Pune: Girls Protest Against Army Recruitment Rally Saying Change In Eligibility Criteria Were Not Notified Earlier

women outside army recruitment rally in Pune
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Shail Shukla

Pune, January 12, 2021: Today about 3000 girls approached the recruitment rally in Pune for selection of Soldier GD (Women Military Police). However, only 750 were allowed to participate in further procedures. Many girls protested citing the new eligibility criteria and being denied entry. The huge crowd was due to confusion among the candidates that it was an open rally, officials said.

The recruitment rally in Pune for the selection of Soldier GD (Women MP) is being conducted at the Army Institute of Physical Training (AIPT) Hadapsar from 12 January to 14 January 2021. The main aim of this recruitment rally is to generate employment for the young women of Maharashtra, Gujarat & Goa, thereby allowing them to serve the motherland and lead a dignified life. Recruitment is being conducted for Soldier General Duty category only, Army had stated in a press release earlier.

“Admission to this rally is based on pre-issued admit cards based on educational cut-offs, sent to individuals registered Email ID. This rally is not meant for all. About 1000 candidates have been shortlisted from 20,000 applicants and only they will be allowed entry based on the admit card”, an official said.

Many women candidates said that they were told that they were not meeting the eligibility criteria – a minimum of 85% in the 10th examination. This created outrage among the candidates as they were not informed about these new requirements before. The recruitment notification had stated that the eligibility criteria for appearing in the selection procedure was 45% or above in the 10th standard.

One of the candidates said, “The notification clearly stated the requirement of 45% or above percentage in 10th. The Army website showed that I had registered successfully. Hence, I kept inquiring about the admit card. However, there was no notification regarding it. Many girls didn’t receive their admit cards. Later, through news and the internet, we came to know that it was an ‘open rally’. Thus, I arrived at the venue. I observed that many girls with shorter heights and low percentages were given access.”

Another applicant said that authorities kept telling them that they have received false information. But the candidates are surprised about how so many girls can receive fake news twice from the official site. Officers were even threatening them. One of the officer even warned the candidate that he would mark a stamp on her document. The officer had reportedly told her that if the stamp is printed on the document, then the candidate cannot apply for any government jobs.

A candidate scored 95% and even registered herself in July, and yet, she was not granted access. She even showed her mark sheet to the police.

According to authorities, only those who have registered on the official website and have scored 85% or above (in class 10th) have been given the admit card. The site was opened twice for registration, once in July and the second time in December.

However, the candidates claimed they were not informed about these conditions.

The candidates are demanding action regarding the notification of the official site. Currently, the site has been shut down. They are also demanding that authorities should have at least allowed them to appear for the Physical Test. Thousands of candidates traveled long distances to appear for this examination. Some even slept on the road at night. Many girls went back while others protested.

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