The Indian Army on Monday issued a notification announcing that it will start registrations for the first batch of recruits, called Agniveers, from July.

It said that online registration was mandatory.

Candidates recruited under the Agnipath scheme cannot be released from service before the completion of their term.

“However, in most exceptional cases, personnel enrolled under this scheme may be released, if sanctioned by the competent authority,” the rules state.

Citizens aged between 17-and-a-half and 21 will be eligible to apply for four-year service in the armed forces. Of these recruits, up to 25% will be eligible to apply as regular personnel after they complete their four-year service.

Following are the other prominent terms and conditions:

  • The recruits will form a distinct rank and can be posted to any regiment or unit, the Indian Army said on Sunday.
  • The inducted candidates will be barred from disclosing classified information to any unauthorised person under the Official Secrets Act, 1923.
  • The recruits will have to undergo periodical medical checkups and physical, written or field tests. “The performance so demonstrated would be considered for subsequent offer for enrollment in the Regular Cadre,” the terms and conditions state.
  • Agniveers enrolled in the regular cadre will be required to serve in the Army for another 15 years. They will be governed by the terms and conditions of Junior Commissioned Officers or other ranks in the Army.
  • The recruits will get paid Rs 30,000 per month in the first year, Rs 33,000 in the second year, Rs 36,500 in the third year and Rs 40,000 in the fourth year. “From the above package, 30% will be compulsorily deposited every month in a corpus which will be matched by the [Union] government,” the rules state. “Balance amount less the corpus contribution will be the in-hand component.”
  • All recruits have to formally accept all terms and conditions of the scheme. In cases where the candidates are younger than 18 years of age, their parents or guardians will need to sign the enrollment form.

Since Wednesday, protests have taken place in several states against the scheme. At many places, agitators vandalised railway property.

The protestors are demanding permanent recruitment under the regular process as well as pension and other retirement benefits that are not a part of the Agnipath scheme.