New Delhi, Mar 5 : Defence Minister A K Antony today said that the overall deficiency of officers in the Army is around 24 per cent. Presently, there is shortage of 11,153 officers, mainly in the ranks of Lt. Colonel and below.
He said that several steps have been undertaken to create awareness among the youth on the advantages of taking up a challenging and satisfying career in the Army.
A number of 'Image Projection Campaigns' have been launched in this regard. Awareness campaigns, participation in career fairs and exhibitions, preparation of publicity materials, advertisements in print and electronic media, counseling and motivational talks in schools, colleges and NCC camps are also some of the other measures taken up in this direction, he added.
Antony was replying to the questions of Janeshwar Mishra and Bhagwati Singh in Rajya Sabha today.
He also said that there has been a gap between the requirement of officers in the three services and the number recruited over the last several years.
The shortfall in recruitment of officers in the three services are largely due 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, Antony said.
Several steps have been taken by the three Services to attract more 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 SSC Officers has been extended to 14 years in the three Services.
The Government has also appointed Sixth Central Pay Commission to go into the question of revision of pay and allowances etc. of all the government servants including Armed Forces.
"The three Services have presented a joint memorandum to the Pay Commission suggesting revision of pay and allowances and other service conditions. The three Service Chiefs and officers in the Ministry of Defence have also discussed the matter with the Pay Commission," he informed.
As far as recruitment of Personnel Below Officer Ranks (PBOR) in the Armed Forces is concerned, there is an adequate response from all regions of the country and there is no shortage of PBORs in the Armed Forces. Therefore, the existing system is considered satisfactory.