Centre Approves Structural Reforms for Army Overhaul

Posted: September 1, 2017 in Semco Group
IN REVAMP MODE Move to also rebalance defence expenditure; this will be the first such exercise since Independence and will involve restructuring British era systems
The Centre has approved major reforms for the Indian Army aimed at enhancing combat capabilities and rebalancing defence expenditure. This will be the first such exercise since Independence and will involve restructuring British era systems. Posts of 57,000 officers, soldiers and civilians will be restructured and the Army would have state of art regimen and better logistic support units after the overhaul.There will be major changes to optimise signal establishments that handle the Army’s communication networks, restructuring repair echelons, redeploying ordnance echelons, better utilisation of transport echelons and closure of military farms and Army postal establishments in peace locations.

“These reforms will be completed by December 31, 2019. Restructuring by the Indian Army is aimed at enhancing combat capability in a manner that the officersJCOsORs will be used for improving operational preparedness and civilians will be redeployed in different wings of the Armed Forces for improving efficiency ,“ a defence ministry statement said. The savings can be utilised for overcoming deficiencies in combat arms, especially for officer cadre.For example, additional vacancies for commissioning officers in combat units like infantry , artillery, armour and mechanised infantry will be allotted to overcome these deficiencies. This way the `teeth to tail’ ratio (combat units to administrative + logistics ratio) would improve.

“The concept of warfare and logistics has changed over time, with modern mechanised forces and induction of new equipment in the Army. So this major reform was required,“ said a defence analyst. Due to this change in concept, there will be several redundant logistic units.

For instance, the signal regiments have undergone change due to change in electronic warfare. The development is similar for air support and logistics elements.

Moreover, the Army does not need elements such as military farms anymore, a British era concept that supplied fresh milk to Army units, due to the availability of packaged milk now. Similarly, the Army postal service is not required in peace stations as most official communications are sent by email over the Army Wireless Area Network. With the reforms, redundant ele ments will be remo ved and state of art regimen, such as for signals, can co me up. And techno logy will reduce the requirement of manpower.


The defence mini stry had constitu ted a committee un der Lt Gen DB She katkar to recom mend measures for enhancing combat capability and rebalancing defence expenditure of the armed forces. The aim was to increase teeth to tail ratio and have a judicious balance. The committee had submitted its report last December.Ninety-nine recommendations were sent to the armed forces for implementing the plan. Defence minister Arun Jaitley has approved 65 of the recommendations for implementation now.


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