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Union Minister says, protesters are ‘unaware of benefits of ‘Agnipath’ Scheme’

Union Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan stated on Sunday that the youth protesting against the Agnipath scheme are unaware of its benefits to them and the Indian armed services, and urged them to end their agitation. Mr Muraleedharan, speaking to reporters here, said the scheme for the recruitment of youths aged 17 and a half to 21 in the Army, Navy, and Air Force, largely on a four-year short-term contractual basis, should not concern them.


He claimed that youngsters were protesting it without knowing it. The Union Minister went on to explain that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has done a great job in terms of the youth’s future, the welfare of the armed forces, and national security. He urged the youth who were protesting the project to leave it.


His remarks come a day after Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan urged Modi to halt the scheme, claiming that the ‘protests erupting’ against it were a clear sign of India’s youth sentiments. As protests against the ‘Agnipath’ scheme grew louder on June 16, the Centre lifted the upper age limit for recruitment under the scheme to 23 years for 2022.


On Saturday, June 18, the central government announced plenty of incentives, including reserving 10% of slots in the paramilitary and Defense Ministries for Agnipath retirees, as well as pledging to examine any concerns about the new military recruitment scheme ‘with an open mind.’ Those who are hired as part of a program will be known to as ‘Agniveers.’ After fulfilling the four-year committment, 25% of each batch’s recruits will be offered regular service.


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