Twenty per cent of the first batch of Agniveers to be recruited through the Agnipath scheme, which was unveiled last month by the Centre, in the Indian Navy will comprise women candidates, Navy officials told news agency ANI on Tuesday.
"20% of candidates will be women to form the first batch of Agniveers for the Agnipath recruitment scheme. They would be sent to different parts and branches of the Navy," ANI quoted Navy officials as saying.
The Indian Army and Navy on July 1 began their recruitment processes under the Agnipath scheme. According to the Defence Ministry, the Indian Air Force had on June 24 started its recruitment process under the scheme.
Under the Agnipath scheme, youths from 17-and-a-half years to 21 years will be inducted into the armed forces for a four-year tenure, while 25 per cent of them will be subsequently inducted for regular service. The government had on June 16 increased the upper age limit for recruitment under the scheme to 23 years from 21 for this year and subsequently announced a slew of placatory steps such as a preference for Agniveers in central paramilitary forces and defence public sector undertakings upon their retirement.
Violent protests against the scheme had rocked several states for nearly a week after it was unveiled on June 14 and opposition parties demanded its rollback.
The armed forces have made it clear those who had indulged in violent protests and arson against the new recruitment scheme will not be inducted.