Oppn Slams Centre Over Caste Certificate Requirement From Agniveers; Rajnath Clarifies

Amid growing chorus by the Opposition against the requirement for Agniveers to provide caste certificate during recruitment under the Agnipath scheme, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday refuted the allegations and said there has been no change in the old system.

“It’s just a rumour. Earlier system, existing since pre-independence era, is going on. No change has been made. Old system is being continued,” said Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Opposition’s allegations that caste and religion certificates are being asked for Agnipath scheme.

RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav is the latest political figure to slam the Narendra Modi government for asking the caste certificate in the recruitment of Agniveers in the defence forces. Earlier, Janata Dal (United) parliamentary board president Upendra Kushwaha had questioned the same.

“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 on Tuesday.

“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.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) also said that there is a bid to create Jaativeers using Agniveers.

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.

Janata Dal (United) parliamentary board president Upendra Kushwaha had earlier 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.

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