First phase of Army reforms cleared

In a first, the government on 29 August 2017 approved reforms within the Indian Army to enhance combat capability of the forces thereby rebalancing defence expenditure in a phased manner by December 2019 based on the recommendations of the Lt Gen Shekatkar Committee. The first phase of the reforms involves redeployment and restructuring of approximately 57,000 posts of officers. The measures will be implemented in a gradual manner.

“Restructuring by the Indian Army is aimed at enhancing combat capability in a manner that the officers will be used for improving operational preparedness and civilians will be redeployed in different wings of the armed forces for improving efficiency,” stated a press release issued after the Cabinet meet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Shekatkar Committee had given 99 recommendations to the government in its report on December 2016, out of which the Ministry of Defence decided to implement 65, stated a release by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS).

Under this, the government will do away 39 military farms and several Army postal departments in peace locations. There will be 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.

Apart from this, in the first phase, the government will also undertake restructuring of repair echelons in the Army to include base workshops, advance base workshops and station workshops in the field Army. There will also be redeployment of ordnance echelons to include vehicle depots, ordnance depots and central ordnance depots apart from streamlining inventory control mechanisms.

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