Battling rising complaints relating to service matters from its personnel, the army has decided to reorient its human resource policy considering “rapid” societal changes. At a six-day annual commanders’ conference, the top brass of the army deliberated on a broad range of issues including grievances relating to salary, promotions and anguish among some jawans over the Sahayak system, and it was decided to address them while taking a more pragmatic approach.
The top commanders also carried out a detailed analysis of India’s internal and external security threats and decided to push for modernisation of the force. They also pitched for a tri-service doctrine to deal with major security challenges. The commanders’ conference is a very important platform for the army as decisions are taken at the congregation through a collegiate system comprising commanders and senior officers.
“During the deliberations, important issues having HR policy ramifications have been discussed. There is an impetus to evolve a more pragmatic HR plan. “The core values of the army though haven’t changed; rapid societal changes and discernible impact of socio- economic aspirations on the army have been a focus area of the conference,” the army said in a statement, giving gist of deliberations at the conference which concluded yesterday.
In the recent months, a number of videos had surfaced where some army jawans were seen voicing their anger over the Sahayak system. On promotion of its personnel, which is another sticky issue, the conference felt that the “highly pyramidal structure” in the army results in over 50 per cent of the workforce not being promoted despite being highly competent.
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“The conference deliberated measures to enhance transparency and inclusiveness leading to greater equability,” the army said.Army Chief General Bipin Rawat, during the deliberations, called for a more “participative” form of policy formulation to address HR issues and senior officials said branches of the army headquarters concerned have accordingly been directed to initiate wide-ranging interactions on it.
In his address at the valedictory session, General Rawat stressed the need to work in a collaborative manner for maintaining combat effectiveness of the army and sought greater focus on enhancing air defence and aviation capabilities. “It has been decided to give heft to the modernisation plan of the army,” the army statement said.
It said Gen Rawat expressed confidence at the way the army has been adapting itself to the “dynamic” internal and external operational environment while stressing the need for sustained and holistic modernisation of the force. India’s security challenges including the situation in Jammu and Kashmir were discussed at length at the conference.
“He added that there is a need for sustained and holistic modernisation of the army wherein combat and manoeuvre arms, air defence and aviation are on high priority,” the army said. It said a comprehensive plan to speed up land acquisition for infrastructure development has been decided to be addressed through state governments.
The conference was also addressed by Chief of Air Staff B S Dhanoa and Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba and they laid emphasis on evolving a joint operational philosophy to deal with various security challenges. “During the deliberation a session was dedicated to discussion with the Ministry of Defence to evolve a more wholesome action plan on administrative and modernisation issues,” the Army said.
It said the proposals to make Short Service Officers entry scheme more popular, streamlining the intake pattern, employment of women officers and grant of Honorary ranks to Junior Commissioned Officers and Non Commissioned Officers have been deliberated with positive roadmaps.