New Delhi: Taking note of alarming shortage of officers and other ranks in the armed forces, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence has recommended five-year compulsory military service for those aspiring for gazetted jobs in the state and central governments.
It comes after the Centre told the panel that the Defence Ministry had sent a recommendation to the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) to make military service of five years compulsory for those aiming for direct recruitment in the central and state government services.
The Standing Committee's report tabled in Parliament this week said the government had informed it that the "recommendation regarding providing five years of compulsory military service to such aspirants... with a view to overcome shortage of officers in the armed forces, has been taken up with the DoPT."
"The response of the department is awaited."
The panel, however, rapped the Defence Ministry, saying that "apparently, the Ministry of Defence has not taken up the matter with due seriousness with the DoPT".
"The committee, while recommending five-year compulsory military service to such aspirants, has taken into account the fact that there is a perennial and alarming shortage of officers and PBOR (Personnel Below Officer Rank) in the armed forces, which needs to be corrected. The committee, once again expresses the desire that the issue of shortage of officers needs to be given priority for being addressed," the report said.
There is a shortage of 7,679 officers and 20,185 Junior Commissioned Officers/Other Ranks in Army; 1,434 officers and 14,730 sailors in Navy; and 146 officers and 15,357 airmen in the Indian Air Force.
As per the information furnished in another report of the committee, in case of Army officers, the sanctioned strength is 49,932 whereas the held strength is 42,253.
With regard to JCOs/ORs, the existing strength is 11,94,864 as against an authorised strength of 12,15,049.
In the Navy, against a sanctioned strength of 11,827 officers, the strength is 10,384. In case of naval personnel, the present strength is 57,310 against a sanctioned strength of 71,656 men.
In the IAF, the sanctioned strength of officers is 12,549 while the actual personnel figure is 12,340. In the case of airmen, the present sanctioned strength is 1,42,529 while the present strength is 1,27,510.