In an effort to enhance the military’s combat potential and rebalancing the defence expenditure, a three member committee has been set up by the Ministry of Defence.
In an effort to enhance the military’s combat potential and rebalancing the defence expenditure, a three member committee has been set up by the Ministry of Defence. This is in line with the recommendation of the Lt Gen DB Shekatkar (retd) committee and its main task is to review the utilisation of the Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Services (AFHQ CS) cadre.
What are the Terms of Reference (ToR) of the Committee?
It is expected to conduct a study and identify appointments in Service HQs and Inter-Service Organisations (ISO) which could be falling within the domains of AFHQ CS officers. And which have been recognized in the report by the committee of experts due to their longer tenures and expertise.
The other ToR is to help identify the posts which are presently tenanted by the AFHQ CS officers, which technically require military expertise and need to be only manned by defence forces personnel.
The proposal to set up a three member committee has been approved by the defence minister Rajnath Singh and this will be headed by Lt Gen Shekatkar (retd). The other two members include R Chandrashekhar, a retired AFHQ cadre officer and AN Das from the MoD finance wing.
This three member committee is expected to interact with other branches, directorates of the service Headquarters and ISOs for their study. The report of the study carried out is expected to be submitted in November.
The purpose behind this to help saving an expenditure of almost Rs 25,000 crore over the next five years, as was suggested by the 11 member Shekatkar committee. This was appointed by then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar in 2016. And with a broad mandate it had, 216 recommendations were made by the committee which included important issues like the office of the CDS and the optimization of defence budget. It was also suggested
A lot of recommendations related to the Indian Army have been implemented in 2017 and several are in the pipeline.
This year in May, the defence minister had given his approval for abolishing around 9,304 posts. These included the basic and industrial staff in the Military Engineering Service (MES), and were done as per recommendation of the committee.