Thrissur: The much-criticized Agnipath scheme, a short-term service recruitment plan for youth in armed forces, had about 7.7 lakh applicants for 3,000 openings and nearly 50,000 of them were women, Naval Chief, Admiral R Harikumar said,
Delivering the valedictory address at the Manorama News Conclave 2022 held here, Harikumar, who has been the Naval Chief since November, 2021, said the scheme would be truly beneficial for the armed forces.
“I was involved with the scheme for about two years, right from its initial discussions, planning and the stage of working out the details. I am quite convinced about the scheme and believe that it will reduce the age profile of our force. For the first time, we have also had the recruitment of women sailors. Our aim is to make the force gender-neutral,” he said.
The Admiral, who later had a chat session at the conclave, said that the strength of the naval force at the Indian Ocean will be boosted in the years to come. “When we celebrate the 100th year of independence after 25 years, we should also have all our ships built indigenously.”
He also said that China's movements in the Indian Ocean were being closely monitored.