20 Oct : There has been a shortage of officers in the Armed Forces for quite some time. The extent of shortage of officers in the Armed Forces is as below:
There is no significant shortage of Personnel Below Officers Ranks (PBOR) in the Armed Forces.
The shortage of officers in the three Services is largely attributable to changes in the socio-economic environment and the resultant change in career preferences, better employment opportunities in other sectors, tough selection procedures and service conditions required for the Armed Forces etc.
A number of steps have been taken to motivate the service personnel to continue in service and to tackle the shortage and attract talented youth to join the Defence Forces. All officers including those in Short Service Commission(SSC) have been made eligible to hold substantive rank of Captain, Major and Lieutenant Colonel and equivalents after 2,6 and 13 years of reckonable service respectively. The tenure of Short Service Commission (SSC) Officers has been extended to 14 years in the three Services. A total number of 750 posts of Lt. Colonel have been upgraded earlier to Colonel towards implementation of A V Singh Committee(Phase-I). The Government has recently approved implementation of Phase-II of A V Singh Committee recommendations, wherein creation/upgradation of 1896 additional posts in the ranks of Colonel, Brigadier, Major General and Lieutenant General in the three Services have also been approved. Several proposals to reduce shortage of officers in the Armed Forces relating to reduction in the intake of Permanent Commissioned Officers, increase in Short Service Commissioned (SSC) officers, changes in selection process, improvement in service conditions of SSC officers, augmentation of selection and training infrastructure have been approved ‘in principle’ by Government. The recent implementation of the recommendation of the VI CPC with substantial improvement in the pay structure of officers of Armed Forces will also go a long way in making the Services more attractive.
Besides, the Armed Forces have undertaken sustained image projection and publicity campaign to create awareness among the youth on the advantages of taking up a challenging and satisfying career. Candidate-friendly recruitment procedures to attract more number of candidates and a focused publicity drive in various institutions to attract potential candidates have been undertaken. Awareness campaigns, participation in career fairs and exhibitions, advertisements in print and electronic media, motivational lectures in school, colleges are also some of the other measures in this direction.
This information was given by Defence Minister Shri AK Antony in a written reply to Shri Prabhunath Singh and Shri GM Siddeswara in Lok Sabha today.