Agnipath scheme: Indian Navy has received over 3,000 applications so far, despite massive protests

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The Ministry of Defense informed on Saturday that the Indian Navy had received 3.03 lakh applications under the Agnipath military recruitment scheme till Friday. The development comes just as more than 2,000 trains have been affected due to Agnipath protests across the country, Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw told Parliament on Friday.

The Indian Navy had started the recruitment process under the scheme on July 2, a Ministry of Defense spokesperson said, “a total of 3,03,328 applications received so far for Agniveer in the Indian Navy. .. 3,03,328 applications received as of July 22.”

Meanwhile, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, in a written response to Rajya Sabha on Friday, said 2,132 trains were canceled between June 15 and June 23. Additionally, the Union Railways Minister said that Indian Railways suffered a loss of 259.44 crores due to damage and destruction of its assets in the agitations against the Agnipath program.

The Minister further said, while responding in a written response to a series of questions posed by Congress Leader Akhilesh Prasad Singh, “a separate data regarding the amount of refund granted to passengers due to the disruption of rail services in public disturbances following the unrest such as those that occurred after the launch of the Agneepath program are not maintained.” However, the Minister specified, during the period from “June 14, 2022 to June 30, 2022, a total refund of approximately 102.96 crores was granted due to canceled trains.”

Notably, under the Agnipath program, young people between the ages of 17½ and 21 would be inducted for a four-year term, while 25% of them would then be inducted for regular service. The program was unveiled on June 14, following which there were violent protests against it in several states for almost a week and several opposition parties demanded its withdrawal.

On June 16, the government had raised the upper age limit for recruitment under the scheme to 23 from 21 for the year 2022, and then announced a series of calming measures such as a preference for Agniveers in the central paramilitary forces and public sector defense companies on their retirement.

(With ANI, PTI inputs)

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