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Army set to create new positions as part of overhaul

Four expert studies being carried out to rightsize force

The Army’s biggest reform exercise since independence to rightsize the force and reduce mounting revenue expenditure is likely to see creation of new positions of a third Deputy Chief of Army Staff and a Director General of Strategic Communications, among other measures.

“The Directorate of Strategic Communications, in addition to the existing Directorates of Military Operations and Military Intelligence, are likely to be moved under a new Deputy Chief of Army Staff,” a defence source said.

The Army currently has two Deputy Chiefs, one for information systems and training and another for planning and systems.

Phased manner

The force is undertaking four studies for its overhaul. At the Army Commanders’ Conference earlier this month, it was decided that the “studies would be implemented progressively in a phased manner.”

The four studies are for restructuring of Army Headquarters (HQ), restructuring which includes cutting down the strength, cadre review of officers and review of terms and conditions of Junior Commissioned Officers (JCOs) and Other Ranks (OR).

“The focus of the studies is holistic integration to enhance the operational and functional efficiency, optimise budget expenditure, facilitate force modernisation and address aspirations,” the Army had said earlier.

Apart from the new vacancies, other big changes in the offing include having Integrated Battle Groups (IBGs); shifting the Director General Military Training in the Army HQ to the Army’s Training Command at Shimla; reorganising several overlapping divisions at the Army HQ and rightsizing the force over the next 6-8 years.

In the next step, all the points made at the Commanders conference will be integrated into the study.

“Then they will be sent for feedback, which will be incorporated and the plan finalised,” the source stated and added that for the IBGs, once the feedback is received, one formation will be identified and the new concepts tested for validation before finalising.

While finalising the reorganisation of the Army HQ is likely to take 2-3 months, the concept of Integrated Battle Groups is expected to be finalised in 6-8 months.

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Printable version | Apr 8, 2020 11:46:48 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/army-set-to-create-new-positions-as-part-of-overhaul/article25326814.ece

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