The Indian Army is all set for a revamp.
With the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) giving the nod to the recommendations put forth by Shekatkar Committee on Wednesday, the first phase will execute most of the suggested reforms.
This involves redeployment and restructuring of approximately 57,000 posts of officers, soldiers and civilians in the Army.
Initiated by the Ministry of Defence, the expert committee was headed by Lt General (Retd) D B Shekatkar. The committee’s mandate was to come up with reforms that boost combating capability.
Also, the committee had to make recommendations to manage expenditure in ways that can help facilitate the ‘teeth-to-tail’ ratio—an army term that refers to the amount of military personnel it takes to supply and support (tail) each combat soldier (tooth).
Defence Minister Arun Jaitley announced that 65 of the 99 recommendations had been approved for implementation and the Ministry has already the nod to the decision of closing down 39 military farms across the country, as reported by The New Indian Express.
Expected to be implemented by the end of 2019, the objective behind the reforms is to make the Army more combat-potential by deploying soldiers on more operational tasks in place of non-operational one.
Though the pilot reformation is internal to the Army, the recommendations suggested by the committee included all the three defence forces.
“This is certainly a welcome step and a good beginning. The committee made a total of 188 recommendations, out of which 99 were initially approved by the Defence Minister. Now they have ordered implementation of 65 of those 99. I hope that in due course of time the government will not only implement the 99 but also the remaining ones. Implementation will result in significant saving of manpower, funds and infrastructure. It will improve quality, accountability and answerability,” Lt Gen Shekatkar told The New Express.
The report was submitted by the committee in December 2016 and was being scrutinised by the ministry over its feasibility until now.
Some of the reforms in the first phase are the restructuring of repair units in the Army, streamlining inventory control mechanisms, closure of military farms and army postal establishments in peace locations.
Reportedly, the Air Force and Navy are to shortly follow suit once the recommendations have been chalked out by the concerned authorities.