New Delhi: With the tension continuing along the Sino-Indian border on the Line of Actual Control, top Army commanders will extensively deliberate over four days, on the border row with China in eastern Ladakh as well as on a slew of long-pending reform measures like cutting down on ceremonial practices and non-military activities to ensure a rational distribution of resources, at a conference beginning October 26, official sources said.
Besides reviewing the security challenges facing the nation, they will also undertake the exercise of finalising various reform measures recommended by separate internal committees in utilisation of resources while at the same time focusing on enhancing operational capability of the 1.3-million strong force, they said.
The conference will be chaired by Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen MM Naravane and all top commanders will attend it, the sources said.
Some of the proposals to be on the table at the conference include discontinuing or at least bringing down the scale of the Army Day and Territorial Army Day parades, cutting down on various ceremonial practices and reducing the number of officers’ mess within individual peace stations, the sources said.
Similarly, the top Army brass will also examine a proposal to bring down the number of guards at official residences of senior officials and another one on reducing the number of CSD canteens if several such facilities are operating within one station, they said.
Another proposal on the table for discussion would be to ask various units to cut costs on celebrating Raising Day and Battle Honour Day.
“These proposals have been part of overall reform initiatives in the Army. The proposals are based on several internal studies conducted by separate panels in the last few years to suggest reform in the force,” said an official.
“The key idea behind the proposals is to ensure efficient use of scarce resources. The exercise is aimed at ensuring rational distribution of resources,” he said.
A number of other proposals will also be discussed at the commanders’ conference under the transformative reforms being implemented to make the force leaner and meaner as well as to enhance its combat capabilities.
Last year, the government approved the first batch of reforms in the Army which include relocation of 229 officers from the Army headquarters, creation of a new post of deputy chief for military operations and strategic planning.
The defence ministry has already approved creation of a new information warfare wing in keeping the needs of the future battlefield, hybrid warfare and social media reality.
The Army headquarters had instituted four studies with an aim to boost the operational and functional efficiency of the force, optimise budget expenditure and to facilitate the modernisation process.
The first study on ‘re-organisation and right-sizing of the Indian Army’ was focused on the operational structures to make the force efficient and future-ready by taking into account the operational situation on western and northern borders.
The commanders will also extensively deliberate on the situation in eastern Ladakh, where the armies of India and China have been locked in a military standoff for over five months.
Both sides have held multiple rounds of talks to resolve the row. However, no breakthrough has been achieved so far.
The commanders are also expected to review the overall security scenario in Jammu and Kashmir.