Study on Army's restructuring to be completed by December

New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Aug 20, 2018, 06:03 PM(IST)

File photo: Indian Army personnel. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

The biggest ever organisational study to review and transform the Indian Army into a futuristic lethal warfighting machine is expected to be complete by December this year.

This is the biggest exercise after the Independence to review personnel and the organisational structure and to explore whether the present practice is sustainable for the Indian Army's future requirements.

The ambit of the fleeting study broadly includes - 1) Reorganisation of the Indian Army 2) Review of Army Headquarter 3) Cadre review for officers (being done after the AV Singh Committee report, 2001) and 4) Review of terms of engagement.

Each study is being conducted by a team of 25 members which is headed by senior Lieutenant Generals.

It was felt that few branches have overlapping work which not only causes a delay but also lead to duplication of work. The study on the duplicity in "Charter of Directorates" is looking at rationalising of work and see if work load can be distributed and some of the branches can be relocated. The teams will also review all the charter of duties of each appointment and identify positions that can be removed.

An officer well informed of the ongoing study told ANI: "The theme is aimed to make the Army a leaner, meaner and efficient war machine." Financial prudence in Defence budget handling and weapons, equipment procurement are the stress areas. This exercise may eventually lead to winding up some directorates, merging them with others or relocating them out of Delhi.

Finance planning, which is currently under the Deputy Chief of the Army Staff, might be brought under the Vice Chief of the Army Staff who happens to be the Top Level Budget Holder (TLBH) of the Army.

Two important directorates related to procurement -- Perspective Planning (PP) and the Weapons and Equipment (WE) Directorate -- are also under review in order to bring all capital procurements under one authority.

Officers told ANI that in 2002 a similar subject was reviewed and accordingly changes were suggested by Lieutenant General SS Mehta.

The groups are expected to first submit their recommendations to the Vice Army Chief. He will review and then based on his feedback changes will be made before submitting it finally to the Chief of the Army Staff, General Bipin Rawat, by December.

The recommendations will be further sent to Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

"The good part is that the current Army Chief will have a full year ahead to carry forward the recommendations to manifest the real changes," said an officer.

Important issue of personnel like pension and terms of engagements are being widely mulled over. The current Army regulation on pension is of 1987 vintage and the current pension is on the basis of the 2008. The officers, Junior commissioned Officers (JCOs') and Other Ranks (ORs) are all based as per the Ministry of Defence 1998 Letters.

Best practices of the world armies and that of other services and central government organisations will be studied along with their terms of engagements. Matters of Low Medical Category (LMC) is a big issue in Army, unwillingness among the JCOs and ORs to do the Promotion Cadre, pre-mature retirement and lure of second pension among the other ranks are to be studied. This all will be correlated with age profile vis-a-vis operational deployment, pensionable age, defence budget and posting and cadre management.

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