Wednesday, Aug 10, 2022
Armed Forces/Agnipath

Agnipath Scheme: As Aspirants Line Up For Recruitment, Experts Say Flaws Remain

The government has defended the Agnipath scheme as a way to lower the average age of soldiers and rejuvenate the Army with 'tech-savvy' youth. But not everyone is convinced.

Hup-two-three: Army jawans at an Army Day parade Photo: Tribhuvan Tiwari

On June 16, 22-year-old Patna-based Army aspirant Michael was at a friend’s house when he learnt of the Agnipath protests on the news. Hundreds of youth, some of whom he knew personally, were out on the streets, rais­ing slogans and blocking roads and rail tracks. Soon, he himself was on the streets.

The Centre’s new Agnipath scheme for recruitment to the armed forces unleashed a wave of violence, vandalism and protests across several states in the country. Bihar, with a high number of defe­nce job aspirants, was one of the worst-hit. From June 16 to June 22, trains were burnt, railway lin­es obstructed, effigies set on fire and roads bloc­ked, as angry protesters clashed with police.