Protests intensify over military recruitment in India

STORY: Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government this week announced an overhaul of recruitment for India's 1.38 million-strong armed forces, looking to bring down the average age of personnel and reduce pension expenditure.

Potential recruits, military veterans, opposition leaders and even some members of Modi's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have raised reservations over the revamped process.

In Bihar state, protesters shouted slogans and performed push-ups to emphasize their fitness for service.

Some also attacked railway property, settling alight coaches in at least two locations, damaging train tracks and vandalizing a station, according to officials and a railways statement.

The new recruitment system, called Agnipath or "path of fire" in Hindi, will bring in men and women between the ages of 17-and-a-half and 21 for a four-year tenure at non-officer ranks, with only a quarter retained for longer periods.

Previously, soldiers have been recruited by the army, navy and air force separately and typically enter service for up to 17 years for the lowest ranks. The shorter tenure has caused concern among potential recruits.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting