The Cabinet Committee on Security has approved the opening of an Officers Training Academy at Gaya in Bihar in addition to the one in Chennai.

This is a major long-term step to obviate the problem of shortage of Army officers, a Defence Ministry release said.

To start with, the academy will provide training to 250 officer cadets annually. In due course, it will be upgraded to train 750 officer cadets. It will also cater to the training of officer cadre from friendly foreign countries. It will have state-of-the art infrastructure and training facilities. The project, which will cost approximately Rs. 360 crore, will offer employment and economic opportunities in the area.

As of last year, there is a shortage of 11, 483 officers, which is approximately 24 per cent of the sanctioned strength. According to available figures, against the sanctioned strength of 46,614 officers, the current strength stood at 35,131. Among the steps the government took to bridge the gap was extending the tenure of the officers of Short Service Commission from 10 years to 14 years.

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