KOCHI: Indian Navy is facing shortage of manpower but it has not affected the operational efficiency of the elite force, a top Navy official said here Friday.
“Shortfall is there. There is a shortfall in the manpower. This shortfall has not affected the operational efficiency of the Navy,” Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command, Vice Admiral A R Karve said.
He said the Navy has a plan for addressing the shortfall in the next few years by increasing the intake capacity of its various training institutions.
“We feel that we are able to continue with the operational readiness of our Navy despite this shortfall…” Karve said in response to a question during a press conference organised onboard INS Tir at South Jetty, Naval Base here on the occasion of Navy Week celebrations.
He said as and when the capacity of Naval academies increases, the shortfall will get reduced and “it will take another two years and currently it has no bearing on our readiness.”
According to the Ministry of Defence, the Indian Navy today comprises about 1 lakh uniformed and civilian personnel of which the uniformed manpower is about 69,000. The shortfall of uniformed personnel is about 21 per cent for officers and 18 per cent for sailors. The shortfall for civilian personnel, with a current shortage of some 8,000 individuals, amounts to 18 per cent.
Karve said, “I think we get a deluge of applications for the very few vacancies we advertise every year in the Navy.”
“For a few thousand vacancies, we get more than lakhs and lakhs of applications. So I feel that the navy and the armed forces continue to be an attractive option for the youth of our country and we request you to continue to encourage our youth to join the defence forces,” he said. He said it is a very attractive career and successive pay commissions have given quite a few benefits. “As and when the pay commission is finalised, I am sure that will also bring in lots of benefits with regard to pay and allowances etc,” he said.
Karve also said the issues regarding seventh pay commission have already been taken up at the highest level of the government and are presently under examination at New Delhi.