Binoo Joshi

JK News Today Special

The Indian army has decided to launch new initiatives to add more officers in units and address officers’ shortage , which had been a problem faced by the force for long . A decision by the Army Commanders Conference held in New Delhi last week. Has sought to modify the procedures.

This , according to the defence analysts, would help army to attract more and more talented youth toward army and serve in the force . This has become imperative as the shortage of officers had been hurting the army at various levels , and causing gaps in the leadership in the units and elsewhere in the field . It is also important because of the prevailing and emerging security situation in the country and on its borders- particularly in the context of Chinese imposed standoff in eastern Ladakh, now more than three-year-old, and continuing threats from across the LoC and border with Pakistan occupied Kashmir and Pakistan . The geopolitical analysis of the security situation is fast changing as the things are moving at a rapid pace . So to maintain the effectiveness of the army in the changed circumstances and new challenges needed a reflection of the difficulties and remedial measures in real-time basis . The challenges of future can be ignored to own peril .

The official statement on the Army Commanders Conference said : “Training Initiatives to optimize on infrastructure , time and resources to maintain an effective and lethal fighting force were deliberated upon ( at the conference) . In the TES entry scheme for entry of officers, it was decided to transit from the existing 1+3+1 years Technical Entry Scheme (TES) model for to 3 + 1 TES model from Jan 2024 onwards. This change will also accrue benefits of the availability of more number of officers in the units and address officers’ shortages. Simulator training is also planned to be given a significant push through procurement of 435 simulators at an estimated cost of 791 crores this year.”

It acknowledges the challenges and suggests the ways how to overcome these challenges . More important is that how these decisions are percolated to all ranks and how these are implemented in the fixed timeframe .

The statement also detailed that how the “ latest edition of the conference which was organised for the first time in a hybrid mode from 17-21 April 23 saw deliberations over wide-ranging Strategic, Training, Human Resource Development, and Administrative aspects and took key decisions in shaping the Army for the future.

The Army Commanders and other senior functionaries took stock of the current / emerging security scenarios and reviewed the operational preparedness and readiness of the Indian Army.

“The forum reviewed the pan-India, quantified progress on the ongoing transformational initiatives in the key domains of Force Structuring & Optimisation, Modernisation & Technology Infusion, Processes & Functions, Human Resources Management, and Jointness and Integration as part of “Year of Transformation” announced in January 2023.”

Progress on efficient implementation of the Agnipath Scheme was deliberated upon in detail.

The Apex leadership also identified specific areas and actionable points for promoting jointness and integration with other Services and government agencies.

A number of welfare measures and initiatives were decided to be implemented for troops as well as veterans during the conference.

Key decisions

· With rapid migration towards net centricity, which entails an increased reliance on modern communication systems, the forum reviewed the requirement to safeguard the networks and decided to operationalise Command Cyber Operations and Support Wings (CCOSW) in the immediate future.

· In order to augment the capabilities of the forces by absorption of Niche Technologies and equipment, it was decided to nominate Lead Directorates and ‘Test Bed’ Formations to evolve optimal employment philosophies and scaling to facilitate better exploitation Pan Army.

· The work for construction of Thal Sena Bhawan at Delhi Cantt which commenced in Mar 2023, was highlighted. The work once completed in 2025 will not only address the shortage of office spaces but enhance the operational and functional efficiency of the Army HQ by bringing all the directorates under one roof. The state of the art building will incorporate a robust, technologically advanced architecture and will be smart, green and future-ready project.

· In order to harness the indomitable spirit and never say die attitude of the soldiers who are Battle and Physical Casualties, it was decided to identify and train selected motivated soldiers for Paralympic Events by training them at Army Sports and Mission Olympic Nodes in nine sporting events.

· The welfare of soldiers is an abiding responsibility of the leadership and the organisation. In a significant step towards welfare of specially abled children of those soldiers who die in harness, it was decided to double the sustenance allowance to such children through AGIF.