Kerala

Agnipath scheme: Youths on the warpath in Kerala, call for conducting pending CEE

Youths take part in a mass rally in Kozhikode on Saturday seeking speedy intervention of the Centre to conduct the pending CEE exam other than giving priority to the Agnipath scheme.

Youths take part in a mass rally in Kozhikode on Saturday seeking speedy intervention of the Centre to conduct the pending CEE exam other than giving priority to the Agnipath scheme. | Photo Credit: K. Ragesh

A mass protest by around 500 army job aspirants here on Saturday presaged the chances of an intensified Statewide agitation against the Union government’s plan to proceed with the short-term Agnipath recruitment scheme for the armed forces. 

The protesters from various northern Kerala districts who took out a march to the Kozhikode railway station in the morning called upon the government to prefer Common Entrance Exam (CEE)-based permanent selections to the Agnipath-mode of temporary recruitment.

Shouting slogans seeking “Justice for army students,” they said the Indian Army CEE had been pending for over one-and-a-half years, denying opportunities for thousands of eligible youths. They also claimed that those who had already cleared the physical tests and medical screenings were yet to get any intimation for attending CEE with the slowed-down procedures.  

CEE postponed

According to them, the Tour of Duty (ToD) recruitment mode in which civilians could be recruited into the armed forces for four years would only spoil the dream of many youths to secure a permanent and secure job with the Indian Army.  Raising the “We want justice” slogan, they said there should be measures to resume CEE, which was postponed citing various reasons for more than six times within the last 18 months.

“By introducing the ToD scheme, the government wanted to adopt a corporate style of governance in the army and escape from its lawful responsibilities to grant reasonable allowances and benefits to soldiers. In effect, the government will be able to avoid all the existing financial and social security schemes for soldiers,” said a 23-year-old youth from Thalassery who took part in the march. He also alleged that the ToD scheme would pay no attention to the dependants of soldiers.

The protesters reached the city on the instructions of various social media groups of army job aspirants. College students and those who completed or are undergoing training under various pre-recruitment firms were part of the token strike that was not hosted under the banner of any political or social organisation.

Their coordinators said they would resort to more serious modes of agitation after assessing the Centre’s response in a week. 


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Printable version | Jul 26, 2022 4:45:06 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/agnipath-scheme-youths-on-the-warpath-in-kerala-call-for-conducting-pending-cee/article65539842.ece