The officials said the Army has set its target of starting the training of new recruits under the Agnipath scheme by December.
They said the plan is to deploy the initial batches of recruits under the new scheme in operational and non-operational roles by around June next year.
Army Chief Gen Manoj Pande said the government’s decision to raise the upper age limit to 23 years from 21 for recruitment under the Agnipath scheme in 2022 will provide an opportunity to the youths preparing to join the force but couldn’t do so due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the last two years.
Gen Pande said the decision of the government has been received by the Army to grant the one-time waiver and that the recruitment process will be announced shortly.
“The decision of the government has been received to grant a one-time waiver, increasing the entry age of recruitment to 23 years, for the recruitment cycle of 2022,” the Army Chief said in a statement.
“This decision will provide an opportunity for many of our young, energetic and patriotic youth who, despite the COVID-19 pandemic were preparing to join the recruitment rallies, which couldn’t be completed in the last two years due to COVID restrictions,” he said.
“The schedule of the recruitment process will be announced shortly. We call upon our youth to avail this opportunity for joining the Indian Army as Agniveers,” Gen Pande said.
The government on Thursday night increased the upper age limit for recruitment under the Agnipath scheme to 23 years from 21 for the year 2022 amid widespread protest against the new model for enrolment of soldiers into the three services.
Unveiling the scheme on Tuesday, the government 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 the recruits will be retained for regular service.