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Shortage of 1.35 lakh personnel in armed forces: Govt

Ajay Bhatt, Minister of State for Defence, informed Rajya Sabha that there are 1,16,464 vacancies in the Army.

The minister of state for defence stated in a written response to the Rajya Sabha on Monday that the average yearly recruitment rates for the Army, Navy and Air Force are 60,000, 5,332 and 5,723 correspondingly.

The minister did not directly respond to a particular query on whether the average recruiting figure exceeds the anticipated yearly intake of Agniveers and, if so, how the shortfall of people in the armed services will be addressed. Bhatt simply responded by stating that the Supreme Court is still deliberating the case.

He said ‘no’ when asked if it was true that the Indian Army had not hired anyone in the previous two years.

Regarding the overall lack of people in the three armed forces, including both officers and non-officer level soldiers, Bhatt stated that as of January 1, the Army was 1,16,464 short of the authorised strength. On January 1, 2020, the Army had a 64,482 manpower shortfall.

According to him, as of May 31, the Navy was 13,597 short of the authorised strength, while as of July 1 the Indian Air Force was 5,723 short. Under the Agnipath programme, the hiring process has begun for the three services.

The programme, which was unveiled on June 14, aims to enlist young people between the ages of 17 and 21 for only four years, with an option to keep 25% of them for an additional 15 years. The maximum age has been raised to 23 years old for 2022.


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