Like other services, reservation applicable in ‘Agnipath’ scheme too: Govt

Like other services, reservation applicable in ‘Agnipath’ scheme too: Govt

India News

The central government will provide reservations in the short-term defence forces recruitment scheme–Agnipath–like in other services.

In a written reply to Parliament on Wednesday, Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai said 15 per cent of seats in the ‘Agnipath’ scheme are reserved for candidates belonging to Scheduled Caste (SC) category, 7.5 per cent for Scheduled Tribe (ST) and 27 per cent for those from Other Backward Classes (OBC).

Also, 10 per cent of seats in direct recruitment in civil posts and government services are reserved for aspirants from Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) who are not covered under the scheme of reservation.

Moreover, 10 per cent of the vacancies in the posts up to the level of the Assistant Commandant in all para-military forces are reserved for ex-servicemen.

The government has also decided to give 10 per cent horizontal reservation for the post of constable or rifleman to the first batch of ‘Agnipath’ scheme pass-outs.

The reservation given to SCs, STs, and OBCs is referred to as vertical reservations as it applies separately for each of the groups. On the other hand, horizontal reservation refers to the equal opportunity provided to other categories of beneficiaries such as women, veterans, the transgender community, and individuals with disabilities, cutting through the vertical categories.

Chart showing reserved seats under different categories in ‘Agnipath’ recruitment scheme. (Source: PIB)

Earlier this week, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Member of Parliament (MP) Sanjay Singh alleged that casteism was taking place in the ‘Agnipath’ scheme as the application form has a caste column.

He had further alleged that for the first time since Independence, candidates have to fill the caste column for recruitment in the Army.

However, the allegations were rebutted by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who told mediapersons that the recruitment will be done the same way as in the past and there are no changes in the policy.

The ‘Agnipath’ scheme was announced by the government last month. Under this scheme, the recruits will have a fixed tenure of four years. and they will not be entitled to privileges like a pension. The government, however, said that 25 per cent of ‘Agnipath’ scheme pass-outs will be absorbed by the government.

The scheme evoked mass protest by aspirants, Opposition parties and others, which turned violent in several places. Their demand to roll back the scheme has been categorically denied by the government.

Youngsters sitting on railway tracks to mark their protest against the Agnipath scheme, in Buxar (PTI/file photo)

The Opposition has demanded a debate on the scheme in the ongoing Monsoon session of Parliament but so far, it has not been listed for discussion.

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