Indian Army gets leaner: Govt shifts senior officers from headquarters to the ground

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First Published 7, Mar 2019, 8:00 PM IST
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Indian Army gets leaner Modi govt shifts senior officers from headquarters to ground
Highlights

The decision was taken by defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman in line with the government’s resolve to make the 1.3 million strong Army leaner and fit for a 21st century war.

New Delhi: At the peak of heightened tension between India and Pakistan, the defence ministry has given a go-ahead to the restructuring of the Army headquarters. After the restructuring, senior Army officials sitting at the headquarters in New Delhi will be deployed on the ground to lead the jawans in action.

The defence ministry's decision is based on a study on right-sizing and rebalancing of the Army and was not taken in haste. However, the approval came at the strategic time when all the three armed forces are on high alert against continued attack from Pakistan and terror outfits based in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

The decision was taken by defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman in line with the government’s resolve to make the 1.3 million strong Army leaner and fit for a 21st century war.

According to a senior officer, the move is going to affect around 230 lieutenant and colonel level officers, who will now be shifted to a field posting.

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“These officers will be shifted from the headquarters to field units, which are currently working with only 50% of senior officers. The move to induct more senior officers in combat is a great morale booster for the soldiers and will enhance operational capabilities,” said a senior Army functionary.

The officers who will be taken off duty at the headquarters will be sent to formations. At present, there are around 950 to 1,000 officers posted at the headquarters.  

The move aims at making the forces leaner and meaner, and it is being seen as something that will increase the combat capabilities of the forces and help them evolve into better fighting machines.

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A senior Army officer told MyNation that the dynamics of warfare is changing, and keeping that in mind, optimum manpower is being utilised where they are more needed.

According to the officials, the ministry of defence has reduced some 20% of the officer posts, merged two weapon and system procurement agencies, and created a new post of deputy chief, who will coordinate with the departments of military intelligence, operations and logistics.

The new deputy chief will oversee strategy and operations, intelligence collation, conduct of operations and movement of logistics. At present, the DG (military operations) and the DG (military intelligence) report to the Army chief or vice chief.

Also, the restructuring will merge the master general ordnance (MGO), who is currently under the vice chief, and the DG (weapons and equipment) under a single vertical with the deputy chief (planning and strategy), which will be renamed capability development.

The ministry of defence has also okayed the creation of a consolidated information warfare wing that will subsume two existing wings under the DG (military operations) and the DG (military intelligence). The DG (military training) will now be merged with the Shimla-based Army Training Command.

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