IAF facing manpower shortage: Air Marshal S K Bhan

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Barrackpore, May 17 (UNI) The Indian Air Force (IAF) has been facing shortage of manpower as a considerable number of IAF personnel of different branches retire every year in their forties despite their ability to continue service.

Talking to newspersons at the second placement fair organised by the IAF at its Palta Air base here yesterday, Air Marshal S K Bhan, Air Officer Command in charge of the Eastern Air Command, said, ''The IAF is the world's fourth largest Air Force with a strength of nearly two lakh personnel. Though certain terms and conditions in the IAF policies enforce its men to go on retirement, tendencies of early retirement have been increasing due to lucrative offers from corporate sectors.

''However, despite shortage of manpower in the IAF, we cannot go against any aspirant who wants to quit the force for better opportunities and earnings,'' he added.

He pointed out that if the Pay Commission provided attractive packages to the Air Force personnel, the people would be attracted towards the noble profession of safeguarding the country.

The IAF-organised two-day second placement fair began at the Air base with 23 corporate and private sector companies, while nearly 2,000 aspirants were expected to participate in the parade.

Incidentally, none of the private airways were interested in recruiting IAF ex-servicemen in their companies.

''These airways are generally interested only in getting expert pilots from the IAF,'' Air Marshal Bhan observed, adding that Air India and Pawan Hans earlier had agreement with the IAF to get pilots on deputation.

During the 'Year of Ex-Servicemen' last year, the inaugural placement fair in September at New Delhi saw 48 companies from all over the country drawing about 500 people from 3,500 air warriors attending the fair.

The IAF placement cell, however, could not gather feedback from those who got the jobs, Group Captain Srivastava, a senior officer of the IAF headquarters, said.

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