TAMIL NADU

Army to train more youth to tackle officers’ shortage

Special Correspondent

Augmentation of facilities at OTA part of the strategy

TAMBARAM: Augmentation of facilities at the Officers Training Academy at St.Thomas Mount near here will help train more youth, which in turn will help the Army to tide over the shortage of officers.



Briefing presspersons, after reviewing a Passing out Parade at OTA on Saturday, Lieutenant General Susheel Gupta, Deputy Chief of Army Staff (IS and T) said now the Academy had facilities to train 650 recruits every year. The Army planned to train 750 recruits from next year onwards.

This was part of a policy decision to train more youth to address the problems caused by a shortage of officers in the Army. To a query, he said it cost about Rs. 7,200 a week per recruit for training at the OTA.

The Army faced a shortage of about 11,000 officers and this was causing problems on various fronts, said Lt. Gen Gupta. The shortage, he said, was due to plenty of opportunities that were available for youth in the corporate sector where pay packages were much higher than the armed forces.

Several campaigns to motivate youth to join the armed forces were being initiated, the officer said, adding that they were yielding positive results.

The Centre was aware of the needs of the Army to ensure welfare of its officers, soldiers and their families and there were plans to implement more welfare projects, including accommodation for married personnel. Further, the leave duration would be increased for those personnel serving in difficult areas, Lt. Gen. Gupta said.

Parade

After reviewing the parade, in which 193 Gentleman Cadets and 80 Lady Cadets took part, he reminded the newly inducted officers to carry the sacred trust reposed in them of defending the territorial integrity and unity of the country.

“Even after modern day technological advances, the best armies of the world continue to rely heavily on their leaders at all levels,” he said, adding that leadership was a way of life in the Indian Army. In recent decades, there have been sweeping technological advancements in weapon systems and equipment, changing the battlefield scenario and understanding this linkage and its impact on warfare was of utmost importance.

“The real challenge today is the threat of asymmetrical warfare that is without enemies and borders that we have to contend with,” Lt. Gen Susheel Gupta said.

He also distributed medals to the young officers.

Amrit Pal Singh Aulakh received the Sword of Honour for Best All Round Cadet. Kanishka Gaur and Ashutosh Tripathi won the gold and silver medal respectively for standing first and second in the order of merit. Vartika Kushwah won the Gold Medal for Best All Round Lady Cadet.

The passing out parade was commanded by Ajit Bharawaj. Major General R.K.Swamy, Commandant, OTA and other senior officers were present on the occasion.

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