- Govt said that old system is being continued which is existing since the pre-independence
- Existing since the pre-independence era, is going on. No change has been made, said Rajnath Singh
- Requirement to submit caste, if required religion certificates was always there, said army
Agnipath Scheme: The government on Tuesday denied the Opposition's claim that a change has been made in the recruitment process for the Agnipath scheme where candidates are being asked to submit caste and religion certificates. The government said that old system is being continued which is existing since the pre-independence era.
Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said, "It's just a rumour. Earlier system, existing since the pre-independence era, is going on. No change has been made. old system is being continued."
Speaking on the matter, Army officials also said, "Requirement for aspirants to submit caste certificates & if required, religion certificates was always there. No change for Agniveer recruitment scheme in this regard."
"Religion is also required for performing last rites as per religious rituals for recruits who die during training and soldiers who die in harness," Army officials said.
Earlier RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav slammed the Modi government for asking the caste certificate in the recruitment of Agniveers in the defence forces.
Tejashwi Yadav also attacked the RSS, and said, "The Centre was asking castes of Agniveers to categorise them and the RSS, which is the largest casteist organisation, would sack them on the basis of caste."
"Jaat Na Pucho Sadhu Ki Lekin Jaat Pucho Fauji Ki (Don't ask the caste of a saint but ask the caste of an armed personnel)," Tejashwi said in a tweet.
"The BJP government is staying away from the caste-based census. Even in Bihar, the state government is conducting a caste-based census on its own expenses after the Center refused to conduct it. Now, the same central government is asking the caste of Agniveers (Armed personnel) who are ready to sacrifice their lives for the country. They are asking the caste of Agniveers so that RSS could sack them from the job," Tejashwi said.
As per the provision in the recruitment process of Agniveers in the defence forces, there is no provision of reservation. Hence, asking for the caste certificate of Agniveers is surprising everyone.
Earlier on Monday, Janata Dal (United) parliamentary board president Upendra Kushwaha raised the same question.
Kushwaha said, "I am surprised with the caste certificate required during recruitment of Agniveer in the defence forces. There is no provision of reservation in Agnipath and Agniveer schemes then why are they demanding caste certificates?"
"The Centre should give clarification on it," he said.
Kushwaha gave the reference to the E column of joinindianarmy.nic.in, which mentions about the caste certificate. The candidates would require caste certificates with a photograph issued by Tehsildar and district magistrate.
In the F column, there is a provision of religion certificate as well. The certificate should be issued from the Tehsildar or SDM office.