Why the paucity of qualified candidates for the army in a young country? CAG worried, also gave suggestions

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New Delhi, 7th April 2022: The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India has expressed concern over the lack of recruitment in the Army. The CAG remarked that the inability to find qualified candidates for the Army in a country with a large youth population is not a satisfactory situation.


The CAG said that the acute shortage of officers in the army should be detected early. Short service commission should be made more profitable for the youth. A well thought out strategy should be outlined to encourage this. Along with this, emphasis has also been laid on reviewing the rules of recruitment of women officers.


This was stated in the audit of training in the selection of officers in the Army. The CAG report was tabled in Parliament on Wednesday.


The report states that there are a total of 21 points of entry as military officers for youth, whether UPSC or non-UPSC in all mediums. In addition, there are three special entry routes for the ranks below an officer in the Army. But despite this, the reduction in officers and other ranks in the army is worrying.


The report said that as of January 2019, there was a shortage of officers in the army of 14.71 per cent. The range of vacancies drawn between 2014-18 was in the range of 830-1180, whereas the vacancies were only between 522 and 607. There was a decrease in the number of candidates admitted every year. The main reason for this was the low selection of candidates from SSC (Technical) and Non-Technical, National Cadet Corps and Short Service Commission.


The report said that fewer recruitments were also done through service entries. The average recruitment against vacancies during 2015 to 2019 was only 64.8 percent in Army Cadet College (ACC), 26.7 percent in Special Commissioned Officers (SCO) and 23.4 percent in Permanent Commission (Special List) admissions. The CAG has recommended that the institutional system for capacity building of in-service candidates and for admission as Army officers should be reviewed and streamlined.


Only four percent women in the army

According to the report, as of January 2020, there were a total of 1648 women officers in the Army, which was only four percent of the total number of commissioned officers. In the four entrance courses for women, almost 100% of the candidates were named. These meritorious women candidates were found medically fit. Their number was almost twice that of the candidates eventually selected on the basis of vacancies.


The ratio of vacancies drawn in respect of women and men in Judge Advocate General admissions increased from 29 percent in 2015 to 50 percent in 2019, while SSC Women (Technical) admissions decreased from 16 percent to 8 percent during the same period.