New Delhi: A report from the Parliament's Standing Committee on Defence, submitted on 28 April 2007, has said that the greater threat to India, strategically, will come from the "attrition" of military officers, air force pilots, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) scientists and Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) engineers.
The committee report points out that HAL, India's premiere aerospace organization and defence major, has lost up to 917 assistant engineers, engineers, deputy managers, managers and other ranks since 2003. In 2006 alone, 409 employees quit HAL for better paying jobs in the private sector. HAL company officials have warned that the attrition rate could affect the scheduled delivery of some HAL projects.
According to DRDO officials, the organization is facing a severe manpower crunch that could hinder some core scientific projects with quality engineers leaving for higher salaries in private sector IT companies. This loss of skilled personnel is slowly killing some of India's premier research and development centres, officials said.
The report also notes an "alarming trend" of pilots leaving the Indian Air Force for jobs in the commercial aviation sector, which offers a significantly higher pay package to the pilot for a job that is a lot 'easier.' According to the report, the attrition trend will disrupt the air force's operational requirements.
The committee recommends immediate steps be taken to contain this trend.
It is estimated that the number of officers seeking premature retirement from the services in search of better perks, salaries and status, has already resulted in a shortage of more than 12,000 officers below the rank of brigadier in the Indian Army alone.