Rajnath announces independent Vigilance Cell
JAMMU, Aug 21: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today announced number of measures for re-organization of the Army Headquarters including relocation of 206 Army officers from the Headquarters to Formations/Units of the Field Army, which will boost strength of the troops at ground level.
In another significant decision, the Defence Minister also announced constitution of separate Vigilance Cell under Chief of Arms Staff which will have Tri-Services representation including Indian Army, Indian Air Force and Indian Navy, an official statement issued by the Ministry of Defence today said.
“As many as 206 Army officers from Army Headquarters will be relocated to Formations/Units of the Field Army. The officers will be optimized from the Army Headquarters and made available additionally to Formations/Units of the Field Army,” the statement said.
The officers being relocated for Formations/Units of Field Army included three Major Generals, eight Brigadiers, nine Colonels and 186 Lt Colonels/Majors.
“The Formations/Field Units of the Army will be further strengthened with the relocation of Army officers,” sources pointed out.
The Defence Ministry statement said a separate Vigilance Cell will be set up under the Chief of Army Staff with Tri-Services representations. Presently the Vigilance function for the Chief of Army Staff is through multiple agencies and there is no single point vigilance.
“Accordingly, ADG (Vigilance) will be placed directly under the Chief of Army Staff for the purpose of Vigilance Cell. It will have three Colonel-level officers (one each from Indian Army, Indian Air Force and Indian Navy). This will be done within the existing posts at Army Headquarters,” the official statement said.
The Defence Ministry has also given significant importance to the issues pertaining to human rights. It has decided to set up an umbrella organization under Vice Chief of Army Staff for enhanced focus on human rights issues.
“To give high priority to observance of human rights convention and values, it has been decided to set up a special Human Rights Section headed by the ADG, an officer in the rank of Major General, directly under the Vice Chief of Army staff,” the Defence Ministry statement said, adding it will be the nodal point to examine any Human Rights violation reports.
It added that to enhance transparency and ensure the best of investigative expertise is available to the Human Rights Section, a police officer in the rank of SSP/SP will be taken on deputation.
The statement said the new proposals have been approved by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh based on a detailed internal study conducted by the Army Headquarters.
There are several other measures that are in the works, according to sources.
They said the four studies ordered by Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat included restructuring of the Army Headquarters, force restructuring which includes creation of Integrated Battle Groups, cadre review of officers and review of terms and conditions of the Junior Commissioned Officers and Other Ranks.
The aim, according to sources, was holistic integration to enhance the operational and functional efficiency, optimize budget expenditure, facilitate force modernization and address aspirations.
Last year, the Army, based on 12 independent studies, had finalised a reform roadmap to make the 1.3 million-strong force leaner and meaner as well as to enhance its combat capabilities.
“The decisions would go a long way to further strengthen the Army at Formations/Field level,” sources pointed out.
There were certain more proposals mooted by the Army Headquarters based on the studies.
One of the proposals was that the post of Director General of Rashtriya Rifles should be shifted to Northern Command in Udhampur from New Delhi and looked after by a Major General rather than the Lieutenant General. The Rashtriya Rifles has been deployed in large numbers in Jammu and Kashmir for the anti-militancy operations and shifting of the post of its Director General from New Delhi to Udhampur Headquarters of the Northern Command would help the force.
Yet another significant decision proposed by the Army pertained to creation of new post of Deputy Chief, which will be third as the Army presently has two posts of the Deputy Chiefs.
The third Deputy Chief, according to sources, was supposed to look after important Directorates of Operations and Information Warfare, all of which will be helpful in the anti-militancy operations as well as strengthening positions of the troops along borders with Pakistan.