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Army Chief for a revolution in bureaucratic affairs

Chief of Army Staff General Manoj Naravane. File   | Photo Credit: R.V. Moorthy

Army Chief Gen. Manoj Naravane on Tuesday said the procurement process had not kept pace with the requirements of time. Many procedural lacunae have crept into the acquisition process due to “overbearing nature of our rules and regulations leading a zero error syndrome”, he noted and stressed the need for a “revolution in bureaucratic affairs.”

“The needs of information era warfare cannot be hamstrung by the procedures of the industrial age. The need of the hour is to see a metamorphosis here too, perhaps even doing away with the L1 [lowest bidder] vendor altogether. For real transformation to take place, we require a revolution in bureaucratic affairs,” he stated at a webinar at the United Service Institution of India.

The Army had brought about major structural changes by aligning both the revenue and capital routes of procurement under the Deputy Chief of Army Staff (Capability Development and Sustenance), he remarked.

The Shimla-based Army Training Command had restructured the training curriculum of various courses. They were working towards domain specialisation in niche areas. “There is focus on providing cross-domain exposure and multi-skilling for optimal employment,” he pointed out.

Multi-domain competencies

Gen. Naravane highlighted need to concurrently develop the multi-domain competencies for effective integration. “One cannot hope to fight and win the next war with ‘legacy structures evolved from the past’. Our force structures must be agile, flexible, modular and networked. They should reflect the realities and challenges of the contemporary battlefield,” he observed.

The structures must support faster decision-making. The ongoing transformation of the Army into Integrated Battle Groups (IBG) not only configured the structure to its operational task but also shortened the reaction loop by removing a layer from the existing hierarchy of command and control, he remarked.

“What we have achieved thus far, is merely jointness for the industrial era; we need to transit rapidly to full-scale integration for digital era combat as also in the pursuit of greater interoperability. It is hard enough to be joint, the difficulties in interoperability will be many times greater,” he asserted.

The race for dual-use cutting edge technology the world over had led to an unprecedented civil-military fusion not seen in the past. “Military, technology entrepreneurs and traditional centres of excellence in science are coming together for the larger military good,” he added.


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Printable version | Sep 17, 2021 3:36:29 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/army-chief-for-a-revolution-in-bureaucratic-affairs/article35703867.ece

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