NCC a solution to manpower shortage in forces: Par panel
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Last Updated: Thursday, April 15, 2010, 17:57
New Delhi: With the Army, Navy and Air Force hard-pressed over shortage of officers, a Parliamentary panel today suggested increasing the intake of NCC cadets in the three defence services as a plausible solution to their manpower problem.

While the Army faces a shortage of 11,456 officers, the Navy and the Air Force suffer a gap of 1,439 and 1,343 officers, respectively.

"The Committee finds that there is an urgent need to give more attention to the National Cadet Corps (NCC), whose main objective is to groom the youth into disciplined and patriotic citizens...NCC training would definitely help the three services in solving the problem of shortage of officers," the Parliamentary Committee on Defence said in its latest reported tabled in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

The Army has a sanctioned strength of 46,614 in the officer cadre, while the existing strength is 35,158 officers. The Navy's sanctioned strength of officers is 9,293 and existing strength 7,854. In the IAF, the sanctioned officer cadre strength is 12,183 and borne strength is 10,840.

The Defence Ministry had informed the committee that it took steps to address the manpower shortage in the three services which included sustained image projection and publicity campaign, participation in career fairs, advertisements in print and electronic media, counselling and motivational talks in schools, colleges and NCC camps.

The panel felt these steps were in the right direction, but a desired focus on the NCC cadets was not being given.

"The committee is of the firm view that there is an urgent need to enrol more schools and colleges, both government and private, for NCC," it said, recommending that the Ministry undertake a survey to know the percentage of NCC students who have actually joined the three services.

The training institutions of the three armed forces -- the National Defence Academy, the Indian Military Academy, the Naval Academy and the Air Force Academy -- have a percentage of seats reserved for NCC 'C' certificate holders and the allotted seats are usually super-subscribed, as NCC cadets join the academies from the general quota also.

Noting that the implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations had had a positive impact by making the armed forces as an attractive career option for the youth, the panel also recommended that the Ministry should consider recruiting retired officers for supervisory jobs, an area where the three services were finding it difficult to get the requisite manpower.


First Published: Thursday, April 15, 2010, 17:57

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