Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said the recruitment into the military through the Agnipath scheme will begin soon. He advised the aspirants to begin their preparations.
Calling the scheme a 'golden opportunity' to join the nation's defence system and to serve the country, Singh thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for allowing age waiver for the first batch to be recruited through the scheme.
However, the Defence Minister's comment comes amid the protests against the Agnipath scheme which started in Bihar and has spread to several states. The protests against Agnipath continued for the third day in seven states, including the national capital.
"Agnipath is a golden opportunity for the youth to join the defence system and serve the country. As the recruitment was stalled for the last two years, many were deprived of the opportunity to join the army," Singh tweeted.
"Therefore, keeping in mind the future of the youth, on the instructions of the Prime Minister Shri @narendramodi, the government has increased the age limit for the recruitment of Agniveers from 21 years to 23 years this time. This one time relaxation has been given. This will entitle a lot of youth to become Agniveers," said the Defence minister in a subsequent tweet.
"I heartily thank the Prime Minister Shri @narendramodi for his concern and sensitivity towards the future of the youth. I appeal to the youth that the process of recruitment in the army is going to start in few days. They must start their preparation for it," Rajnath Singh tweeted.
Considering the widespread protests, the government on Thursday allowed a one-time age waiver for the scheme considering that recruitment was stalled for the last two years. The upper age limit now has been raised to 23 instead of 21 now.