Youth recruited in the armed forces under the short-term ‘Agnipath’ scheme will get priority in recruitment to the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) and Assam Rifles, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) announced on Wednesday.
A senior Ministry official said that the details were being worked out but ‘Agniveers’ who complete four years of service will be given priority.
Home Minister Amit Shah said on Tuesday that the Ministry has taken steps to fill-up vacancies in mission mode in accordance with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s instructions to recruit 10 lakh personnel in one-and-a-half years.
However, according to the latest Home Ministry data, there has been an over 80% decline in number of CAPF personnel — Constables, Sub Inspectors and Assistant Commandants (ACs) — recruited in the past four years. The 10 lakh-strong CAPF is one of the largest employment generation agencies under the Home Ministry.
According to the 2021 Data of Police Organisations report, in the year 2020, only 10,184 CAPF posts were filled, while vacancies stood at 1.29 lakh. In 2017, as many as 58,396 personnel were recruited against vacancies of 77,153. In 2018 and 2019, the number of such recruits stood at 30,098 and 14,541, respectively.
In 2020, the bulk of such appointments — 7,369 Constables and Sub-Inspectors — were made for the Railway Protection Force (RPF) under the Railway Ministry, though the vacancies were filled by MHA.
The CAPF comprises the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), the Border Security Force (BSF), the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), and the Indo Tibetan Border Police Force (ITBP), which are under the administrative and operational control of the MHA. The Assam Rifles deployed along the Myanmar border is under the administrative control of the MHA.
The recruitment of 10 lakh personnel in government departments and Ministries is to be completed in the next 18 months, just before the 2024 general elections are held.
A similar announcement was made by the MHA in 2019, days before the general elections were held. The MHA had announced on February 6, 2019 that it had launched a massive recruitment drive to fill over 76,000 vacancies in the CAPF. Out of the total of 76,578 vacancies, 54,953 vacancies were for the post of Constable (General Duty), it had said.
The Education Ministry, in order to enhance future career prospects of ‘Agniveers’ and equip them for various job roles in the civilian sector, will launch a special, three-year skill-based Bachelor degree programme for serving defence personnel that will recognise the skill training received by them during their tenure in the defence establishments, a government statement said.
The statement added: “Under this programme that has been designed by IGNOU and will also be executed by them, 50% of the credits required for a graduate degree will come from the skill training - both technical and non-technical - received by the Agniveer, and the remaining 50 % will come from a basket of courses that cover a wide variety of subjects like languages, Economics, History, Political Science, Public Administration, Sociology, Mathematics, Education, Commerce, Tourism, Vocational Studies, Agriculture and Jyotish, as also Ability Enhancement Courses on Environmental Studies and Communication Skills in English.”