Armed forces short of 14,299 officers: Antony

July 15th, 2009 - 5:42 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 15 (IANS) The armed forces are short of a staggering 14,299 officers, parliament was informed Wednesday.
Of this, the Indian Army is short of 11,387 officers, the Indian Air Force of 1,512 officers and the Indian Navy of 1,400 officers, Defence Minister A.K. Antony said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha.

This apart, during the last five years, 4,300 army officers, 1,177 air force officers and 1,096 naval officers have sought premature retirement or have resigned.

“Premature retirement is considered on the grounds of non-empanelment (for promotion), supersession and permanent low medical category, as also on compassionate grounds,” Antony said.

According to the minister, a number of steps have been taken “to motivate the service personnel to continue in service and to attract the talented youth to join the armed forces”.

All officers, including those in the short service commission (SSC) stream, are now eligible to hold the substantive rank of captain, major and lieutenant colonel after two, six and 13 years of service, respectively.

The tenure of SSC officers has also been increased from 10 years to 14 years, Antony said.

Seven hundred and fifty posts of lieutenant colonel have been upgraded to colonel as part of implementing phase-I of the A.V. Singh Committee Report.

Besides, 1,896 additional posts in the ranks of colonel, brigadier, major general and lieutenant general and their equivalent in the other two Services have been upgraded as part of implementing phase-II of the report, the minister said.

“The implementation of the recommendations of the VI Central Pay Commission with substantial improvements in the pay structure of officers of the armed forces will also go a long way in making the services more attractive,” Antony added.

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