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End injustice done to India’s youth by implementation of Agnipath scheme: Kharge writes to President Murmu

New Delhi, Feb 26, 2024
Congress President and Leader of Opposition (LoP) in Rajya Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge on Monday wrote to President Droupadi Murmu highlighting the alleged “injustice” done to India’s youth due to implementation of the Agnipath scheme by the government.

In his letter, Kharge said that the “future of nearly two lakh young men and women seeking regular employment in the country’s Armed Forces had become uncertain” due to the ending of the regular recruitment process and the introduction of the Agnipath scheme.

The Congress President informed President Murmu that he had “met a group of young men and women who had been selected for the three services” between 2019 and 2022 and “were awaiting their joining letters” when on May 31, 2022, the Centre decided to replace the established recruitment process with the Agnipath scheme.

He said that their “dreams were shattered by the government’s decision to end this recruitment process and replace it with the Agnipath scheme”.

Pointing out issues with the Agnipath scheme, Kharge said, “The scheme is discriminatory among our jawans by creating parallel cadres of soldiers who are expected to work on similar tasks, but with very different emoluments, benefits and prospects.

The majority of the Agniveers will be released into an uncertain job market after four years of service, which some have argued could affect social stability.”

He also added that the main purpose behind writing the letter to President Murmu was to “highlight the ‘Anyay’ or injustice inflicted on the lakhs of youth whose dreams did not materialise despite the promise made by the Indian government”.

He said that “the resulting frustration and hopelessness has even led to several reported deaths by suicide”.

“Our youth cannot be allowed to suffer in this manner. I appeal to you to ensure that Nyay and justice is done,” Kharge concluded.

In June 2022, the Union government rolled out the Agnipath recruitment scheme for short-term induction of armed personnel into the Indian Army, the Indian Air Force and the Navy with the aim to bring down the age profile of the country’s Defence forces.

The Agnipath scheme provides for recruiting youth for four years with a provision to retain 25 per cent of them for 15 more years.(Agency)

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