New Delhi: The shortfall of army officers has come down in the last five years. This year, the shortfall was at 17.77 percent compared to 26 percent in 2010, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley told Parliament Tuesday.
In a written reply to the Rajya Sabha, Jaitley said that while shortage of officers in the army was 8,455 as of Jan 1 this year, in other ranks it was a "nominal shortfall" of 16,597 (1.44 percent) as of April 1.
He said various measures have been taken to reduce shortages in the officers cadre.
"Vigorous campaigns have been launched to attract talented youth to join the armed forces. The service conditions of the officers joining through the Short Service Commission (SSC) have been made attractive."
"The tenure of SSC officers has been increased from 10 years to 14 years," he said.
Jaitley added that substantial improvement in the pay structure of officers due to implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission also made the services more attractive.
He said the army has undertaken a sustained image projection campaign to create awareness among the youths on the advantages of taking up a challenging and satisfying career.
Jaitley said awareness campaigns, participation in career fairs and exhibitions, advertisements in print and electronic media and motivational lectures in schools and colleges were some of the measures in this direction.
"All the above mentioned measures have resulted in gradual improvement in the last five years with shortage of officers reducing from 26 percent in 2010 to 17.77 percent in 2014," he said.