New Delhi, Aug 1: Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre on Wednesday informed Lok Sabha that three armed forces are facing a shortage of over 9,096 officers with the Army at the top of the list. He shared the details during the monsoon session. Also Read - Coronavirus in India: Number of Positive Cases Crosses 850, Indian Army Launches Operation Namaste

Replying to a question, he said that the authorised strength of the Army was 49,933, but it has 42,635 officers, which is 7,298 short of the sanctioned strength. The strength for the Navy is 11,352 officers as against the existing number of 9,746 officers, which is 1,606 less than the sanctioned number. The Air Force has a shortage of 192 officers, Bhamre said, adding that it has 12,392 officers as against the sanctioned strength of 12,584 officers. Also Read - COVID-19: Amid Lockdown Measures, Parliament's Budget Session Likely to be Concluded on Monday

Another question was raised in Parliament on whether the government has received any proposal from China for a border defence cooperation pact. Also Read - Coronavirus: Please Spend 15 Minutes in Sun, Advises Union Minister

The minister replied in negative, stating that an agreement on border defence cooperation between India and China was signed on October 23, 2013. “No new proposal for a defence cooperation has been received from China,” the MoS said.

He said the government has taken numerous steps to strengthen defence cooperation with China, including mechanisms to enhance military to military exchanges and to ensure maintenance of peace and stability along the India-China border.

These measures include annual defence and security dialogue, exchanges at the level of border troops, border personnel meetings, meetings of the Working Mechanism for Consultation on India-China Border Affairs and agreements and protocols relating to confidence-building measures.

(With PTI inputs)