Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Wednesday directed officials to ensure complete support to Indian Army for the recruitment of Agniveers in the state.

“All Deputy commissioners were directed to provide complete support to Army authorities for recruitment of Agniveers in Punjab. Any laxity shall be viewed seriously. Every effort will be made to recruit a maximum number of candidates into the army from the state,” Chief Minister Mann said.

Punjab CM’s order comes after Army’s zonal recruitment office wrote to the Punjab government that the recruitment rallies under the Agnipath scheme may either be held in abeyance or shifted to neighbouring states due to “vacillating” support from local administration.

The Union Cabinet on June 14 approved a recruitment scheme for Indian youth to serve in the three services of the Armed Forces called Agnipath. The youth selected under this scheme will be known as ‘Agniveers’.

The Agnipath scheme allows youth to serve in the Armed Forces for a period of four years. ‘Agnipath’ is a pan-India merit-based recruitment scheme for enrolling soldiers, airmen and sailors. All those recruited under the ‘Agnipath’ scheme will be called ‘Agniveers’.After four years, only 25 per cent of the Agniveers will be retained or re-enlisted in the regular cadre based on merit, willingness and medical fitness.

The Agnipath scheme has been brought to strengthen India’s security, the government has said. The ‘Agniveers’ will be given a good pay package and an exit retirement package after a service of four years.