New Delhi, Apr 23 (UNI) Minister of State for Defence Inderjit Singh Rao today said the Government is doing all it can to fill the shortage of officers in the defence forces, including effecting an improvement in the working conditions.
In a reply in the Rajya Sabha during the Question Hour, the Minister, admitting that there was a shortage of officers in the defence forces, said a number of measures had been initiated to address the problem.
''The Defence Ministry is taking several steps to improve the working conditions in order to make a job in the defence forces more attractive,''the Minister said.
He, however dismissed the contention of some members that low pay was the only reason for several officers taking premature retirement from the defence forces or not joining the forces.
''We are aware that a large number of our officers are leaving.
However, pay is not the only factor that attracts men and women to the Army, Navy and the Air Force. It is also the challenging nature of the job in the Defence forces that draws young men and women,'' Mr Rao said.
He said the shortfall in recruitment in the Army was largely due to a change in the socio economic environment and the resultant change in career preferences, better employment opportunities in other sectors, tough selection procedures and service conditions of the defence forces.
Other measures taken by the defence forces to address the problem include candidate friendly recruitment procedures to attract more number of people and a focussed publicity drive in various institutions to attract potential candidates.
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