New Delhi, July 15: Four years after a United Nations protocol against recruitment of child soldiers was adopted, the Indian government today announced it was raising the age bar for entry into the army by a year and a half, reports our special correspondent.
The minimum age for entry into the recruitment programme of the army in the other ranks (not officers) will now be 17 years and six months. Defence minister Pranab Mukherjee told the Rajya Sabha in a written reply today that the rule will be effective from August.
The army is a million strong and the largest employer in the country.
The UN protocol that was adopted after complex diplomatic deliberations asks organisations to desist from involving under-18s in armed conflict. But subject to certain conditions, voluntary armies of governments may recruit from a younger age.