"It is counter-intuitive but sadly true that in our country of over one billion people, it is hard to find the right people for national security tasks and jobs," he said.
The armed forces face a shortage of around 13,000 officers, Menon said.
"The shortage in our police forces is even greater.
Almost half a million sanctioned police posts throughout the country are lying vacant," he said delivering the Dr Raja Ramanna lecture on India's external and internal security at the National Institute of Advanced Studies here last evening.
In terms of cyber security professionals, one estimate is that the country needs to train at least 20,000 personnel in related fields in the next three to five years, he said.
The shortage of personnel is particularly noticeable in national security fields, where most of the jobs that are sought today did not exist a few decades ago, he said.
"This is partly because the present educational system does not prepare people for new or emerging security tasks," Menon said.