Reasons Behind The Shortage Of Officers In The Indian Armed Forces

Hello Defence Lovers, Indian Armed Forces is ranked 4th in the world after US, Russia and China and if we talk about active personnel’s then India is just behind China but still we are facing shortage of officers. Army alone has shortage of 8000 officers, Navy has shortage of 1500 and Air force has Shortage of nearly 400 officers. The Army is 18 per cent short of its sanctioned strength of officers, and it is projected to take until 2021 to bring the shortfall down to 12 per cent.




Also Read, Strengths & Specialities Of An Indian Defence Officer
Couple Of Reasons For The Shortage Are :-
  • Armed Forces has hard training,high stress job, high risk to life, A soldier has to work in hostile terrain and weather, Limited opportunity of promotion, separation from family and protracted working hours.
  • Armed Forces has low retention capability that is to maintain youthful profile bulk of combatants retire after 17 to 18 year of service in prime age of 38 to 40 years and there is no second career options for many.
  • Few take up administrative work and managerial role but not all are lucky enough to get job after retirement at such an early age.
  • Economic boom in other sectors.  Although after 7th pay commission officers in Armed Forces are getting good pay but it’s not enough if you compare it with outside world. How many officers have you met driving Audi or BMW?
  • In Army promotions do not come easy. Most of the officers retire as Lt.Col or Col.
  • Retirement age in Army is less in comparison to retirement age in public sector or private sector.
  • Armed Forces remain away from media and glamour.
  • The Army cannot commission a large number of officers to make up for the shortfall in one go.
  • That is bound to cause problems in promotions, and at the time of retirement. A ramped up plan for incremental intake is, therefore, the only option available.
  • While the Army hopes to bring down officer deficiency to 12 per cent by 2021, it is struggling to subscribe to all the vacancies in its various training academies.
Also Read, What Makes an Officer Complete?




  • The shortage of officers has achieved critical importance as the Army continues to raise new units for the China border, which demand more officers. The Army’s plan is to get approximately 1,000 officers annually.
  • The job entails a level of risk. Everybody likes money and when they to make a trade off between an office job with money and a combat job with money, the former seems to win.  People like to play it safe with their lives.
  • To get into the forces, you need to clear an exam, followed by the Service Selection Board (SSB) Process and Medical Evaluation. The SSBs are known to take the best lot of people, who are evaluated along various intelligence and psychological parameters. The idea of selection isn’t to fill up the vacancies but to take the suitable. There is never a compromise upon the standards of selection .
  • Due to  Globalization, more job opportunities have been created and army has a saying it aint a job it’s a life.
  • Our society encourages the youth to take up engineering in the top most colleges and do their MBA abroad (no offence)
    people want to get  things easily and also they feel the army pays less there is a shortage because the people who deserve to be in armed forces aren’t motivated by their family or peers.
Also Read, 35 Joys And Struggles Of Growing Up As An Indian Defence Brat




Conclusion :
  • Indian Armed Forces don’t compromise with quality. Aspirants should possess OLQs- Officer Like Qualities and certain medical standards.
  • There can be only solution to fulfill the shortage: Develop or cultivate qualities in yourself.
Jai Hind

Close