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Government approves first phase of Army reforms

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On 30th august ,2017, The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) approved implementation of the first phase of recommendations of Shekatkar Committee. This committee was formed to recommend measures to enhance combat capability and rebalancing Defence Expenditure of the Armed Forces with an aim to increase “teeth to tail ratio”, It had given 99 recommendations to the government on December 2016, out of which the Ministry of Defence has decided to implement 65 suggestions in phased manner.

1)   Redeployment and restructuring of approximately 57,000 posts of officers. It will be implemented in a gradual manner.

2) The government will do away 39 military farms and several Army postal departments in peace locations.

3) There will be optimisation of signal 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.

4)  Restructuring of repair echelons in the Army to include base workshops, advance base workshops and station workshops in the field Army.

5) Redeployment of ordnance echelons to include vehicle depots, ordnance depots and central ordnance depots apart from streamlining inventory control mechanisms.

6) Better utilisation of supply and transport echelons and animal transport units.

7) To enhance the quality of clerical staff and drivers engaged with the Army and improve the efficiency of National Cadet Corps. It will improve operational efficiency of the Army by pushing soldiers from non-operational duties to operational tasks.

The first phase of these reforms will be completed in all respects by December 31, 2019. Jaitley clarified that these reforms are part of an ongoing process and not related to the recently-concluded standoff with China at Doklam. The restructuring was to be led by Army Staffing and Establishment Committee (ASEC) at Army headquarters.