In what could be every combat leader’s nightmare, the ministry of defence has suggested to the armed forces a one-time relaxation in selection criteria to take care of officer shortage.
In a letter addressed to the three services, a senior MoD official has recommended that the services may consider the feasibility of conducting a special drive to fill up the vacancies by giving a one-time dispensation in the qualitative requirements.
However, the military has always taken pride in maintaining high standards in recruitment despite a crippling shortage in its hierarchy, particularly the middle-rung. Serving and retired officials have criticised the proposal saying no military will tolerate dilution of standards.
The armed forces have been asked if they have thought up of any action plan to re-examine various parameters of the qualitative requirements (QR), considering that the services have frequently pointed out that large number of candidates do not meet the QR for selection.
An MoD official said the proposal does not envisage a complete waiver in QR but a minor one-time special consideration that will not undermine the selection process.