Recruitment process in three services severely affected due to Covid: Rajnath Singh

According to details provided by the government on Monday, the three services can recruit a total of 37,301 personnel in the last two years, with the induction process being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic with an average annual vacancy of 60,000.

The total number of recruits in 2019 stood at 95,843, with the Army at the top with 81,812 personnel, followed by the Indian Air Force with 7,548 and the Navy with 6,483 personnel.

The details were provided by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in Lok Sabha while replying to a question.

According to the data furnished by him, the Army currently has a shortfall of 1,16,484 personnel while the number in the Navy is 13,597 and the IAF 5,789.

“The recruitment process for the years 2020 and 2021, was severely affected and disrupted because of the COVID pandemic, and the recruitment rallies had to be curtailed for the Army,” he said.

“Nevertheless, 1280 officers and 12091 soldiers were inducted in the Army for the year 2020, and 1065 officers for the year 2021,” he added.

The Defense Minister said that in the case of the Navy and the Air Force, which follow an online recruitment process, the impact of the pandemic was minimal.

“In the case of the Navy, 377 officers and 2772 sailors were inducted in the year 2020 and 409 officers and 5547 sailors in the year 2021. Similarly, in the case of the Indian Air Force, 261 officers and 8,423 airmen were inducted during the year 2020 and 467 officers and 4609 airmen in the year 2021,” he said.

The three services have already started the recruitment process for the year 2022 under the newly launched ‘Agnipath’ scheme.

“In the case of the Air Force, the online registration process was opened from 24th June to 5th July for 3000 posts. The registration process for the Navy is open from July 15 to 30 for 3,000 posts,” Singh said.

Army has started its registration process for 40,000 posts and will start holding rallies from August 10. Singh said the Army proposes to organize 85 rallies in different parts of the country in the next three months.

“The first batch of candidates will join basic training in the Indian Navy in November and the Air Force and Army in December this year,” he said.

The defence minister said 1,240 officers and 80,572 soldiers were inducted into the Army in 2019 while 415 officers and 6,068 sailors were recruited by the Navy that year. The IAF recruited 326 officers and 7,222 airmen in 2019.

“On average, 60,000 vacancies arise in the three armed forces every year. Currently, there is a shortfall of 7,799 officers and 1,08,685 soldiers in the Army; 1446 officers and 12,151 sailors in the Navy and 572 officers and 5,217 airmen in the Indian Air Force,” Singh said.

“These vacancies are expected to come down in the coming years with the improvement in the situation of COVID-19 and the commencement of the recruitment process,” he said.

Raksha Mantri informed the Lok Sabha that the shortage of officers and mitigation measures are regularly reviewed by the Armed Forces and based on detailed analysis, measures are initiated to fill up the vacancies.


Hi, my name is Nisha and I'm an educational journalist based in India. I've always been passionate about the power of education to transform lives, and that's what led me to pursue a career in journalism focused on this area. I completed my Bachelor's degree in English from Hindu College in Delhi in 2013 and then went on to earn my Master's in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication in 2017. During my studies, I also completed several short-term courses on Education in India, Sociology, and other related subjects to deepen my knowledge in this field. I'm particularly interested in improving access to quality education in rural areas, where students often face significant challenges. I've worked on a number of initiatives to address this issue, including advocating for better policies, resources, and practices that can make a difference. As an educational journalist, I'm passionate about using my platform to highlight important issues in the education space. I've covered a wide range of topics, including the impact of technology in the classroom, innovative approaches to teaching and learning, and the challenges facing students from marginalized communities. One of the things I love most about my work is the opportunity to constantly learn and grow. I'm an avid reader and believe that reading is key to expanding one's knowledge and perspective. I'm always seeking out new ideas and insights to help me better understand the world around me. In summary, as an educational journalist, I'm dedicated to using my skills and expertise to make a positive impact in the field of education. I'm committed to improving access to quality education for all students and to using my platform to raise awareness about important issues in this area.

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