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SOURCE: PTI

In a fillip to the ambitious Agnipath scheme, the Union home ministry has announced 10 per cent reservation for former Agniveers in vacancies in the Border Security Force with relaxations in the upper age-limit.

The announcement was made through a notification after amending the Border Security Force, General Duty Cadre (Non-Gazetted) Recruitment Rules, 2015, and it will come into effect from March 9.

“Ten per cent of the vacancies shall be reserved for ex-Agniveers,” the notification said.

The ministry said while the upper age limit would be relaxable to up to five years for candidates of the first batch of ex-Agniveers, the limit would be relaxable to up to three years for candidates of other batches. Former Agniveers will also be exempted from physical efficiency test, the notification said.

The Centre on June 14 last year unveiled the Agnipath scheme for recruitment of youths aged between 17 and a half and 21 in the army, the navy, and the air force, largely on a four-year short-term contractual basis.

Those recruited under the scheme will be known as ‘Agniveers’. After the completion of the four-year tenure, 25 per cent of the recruits from each batch will be offered regular service.

At that time, the home ministry had announced that 10 per cent vacancies in central paramilitary forces and the Assam Rifles would be reserved for demobilised 75 per cent Agniveers.

It had also announced that the upper age limit was relaxed for the first batch of ex-Agniveers by up to five years and for the subsequent batches for three years. In addition, the ex-Agniveers would be exempted from the physical proficiency test, the ministry had said.

The specified age limit for recruitment to paramilitary forces is 18-23 years.

For those who join the armed forces even at the upper age limit of 21 years under the Agnipath scheme, they can be recruited with the BSF till the age of 30 after his four years of service in the army or the air force or the navy in case of the first batch and till 28 years for the subsequent batches.

The home ministry’s decision for absorption of Agniveers into paramilitary forces is significant as it will help the ex-Agniveers get employment opportunities till retirement age.

The paramilitary forces will also be benefitted as they will get a trained pool of personnel to fill up over 70,000 vacancies.