New Delhi, Aug 30 (IANS) In a major reform for the Indian Army, the government has accepted the first batch of 65 recommendations of the Lt. Gen. D.B. Shekatkar (retd.) headed committee which will result in redeployment of 57,000 personnel for roles to increase the “tooth to tail” ratio.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who also holds the Defence portfolio, announced that first batch 65 measures as per the committee report will be implemented by the year end.
These include optimisation of signals establishments to 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.
It will also include closure of all military farms and army postal establishments in peace locations.
Jaitley said the committee had given about 99 recommendations and the government, in consultation with the army, had been going through these recommendations. “And the first batch of 65 recommendations has been accepted by the government yesterday (on Tuesday).”
“This will lead to redeployment of 57,000 officers, JCOs and ORs for various other functions where their requirement in Army is. It is a far-reaching change.
“Mandate of this committee was to make recommendations for enhancing combat capability and re-balancing of defence expenditure of the armed forces… to increase the teeth to tail ratio,” he said.
Tooth to tail ratio is a military term that refers to the amount of military personnel it takes to supply and support (tail) each combat soldier (tooth).
Jaitley said the Defence Ministry took the decision on Tuesday and the Union Cabinet was apprised of it on Wednesday.
The minister said concerned orders will be passed and these all have to be operationalised by end of 2019. “Operationalisation begins now,” he said.
The net effect of the move, as per the minister, will be on different functions in the Army, as to in the changed environment of economy, technology, combat capability how is to be best utilised. And there are several far reaching recommendations
“Do we need the military farms at all? Do we with today’s technology need a separate postal department? With regard to technology now the different signals establishments, how their functioning is to be carried on…” Jaitley said.
The Union Government had set up the committee under the chairmanship of Lt. Gen. Shekatkar (eetd) to recommend measures to enhance combat capability and rebalance defence expenditure of the armed forces on May 20, 2016 and it submitted its final report in December 2016.
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