Bogged down by shortage of 11,500 officers due to low intake at military academies and a high rate of premature retirements, the army has indicated to its leadership that it will take 20 years of best efforts to fill up the vacancies.

In an internal study, the army has said the projection was conditional and the vacancies could be filled up in two decades only if training capacities in the academies are increased and the exit rate of officers wanting to retire prematurely is kept low.

On the basis of the study, the army headquarters has suggested to the commanders that the intake of recruits at the Dehradun-based Indian Military Academy (IMA) and the Officers Training Academy (OTA) in Chennai be increased by improving training capacities of the two institutes, an officer told PTI here.

The Commanders have been discussing the issue of officer shortage for quite sometime now and it was again debated at the recently concluded conference of senior offices, he said.

The 1.2-million strong army has a sanctioned strength of over 46,000 officers.

The data, compiled through a study, showed that army faced the prospect of an average of 1,500 premature retirements (PMRs) of officers every year.

The current annual average number of officers commissioned in the army from its academies stood at 1,700, around 300 less than the required average number of nearly 2,000 recruits.

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