Antony urges States to fill up Sainik Board posts

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New Delhi, Jan 1 (UNI) Defence Minister AK Antony has urged the State Governments to fill up vacant posts of Rajya Sainik Boards and Zilla Sainik Boards at the earliest to enable these organisations be more responsive to the problems of Armed Forces personnel -- serving as well as ex-servicemen -- and their families.

In a letter to the Chief Ministers of all States and Lt Governors of Union Territories, the Defence Minister has regretted that although requests had been made to them from time to time to take action on priority basis in this regard, progress on these issues so far had, in most cases, fallen short of jointly accepted decisions and the aspirations of ex-servicemen.

This is the second letter from Minister Antony in a month urging prompt and proactive response from State Governments and District authorities regarding problems of soldiers and their families, an official spokesperson said here today.

The Defence Minister has drawn attention of the State authorities to the institutions of Rajya Sainik Boards and Zilla Sainik Boards not being equipped with the minimum basic facilities like adequate manpower and accommodation and expressed confidence that, once strengthened, these institutions can be effectively utilised to attending to the problems of the Armed Forces personnel and give timely feedback.

''I understand that a number of posts continue to remain unfilled in these institutions for a long time adversely affecting the efficiency and effectiveness of these institutions... There is, therefore, a prime need to have the full strength of personnel in these institutions and ensure that posts do not remain vacant for long'', the Defence Minister has written.

Minister Antony has referred to the 26th meeting of the Kendriya Sainik Board held on June 28 last where his predecessor Pranab Mukherjee had stressed the need to rejuvenate the institutions of Rajya Sainik Board/Zilla Sainik Board and remove deficiencies in staff and infrastructure.


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