Agnipath recruitment scheme triggers protests across India

On 24 June, a nationwide protest has been called for by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM)

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Ever since the Agnipath scheme was announced, protestors have been vandalising public and private property and indulging in violence in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Telangana, Odisha, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Jharkhand and Assam.

The Government has rolled out incentives and concessions for Agniveers, while the three services have warned that those who participate in the protests or indulge in any kind of violence will not be recruited.

The main grouse of the protestors is that only 25 per cent of the Agniveers will be absorbed into the Army after the four-year contract. The remaining 75 per cent will remain jobless and without any pension or life-long benefits. All they will get is a lumpsum amount on completion of their short service, which is not a permanent solution to the issue of unemployment.

Now, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), which is a farmers’ body, has called for a nationwide protest on 24 June, to express their opposition of the newly-launched Agnipath scheme for recruitment of youngsters to the Armed Forces on a four-year contract.

On 24 June, the Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU), which had earlier called for a protest on 30 June, will also join the protest against the scheme and demand its withdrawal.

The Centre rolled out the scheme to create a younger Armed Forces for the country. It was designed to offer an opportunity to unemployed tech-savvy youth to join, get trained and return to the society to contribute towards the larger good of the country.

The Government hopes that the disciplined and motivated Agniveers will be able to contribute to various sectors once they finish their four-year tenure in the Armed Forces.

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