On the recommendation of the Committee of Experts (CoE), headed by Lt General DB Shekatkar, Raksha Mantri (Minister of Defence) Rajnath Singh has approved the proposal of Engineer-in-Chief of Military Engineering Services (MES), Lt Gen Sanjeev Kumar Shrivastava, for abolition of 9,304 posts in MES out of the total 13,157 vacancies of the Basic and Industrial staff.
- The decision has been taken to increase combat capability and rebalance defence expenditure of Armed Forces and to make MES an effective organisation with a leaner workforce so that complex issues can be handled in an efficient and cost effective manner.
- The recommendations by the committee, if implemented over the next five years, can result in savings of up to Rs 25,000 crore in defence expenditure.
In 2016, the 11-member team formed by late Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had made nearly 99 recommendations. One of those was to restructure the civilian workforce in a manner that part of the work of the MES could be done by staff employed by the department and the rest could be outsourced.
- Rajnath Singh had undertaken a high-level review of the recommendations of the Shekatkar Committee on 20 April, 2020. The review was attended by Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen. Bipin Rawat, Navy chief Admiral Karambir Singh, Air Force head Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Bhadauria, Army chief Gen. M.M. Naravane and Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar.
- Of these, the first batch of 65 recommendations pertaining to the Army was approved in August 2017.
The MES, which is a part of the Indian Army, provides rear line engineering support to the Armed Forces. It is one of largest construction and maintenance agencies in India.