In a written reply during the Rajya Sabha session, the Minister of State for Defence, Ajay Bhatt, conveyed that the armed forces in the country are facing a shortage of personnel. The three armed wings are dealing with a deficiency of around 1.55 lakh personnel, with the Army accounting for a maximum of 1.36 lakh vacancies. Bhatt stated that while there is a shortage of armed forces personnel, there are measures being reviewed regularly to fill the vacancies and encourage youth to join the Services.
Among the vacancies that are yet to be filled, there are 509 vacant posts in the Military Nursing Service (MNS) and about 1,27,673 posts of JCOs and other ranks. Among the civilians employed in groups A, B, and C, there are vacancies from about 252 posts to as many as 35,368 posts. In the case of the Navy, there is a total deficiency of 12,428 personnel, with a shortage of 1,653 officers, 10,746 sailors, and 29 medical and dental officers. Among the civilian employees, there is a deficiency of 165 people in Group A, 4207 in Group B, and 6,156 in Group C.
Encourage Youth To Join Armed Forces
The Indian Air Force (IAF) has also been struck hard with a shortage of 7,031 personnel. There is a deficiency of 4,734 Airmen, 113 Airmen of Medical Assistant trade, 721 officers, and 16 medical officers, among others. Somewhat similar is the case with the Indian Army, where a shortage of 8,129 officers has been noted, including the Army Medical Corps and Army Dental Corps. According to a report by The Print, among the civilians being employed, there is a shortage of 22 in Group A, 1303 in Group B, and 5531 in Group C.
Providing momentary relief in regard to the growing shortage, Bhatt commented that "shortage of armed forces personnel and mitigating measures are reviewed regularly by the Armed Forces." Based on the detailed analysis that is being conducted, Bhatt said that necessary measures had been initiated to encourage the youth to join the Services and fill the vacancies. Among some of the measures he mentioned include holding career fairs, exhibitions, and motivational lectures in schools and colleges, revamping the websites of Services to facilitate a robust recruitment management system, and improving the image projection and publicity of the armed forces through audio, visual, print, internet, and social media. At the core of it all lies a candidate-friendly environment right from the recruitment process to granting Permanent Commission even to Short Service Commission officers, both men, and women.
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