Shillong: The Meghalaya capital, which is headquarters to several important militaries, air force and para-military forces, was witness to agitation over the Agnipath recruitment policy as hundreds of aspirants seeking jobs in the Indian armed forces on Monday took out a protest march against the new recruitment scheme for defence forces in the country.
The job aspirants are demanding that apart from the rollback of the Agnipath scheme want the Common Entrance Examination (CEE) and Army recruitment rally be conducted at the earliest.
The protestors threatened that they would continue to protest till the central government rolls back the scheme.
The Agnipath scheme aims at recruiting applicants aged between 17.5 and 21. The selected candidates will be called ‘Agniveers’. In the earlier army recruitments for soldiers, they served the armed forces for 20 years.
In the Agnipath scheme apart from the short tenure, those who would not be retained would take home 11 lakh apart from the regular salary of about Rs 30000 per month.
“It has been our dream to join the army, but the Agnipath scheme will let us work for only four years and would only spoil their career as after four years they might be jobless. We do not know what we will do after that,” one of the worried aspirants said.
The aspirants also raised concerns about the delay in conducting the Common Entrance Exam (CEE).
“Many of us are preparing for the exams to join the Indian Army. We dropped our further studies after our Class 12 since we wanted to join the Indian Army to defend our Country,” another job aspirant said.
The age limit for the rank of soldiers (General Duty), clerks, technical, trade, and nursing under the CEE is between 17.5 and 23.
The aspirants said some of them are above 21 years and if the Army recruits under Agnipath, they would not stand an opportunity to get into the services.
Another aspirant said that they would continue to agitate if the central government refused to roll back the Agnipath scheme and till all aspirants seeking jobs in the armed forces get ‘justice’.