GUWAHATI: In a bid to encourage youths to sign up for the 'Agniveer' scheme announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma will be given preference during recruitment to the Assam police force.
Speaking at the concluding day of BJP's two-day state executive committee meeting in Diphu, Sarma said that those who return after serving for 4 years under ‘Agnipath’ shall have special privileges while applying for a job with the state police force.
According to CM Sarma, those who come back from the 'Agniveer' program after four years, will also be prioritised in the Assam Arogya Nidhi initiative. (The Arogya Nidhi provides financial assistance to families with a monthly income of less than Rs. 10,000 for general and specialised treatment of life-threatening diseases and injuries caused by natural and man-made disasters.)
On Tuesday, the Central government launched the ‘Agniveer’ scheme for recruitment into the Army, Navy, and Air Force on Tuesday. Under this arrangement, soldiers will be recruited on a contract basis over a four-year period.
According to some estimates, roughly 46,000 soldiers will be recruited across the three services under the scheme. The age range for selection will be 17.5 to 21 years old.
Even as armed forces aspirants blocked roads and railway tracks to protest the new scheme, the Centre has highlighted the possibility of ‘Agniveer’ soldiers being offered a variety of job opportunities after they retire. Priorities in recruitment for the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) and the Assam Rifles are among them. These announcements have come amid confusion over the future of those who sign up.
Opposition Reacts with Fury to new ‘Agniveer’ scheme:
Meanwhile, the Centre’s declaration of the ‘Agnipath Scheme’ has been met with an expected backlash from across the political aisle.
“When India faces threats on two fronts, the uncalled for Agnipath scheme reduces the operational effectiveness of our armed forces,” chimed in Rahul Gandhi. “The BJP govt. must stop compromising the dignity, traditions, valour and discipline of our forces.”
CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury accused the PM Modi-led regime of “training contract soldiers with no other prospects after 3-5 years but to serve private militias.”
Debabrata Saikia, the leader of the Opposition in Assam, terming the scheme as a “lollipop” by the BJP government, told this publication. “There must be many vacancies in the army since recruitments have not been made recently. By giving non-permanent jobs, they are only giving an illusion of employment to unemployed youth.”
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