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IAF on a smart recruitment drive
Fakir Chand in bangalore |
June 27, 2003 18:00 IST
The air force, which is facing a shortage of manpower, will go to campuses later this year to enrol bright graduates from engineering, medical and legal institutions, Air Chief Marshal S Krishnaswamy said in Bangalore on Wednesday.
"Though from an operational point of view, the IAF has enough manpower with about 175,000 men and women on its rolls, there is a shortage of about 600 commissioned officers and 8,000-9,000 other staff.
"With about 7,000 people leaving or retiring from the service annually, there is an urgent need to recruit and train an equal number every year..." he said.
In order to make the service an attractive proposition, the IAF will introduce novel methods at its training command bases across the country. This will help build a generation of manpower with enough flying experience and management capability to test aircraft and maintain ground facilities while in service and do well in the private sector after retirement.
"For proper representation from various states in the country, especially from the northeast, the IAF will soon launch reality campaigns to convince prospective candidates that they will have a bright future in the service.
"The IAF has already initiated discussions with various state governments and their chief secretaries in spotting the right talent, who have a sense of adventure, grit and aptitude to take up a challenging flying job.
"It is a misnomer that a career in defence services, especially in the IAF, is not well-paying. If a fresh engineering graduate is offered Rs 10,000 per month at the entry level, the IAF offers about Rs 20,000 per month, including allowances and other emoluments.
"And after a 10-14 year stint in the air force, the service men/women are well-trained and qualified to take up any suitable job in the government or civilian sector for their national contribution in the growing aviation field, or in emergencies, flood control, and search and rescue operations during natural calamities," he said.
The air chief admitted that the IAF had undersold itself and had not implemented global standards to attract bright talent. But he said plans were under way to upgrade the facilities at all IAF training commands to qualify for ISO 9000 series certification.
"Gone are the days when teenagers out of schools and colleges used to queue up for recruitment in the defence services. With career and growth opportunities in the civilian area multiplying several fold, it is our turn to go to the campuses or agencies for drawing the present-day youth into our fold," Krishnaswamy observed.
The IAF will also double the intake of women from the current five per cent.
"The government has delegated powers to the air force to recruit men and women for not only short-service commission postings, but also with longer tenure beyond 10-14 years," he said.
"Breaking away from tradition and conservatism, we intend to open up our training bases to the general public, especially the youth, for an exposure to operations and facilities so that they will be inspired to join the service with a sense of belonging and an element of national pride."