The retirement of army officers such as those in other ranks and Junior Commissioned Officers, is a never-ending process. However, there is no telling the number of positions that will be vacated over the coming five years. Since the retirement age for many posts has increased, it is not possible to put an accurate figure on the number of employees who will retire. It is also difficult to forecast the number of Junior Commissioned Officers and other officers who will get promoted to the next rank in the hierarchy. Moreover, even the number of employees who seek premature retirement along with those whose employment is terminated on disciplinary and medical grounds is difficult to predict. However, around 900 officers and 40,000 Junior Commissioned Officers and officers of other ranks retire on a yearly basis.
Apart from officers in the Military Nursing Service, Army Dental Corps and Army Medical Corps, the current strength in the officers cadre is 39,585 out of the authorised strength which is 47,574. Various entries see the recruitment of around 2500 officers each year. So far as Junior Commissioned Officers and officers of other ranks are concerned, the current strength is 11,37,810 out of the authorised strength of 11,64,738. Junior Commissioned Officers and officers of other ranks are always in good strength as the number of new hires under training at any point in time exceed the vacancies.
Vacancies need to be filled up as and when they are open, and to find a solution to the problem of cumulative shortage of officers, several different measures have been taken, including the reduction of time taken to gain a promotion, upgrading posts in certain ranks so that promotional avenues are enhanced, introduction of time scale rank, upping the tenure of Short Service Commissioned Officers to 14 years from the previous tenure of 10 years, augmenting pre-commissioning training facilities, sanctioning extra Service Selection Boards for enhancing the selection rate of officers, implementing the suggestions of the 6th Central Pay Commissions and making enhancements in the pay scales of officers who serve the Armed Forces, etc.
Moreover, the Armed Forces have chosen to go for sustained publicity and image projection campaigns so that the youth are more aware of the benefits that can arise out of a satisfying and challenging career. Some of the other initiatives taken for this purpose include advertisements in electronic and print media, participation in exhibitions and career fairs, inspirational lectures in colleges and schools, and awareness campaigns.
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