Army Reforms in India - Seeker's Thoughts

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Army Reforms in India

 Historical Background of Military Reform in India
The accession of Lord Dalhousie inaugurated a new chapter in the history of British India. He functioned as the governor-general of India from 1848-1856.
He introduced several reforms which paved the way for the modernization of India earned the title, “Maker of the Modern India”. 
He believed that, “the promotion of civilization meant the promotion of western reforms". He introduced Administration and Military reform to the modern British India.

Why does India need military reform- at present?
As India strives to become a global player, it needs modern military capable of projecting the power far beyond its shores. To enhance India’s combat capacity in a modern warfare, India needs more weapons as each of tri services in India facing critical deficiency in terms of arms and weapons despite of being one among the largest importer of ammunition in the world. 
Increased participation of Indian military in disaster management also needs military aircrafts etc. Cross border terrorism has been a major challenge in the last decade which needs special attention in terms of equipment for monitoring the borders.

Major Issues
India does not have a combined tri-service structure that is trained to handle the war and joint theatre commands for effective battlefield management. Currently, the Army’s eastern command is headquartered in Kolkata, the air force’s command in Shilong and that of the navy in distant Vishakhapatnam. These commands do not have common command centre, which again increases problems.

Solutions - Ministry of Defense constituted an expert committee under chairmanship DB Shekatkar to recommend measure to enhance combat capability and rebalance defense expenditure of the armed forces. The report was taken up by the ministry of defense to frame key action points and roadmap for implementation.  

DB Shekatkar Committee Recommendations: - Some of the key recommendations are given below-
1.  Optimizing of signals establishments to include Radio Monitoring Companies, Corps air Support Signal Regiments, Air Formation signal Regiments, Composite Signal Regiments and merger of Corps Operating and Engineering Signal Regiments.

2. Restructuring of repair echelons in the Army to include Base Workshops, Advance Base Workshop and Static / Station Workshops in the field Army.

    3. Redeployment of Ordnance echelons to include Vehicle Depots, Ordnance Depots and central Ordnance Depots apart from streaming inventory control mechanisms.

      4. Better utilization of Supply and Transportation echelons and Animals Transport units.

5. Closure of Military Farms and Army Postal Establishments in peace locations.

6. Enhancement in standards for recruitment of clerical staff and drivers in the Army.

7. Improving efficiency of the National Cadet Corps.

Conclusion
Government has adopted the major recommendation of Shekatkar committee. It includes in the areas of long term plan, force capabilities, joint training, intelligence, capital acquisition, joint doctrines, etc.
Andaman & Nico bar command has been created to exercise command and control over tri- service. Coast guard assets also have been deployed in the adman & Nico bar islands. More than that there are still major reform that are needed. Government should take serious step to modernize army. Budgetary allocation for capital expenditure should be improved. Use of artificial intelligence to combat modern warfare is also under consideration in modern times.