No discernible decreasing trend in the number of officers in Army has been observed. In Army, sanctioned strength of officers is 47,864 with a shortage of 12,510.
The shortage of officers in the Armed Forces is partly attributable to accretions from time to time, tough selection procedures, difficult service conditions coupled with perceived high degree of risk involved in service career.
Measures have been taken on an ongoing basis to reduce shortages in the officers’ cadre. In this regard, a number of steps have been taken to attract the talented youth to join the Armed Forces. All officers including those in Short Service Commission (SSC) are now eligible to hold substantive rank of Caption, Major and Lieutenant colonel after 2, 6 and 13 years of reckonable service respectively. The tenure of SSC officers has been increased from 10 years to 14 years. A total number of 750 posts of Lt. Colonel have been upgraded to colonel towards implementation of AV Singh committee Report (Phase-I). Further, 1896 additional posts in the ranks of Colonel, Brigadier, Major General and Lieutenant General and their equivalents in the other two Services have been upgraded towards implementation of AV Singh Committee Report (Phase-II). The implementation of recommendations of the VI Central Pay Commission with substantial improvement in the pay structure of officers of Armed Forces has made the Services more attractive.
The Armed Forces have also undertaken sustained image projection and publicity campaign to create awareness among the youth on the advantages of taking up a challenging and satisfying career. Awareness campaigns, participation in career fairs and exhibition, advertisements in print and electronic media, motivational lectures in schools, colleges are also some of the other measures in this direction.
This information was given by Defence Minister Shri AK Antony in a written reply to Miss Anusuiya Uikay in Rajya Sabha today.