Anand Mahendra welcomes Agnipath scheme; express sadness over protests

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(Online Desk)

While the wide-spread protests across the country are being organised by the Congress-led Opposition and some regional parties and called it a Bharat Bandh today, the Mahendra group chief Anand Mahendra terms agitations unwarranted and hailed the government for bringing in such a path-breaking scheme which produces the best Agniveers through rigorous training.

He said his firm will be happy to hire ‘Agniveers’ – the recruits of the Agnipath military scheme – as he highlighted their potential and readiness to serve in the corporate sector.

The 67-year-old chairman of the Anand Mahindra group said he was saddened by the violence over the scheme.

His tweet comes as many states are bracing to face more demonstrations on Monday due to a nationwide shutdown call for Bharat Bandh.

“Saddened by the violence around the Agneepath program. When the scheme was mooted last year I stated-& I repeat-the discipline & skills Agniveers gain will make them eminently employable. The Mahindra Group welcomes the opportunity to recruit such trained, capable young people,” Anand Mahindra wrote on Twitter.

“Large potential for employment of Agniveers in the corporate sector. With leadership, teamwork & physical training, agniveers provide market-ready professional solutions to industry, covering the full spectrum from operations to administration & supply chain management (sic),” he added.

More than 1,000 people have been arrested after agitations and violence marred over 10 states, including Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Telangana. Most of these arrests have been made from Bihar where the BJP’s coalition partner, JDU, had even urged for a rethink.

Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh are among the states that have made announcements to hire the Agniveer recruits of the scheme. On Sunday, the defence ministry and the home ministry announced that some of these recruits will be absorbed by the government departments.

The Union ministry of home affairs (MHA) has decided to reserve 10% vacancies in the central paramilitary forces and the Assam Rifles for ‘Agniveers’ after their four years of service in the armed forces, Union home minister Amit Shah said on Saturday.

A proposal to reserve 10 per cent of the job vacancies in the defence ministry for ‘Agniveers’ meeting requisite eligibility criteria was cleared by defence minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday.

On Sunday, service chiefs held a presser, and underlined that the scheme won’t be rolled back.

The Agnipath scheme, which targets the 17-21 age group, aims to boost the creation of a young and skilled workforce for Indian Armed Forces, says the government. A one-time waiver – to increase the upper age limit to 23 years- was announced last week by the centre.