The three defence services — Army, Navy and Air Force — together are facing a shortage of around 14,000 officers and efforts are under way to overcome it by making a career in the armed forces more attractive, according to Minister of State for Defence M.M. Pallam Raju.

“We have shortened the duration between the promotions as per the recommendation of the A.V. Singh Committee with a view to increase career mobility in the officers' cadre,” Mr. Raju told The Hindu on the sidelines of a visit to Sainik School, Amaravathinagar, on Friday.

Besides this, the terms of agreement for Short Service Commission (SSC) officers serving the Army, Navy and Air Force had been improved.

Mr. Raju said that another step taken to enthuse and train more youngsters into joining the armed forces was the enhancement of infrastructure facilities being carried out at various Sainik Schools over the last few years.

“In the 2008-09 budget itself, Rs.2 crore was allocated to each Sainik School in the country. According to him, steps are under way to improve the soft skills of Sainik School cadets, besides encouraging Rajya Sabha members to earmark a part of their MP Fund for local area development for the welfare of the Sainik Schools.

He said that owing to the sustained efforts, the number of cadets from Sainik Schools making it to the National Defence Academy and pursuing a permanent commission in the Armed Force had tremendously improved in the last few years.

Earlier in the day, Mr. Raju inaugurated the newly constructed cadets' mess on the Sainik School premises and inspected the general infrastructure.

Colonel J. H. Samuel and Wing Commander P. Ravi Kumar, the Principal and Headmaster of the school, and Brigadier Ranjit Singh, Inspector of the Sainik School Society, were present, among others.

Keywords: Armed Forces

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