Monday, 26 Jul, 8.32 pm Republic TV

Vacant 'ranks' In Armed Forces A Concern, As Rajya Sabha Discusses 'unoccupied' Posts

As the Indian Army continues to maintain its vigour and command along the LAC and the LOC, a huge shortage of officers and soldiers was discussed in the ongoing session of the Rajya Sabha session in New Delhi on Monday.

Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt in a written reply to a query of 'vacant' posts in Defence sectors by Congress's Neeraj Dangi, said that the Indian Army is presently facing a shortage of over 7,900 officers while more than 90,000 posts for soldiers including junior commissioned officers are also lying vacant.

"The Navy, which is considered third in terms of the size among all the three defense forces, stands second in terms of manpower shortages as it is short of 1,190 officers and 11,927 sailors in its ranks," the minister said.

Bhatt informed that the Army was short of 7,912 officers and 90,640 soldiers in its ranks and efforts are being made to fill up these ranks. Talking about vacant posts in the Indian Air Force, Bhatt said that the Indian Air Force (IAF) is presently short of 610 officers and 7,104 men in its ranks.

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Measures to reducing the shortage

Bhatt added that the government has taken a number of measures to reduce the shortages. Speaking about ways to include youths in the defence, Bhatt said, "Motivational lectures are being regularly organized in schools, colleges, other educational institutes, and the National Cadet Corps (NCC) camps to encourage the youth to join the Armed Forces."

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Bhatt added that other approaches including sustained image projection, participation in career fairs and exhibitions, and publicity campaign are being executed to create awareness among the youth on the advantages of taking up a challenging and satisfying career with the defence forces.

According to the Defence Ministry, the government has vamped up a number of steps to make jobs in the Armed Forces look attractive, including improvement in promotion prospects in the Armed Forces and to fill up vacancies.

Notably, recently the military had proposed raising the age of retirement of jawans as Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat stated that he was looking at 'manpower costs.' "Why should a jawan serve for 15-17 years when he can work for 30 years? We are losing trained manpower," CDS General Bipin Rawat had said.

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The Rajya Sabha on Monday paid glowing tributes to Indian soldiers who lost their lives in the 1999 Kargil War against Pakistan, with Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu stating that the unparalleled valour and gallantry of the country's troops in defeating the enemy will inspire generations to come.

(With Inputs from ANI)

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