New Delhi: While some male candidates are still apprehensive about joining the armed forces via the Agnipath scheme, women have spotted in it as a unique opportunity for self-advancement, and are flocking to it in large numbers.
After working as Agniveers for four years on a handsome salary, they could have ample opportunities to get another job, self-employment, or get married at the time of their choosing.
That is why, within days of the Indian Navy opening registrations for the Agnipath recruitment scheme, around 10,000 females have registered themselves for the program.
For the first time, the Navy has welcomed women’s recruitment as sailors who would also be deployed on warships as per operational requirements, according to the media reports on Tuesday.
“Around 10,000 female candidates had registered themselves until Sunday,” the reports, quoting government officials, said.
After the registrations, the Navy would invite an online application process for recruitment between July 15 and 30. The Navy would complete the number of women among the 3,000 naval Agniveers for induction this year.
They will train the selected candidates on INS Chilka, the Navy’s basic training establishment for sailors.
The Agnipath scheme in the Indian Navy will be gender-neutral. About 30 women officers are already sailing on board frontline warships.
In the officers’ ranks, the 14-lakh-strong Indian armed forces have been inducting women since the 1990s. In 2019-20, the Army began recruiting women in other ranks as well. As a result, around 100 women jawans are now working with the Corps of Military Police (CMP).
After initial protests and violence, the young aspirants got busied in preparing for the tough tests ahead for selection and recruitment via the Agnipath scheme to the armed forces.
Defense Minister Rajnath Singh had, on June 14, announced the transformative Agnipath scheme in the presence of the three service chiefs. Youths in the age group of 17.5 to 23 years would be selected, trained, and recruited for four years, before a quarter of them got re-selected for 15 more years in the armed forces, or went out to take up other jobs.
The Union Cabinet approved the Agnipath scheme on June 14. The youth selected under this scheme will be known as Agniveers.
The government announced the recruitment of 46,000 Agniveers this year. It had said that the armed forces will have “a younger, fitter, diverse profile” to face future challenges.