The Indian Air Force (IAF) has received 94,281 applications under the Agnipath recruitment scheme within four days of the registration process getting underway on Friday.
After the scheme was unveiled on June 14, violent protests against it rocked several states for nearly a week and several opposition parties have been demanding its rollback.
“A total of 94,281 Agniveer Vayu aspirants have registered till 10:30 am (Monday). Registration closes on July 5,” Defence Ministry Spokesperson A Bharat Bhushan Babu said on Twitter.
Till Sunday, the IAF had received 56,960 applications under the scheme.
Under the scheme, the government had said youths between the ages of 17-and-a-half and 21 years would be inducted for a four-year tenure, while 25 per cent of them will be subsequently inducted for regular service.
The government had on June 16 increased the upper age limit for recruitment under the scheme to 23 years from 21 for the year 2022, and subsequently announced a slew of placatory steps like a preference for Agniveers in central paramilitary forces and defence public sector undertakings upon their retirement.
Many BJP-ruled states also declared the ‘Agniveers’ – as the soldiers inducted under the Agnipath scheme will be known – will be accorded priority in induction into state police forces.
The armed forces have, however, made it clear those who had indulged in violent protests and arson against the new recruitment scheme will not be inducted.