST)22 Jun 2022
Agnipath protest: Khaps to start paidal yatra on June 27

Khap and farmer leaders along with several ex-servicemen gathered in Jind Tuesday and decided to start a paidal yatra on June 27 to express their resentment against the Agnipath scheme of the central government. 

The yatra will be undertaken from Bhiwani district’s Taalu village to Jind district’s Lizwana village. Read more

09:18 (IST)22 Jun 2022
Service chiefs meet PM; IAF’s notification for recruitment out

Amid the ongoing protests over the Agnipath short-term recruitment scheme for the armed forces, the chiefs of the three services met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday. 

All the three services are set to begin the recruitment process this week. While the Army issued a notification for compulsory online registration of all Agnipath job aspirants on Monday, the IAF did so today. The Navy is set to issue its notification in a day or two. 

Seeking to address misgivings about the scheme, senior officers of the three services held a press conference for the second time in three days on Tuesday. “Agnipath balances three things: a youthful profile of the armed forces, technically savvy and adaptable people will join the forces, and it will make the individual future-ready,” said Lt Gen Anil Puri, Additional Secretary, Department of Military Affairs. Read more

08:35 (IST)22 Jun 2022
Opinion | DS Hooda writes: Agnipath — Put it to a four-year test

"The Agnipath scheme is passing through its first fiery test. Potential recruits for the Indian military are burning trains and buses, and it is tragic to see that the debate on the new scheme has passed on from television channels to a contest on the streets. With the three services announcing the recruitment schedule beginning this month, it is hoped that the angst among the youth is soon dissipated. However, considering the controversy surrounding the scheme, there is undoubtedly a requirement to conduct a reasoned analysis of this initiative." Read more

08:33 (IST)22 Jun 2022
Good morning and welcome to our live blog!

Stay tuned as we bring you the latest updates on the Agnipath scheme protests and recruitment.

National Students Union of India (NSUI) workers take out a protest march over the Agnipath scheme for short-term recruitment in Armed forces, in Bikaner, Tuesday. (PTI Photo)

The Agnipath scheme for recruiting soldiers — what is it, how will it work?

Under the new scheme, around 45,000 to 50,000 soldiers will be recruited annually, and most will leave the service in just four years. Of the total annual recruits, only 25 per cent will be allowed to continue for another 15 years under permanent commission. The move will make the permanent force levels much leaner for the over 13-lakh strong armed forces in the country.

This will, in turn, considerably reduce the defence pension bill, which has been a major concern for governments for many years.

The new system is only for personnel below officer ranks (those who do not join the forces as commissioned officers).

Under the Agnipath scheme, aspirants between the ages of 17.5 years and 21 years will be eligible to apply. The recruitment standards will remain the same, and recruitment will be done twice a year through rallies.

Also Read:

Agnipath scheme: Why age relaxation can also become a problem

 

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