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Image: Representative picture, Delhi HC (left), soldiers' armed parade(right); Image source: India TV online gallery

Delhi HC gives green light to Agniveer scheme, petitions challenging dismissed

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An overseeing bench headed by Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad ruled in favor of the Centre’s introduction of the Agniveer recruitment scheme on Monday, 27 Feb, 2023, stating the absence of any concrete arguments for a reversal of the Union Government’s move.

The scheme introduced by the Centre last June 15, allows the recruitment of youths between 17-and-a-half and 21 years to apply and then be inducted for a four-year tenure. Allowing 25 percent of the serving recruits to be granted regular service subsequently.

After the scheme’s revealment, protests erupted in several states against the scheme for multiple reasons ranging from those that highlighted the drawbacks of the scheme like the ranking of cadets that was to be lower than sepoys and a more lower pay, the absence of gratuity to the cadets and the tenure period being non applicable to be used as prior experience while pursuing other paramilitary positions in the future. Another spectrum with a more aggressive opposition were against the very implementation of the scheme, the short period of mandatory training being one reason cited.

In lieu of the several protests and petitions filed by people across the country, The Supreme Court had transferred the petitions challenging the scheme to the Delhi high court and advised the state bodies to withhold from taking any direct decisions until a decision by The High Court is revealed.

The Centre in it’s precedent argued that the introduction of the Agniveer scheme is to revolutionize the way recruitments are carried out in The Defense forces, and is a matter concerning the country’s security and sovereignty, in turn a necessary asset in the future prosperity of the nation.

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