The Indian Air Force (IAF) has received 2.72 lakh applications under the Agnipath recruitment scheme within a week of the launch of the registration process, the defense ministry said on Thursday.
The registration process that began on June 24 had seen the filing of 94,281 applications by Monday. After the scheme was unveiled on June 14, violent protests against it rocked several states for nearly a week, and various opposition parties demanded its rollback.
Defence Ministry spokesperson A Bharat Bhushan Babu said on Twitter, "So far 2,72,000 potential Agniveers have registered themselves on agnipathvayu.cdac.in, thereby expressing intent to go through the selection process to join the Indian Air Force." "Last date for registration: July 5, 2022," he added.
Under the Agnipath scheme, youths between the ages of 17-and-a-half and 21 years would be inducted for a four-year tenure, while 25 percent of them will be subsequently inducted for regular service.
The government had on June 16 increased the upper age limit for recruitment under the scheme to 23 years from 21 for the year 2022, and subsequently announced a slew of placatory steps such as a preference for Agniveers in central paramilitary forces and defense public sector undertakings upon their retirement.
Many BJP-ruled states also declared that 'Agniveers' -- soldiers inducted under the Agnipath scheme -- will be accorded priority in induction into state police forces. The armed forces have made it clear those who had indulged in violent protests and arson against the new recruitment scheme will not be inducted.