In a major move, Modi government has approved a series of Major reforms that will be carried out in the Indian Army to enhance its combat capability which will include redeployment of nearly 57,000 officers and other ranks as well as safeguarding better utilization of resources.
This is undoubtedly the first time since Independence, such a big and “far-reaching” reform process is being initiated for Indian Army.The reform initiatives were proposed by a committee headed by Lt Gen DB Shekatkar which had a mandate to recommend measures for enhancing of combat capability and rebalancing Defence expenditure of the armed forces to increase “teeth to tail ratio”.
The ‘tooth-to-tail’ ratio refers to the amount of supply and support personnel (termed as tail) for each combat soldier (tooth).
The panel had suggested 99 recommendations for massive structural changes in the Army and out of which the Defence ministry has accepted 65 after consultations with all the stakeholders. The operationalization of the reforms has been started “now” and it will be completed by December 31, 2019.
The Army has a total strength of around 12 lakh personnel and is one of leading ground force globally.The net effect of this is, as to various, different functions in the Army, as per the changed environment of technology, economy, combat capability of the Army, how it is to be best utilized.
In an important statement, the Defence ministry said civilians will also be redeployed in different wings of the armed forces for improving efficiency. As per the estimates around 31,000 civilian staff will be redeployed including in new formations, adding reform will be carried out in the Army’s education Corp as well.
Defence Minister Jaitley said the Union Cabinet today has apprised of the Defence ministry’s decision to carry out the reform process in the Army.The Shekatkar committee was appointed in May last year and it had submitted its report in December.
It is a first of its kind of exercise since Independence, where the Ministry of Defence in consultation with the Indian Army has decided to reform the Indian Army in a planned manner. These decisions were approved by the Defence Minister.
In the first phase, the reforms will involve redeployment and restructuring of approximately 57,000 posts of officers, junior commissioned officers and other ranks and civilians.
It said optimization of signals establishments, closure of military farms and army postal establishments in peace locations as well as restructuring of repair echelons in the army including base workshops will also be part of the extensive exercise.
There is a plan of redeployment of ordnance echelons to include vehicle depots, ordnance depots and central ordnance depots apart from streamlining inventory control mechanisms. It will also ensure better utilization of supply and transport facilities and animal transport units.
The standards of recruitment of clerical staff and drivers will be improved, and steps will be taken to improve the efficiency of the National Cadet Corps.
Implementation has begun with the decision of the Cabinet Committee on Security to close 39 military farms in a time bound manner. The Army’s commanders in April had deliberated extensively on enhancing the force’s overall strike capability.
One of the major objective of restructuring by the Indian Army is aimed at enhancing combat capability in a manner that the officers/JCOs/ORs will be used for improving operational preparedness and civilians will be redeployed in different wings of the armed forces for improving efficiency.
One of the most important part will be optimization of signals establishments, which will include radio monitoring companies, corps air support signal regiments, air formation signal regiments, composite signal regiments and merger of corps operating and engineering signal regiments.
We can say that this exercise will make Indian Army more efficient, lethal and effective in the near future, we just hope it will completed within the given timeline and hopefully it will deliver the desired results.