New Delhi, Dec 28: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has admitted in the Lok Sabha that the armed forces are facing an acute shortage of personnel to the tune of 60,000, with over 27,000 posts lying vacant in the Army alone.
Replying to a question in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday, Sitharaman said that total shortage of officers in the Army, Navy and the Air Force is 9259 while the number below the officer rank is 50,363.
In the same reply she said that on July 1, the strength of the Army was 12.37 lakh personnel against the authorised strength of 12.64 lakh and total shortage is 27,864. Similarly the total strength of the Navy is 67,228 and the number of vacancies is 16,255. In the Air Force, there is a shortage of 15,503 against the authorized strength of 1.55 lakh personnel, Sitharaman informed the Lok Sabha.
The vacancies excluding personnel in dental and medical streams come to 59,622.
Recruitment in the armed forces is a continuous process and government has taken a number of steps to reduce the shortage, she said.
Replying to a separate question, Sitharaman said MiG fighter jets of the IAF were involved in 10 accidents since 2014-15.
“10 squadrons of IAF equipped with MiG 21 and MiG 27 aircraft are scheduled to retire by 2024 on completion of their total technical life,” she said.
To another question, she said procurement of two more regiments of Akash missile system has been approved for the Army, a PTI report said.