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New Delhi: The Indian Air Force (IAF) has received over two lakh applications under the Agnipath recruitment scheme within six days of launch of the registration process, the defence ministry said on Wednesday.

The registration process that began on June 24 had seen filing of 94,281 applications by Monday and 56,960 applications till Sunday.

After the scheme was unveiled on June 14, violent protests against it rocked several states for nearly a week, and several opposition parties demanded its rollback.

Defence Ministry Spokesperson A Bharat Bhushan Babu said on Twitter, “2,01,000+ aspirants have registered to become AgniveerVayu. Last date to get on board: July 5, 2022.”

Earlier during the day, the IAF said on Twitter, “So far, 1,83,634 future Agniveers have applied on the registration website …Registration closes on July 5, 2022.”

Under the Agnipath scheme, youths between the ages of 17-and-a-half and 21 years would be inducted for a four-year-tenure, while 25 per cent of them will be subsequently inducted for regular service.

The government had on June 16 increased the upper age limit for recruitment under the scheme to 23 years from 21 for the year 2022, and subsequently announced a slew of placatory steps such as a preference for Agniveers in central paramilitary forces and defence public sector undertakings upon their retirement.

Many BJP-ruled states also declared the ‘Agniveers’ — as the soldiers inducted under the Agnipath scheme will be known — will be accorded priority in induction into state police forces.

The armed forces have made it clear those who had indulged in violent protests and arson against the new recruitment scheme will not be inducted.

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