Aspiring to become soldiers (general duty), nearly 7,000 Hoshiarpur youth reported during the second day of an ongoing recruitment process at Guru Nanak Stadium here on Saturday.
The number was 14,500 on Friday and included youth from Jalandhar, Kapurthala and Nawanshahr as well.
The candidates were taken in batches of 175 to 200 for physical stamina test. Only 10% of the total candidates managed to run 1,600 metre with good timing.
"On Day 1, nearly 400 candidates were able to clear the race successfully," said Brigadier Udai Yadav, deputy director general recruiting (Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir).
"This is not a downward trend as far as physical fitness is concerned. It happens every year. As the tests are open for all, majority of the youth come for leisure purposes," he said.
On the first two days of the three-day physical fitness screening, aspirants for soldier (general duty) from four districts were called and their documents were verified. On the third day, aspirants across the state for soldiers (clerks) and soldiers (technical) would participate.
After the 1,600-metre race, the candidates, after being checked for tattoos, were shifted to another section for the next stage of recruitment where their documents were examined, biometric details were recorded, photographs were clicked and physical details (chest and height) and fitness was tested.
"Body tattoos, except on the top of the hand and on the inside of the arm, makes a candidate ineligible for army. It amounts to indiscipline and youth are being informed about it," Yadav said.
All selected candidates would be called for medical examination from October 7 where they would be examined by a panel of defence doctors.
"Those with temporary problems will be given 42 days to recover and those with permanent health problems will be rejected. On October 27, all shortlisted candidates will be asked to appear for a written test, which is mandatory to be qualified," Yadav added.
Tattoos on body amounts to indiscipline, makes candidate ineligible.
Several officers are involved in the selection process. No fee is charged throughout the selection process.
All those reporting for selection get an opportunity to take part in the process.
All details of candidates are recorded in a database for future reference.
Scores of youth reached the city a day before to take part in the recruitment process.
They slept on footpaths as all state gurdwaras and temples were packed with aspirants.
Buses plying on city roads are overloaded with candidates reporting for recruitment since October 3.