That important Army positions, which play a crucial role in operational preparedness, have been lying vacant is a matter of concern. Happening at a time when the country is faced with Chinese belligerence, along with the pandemic, points to the need for finding ways to strengthen the morale and effectiveness of the armed forces. The management of promotions and postings was handed over to the Department of Military Affairs from the Department of Defence in January this year and the transition might have been affected amid the hostilities, with action in the field taking precedence over routine procedures. The teething troubles need to be got over and the assimilation and integration expedited with the powers vested being exercised to tone up the forces.
It is after a gap of six weeks that the Ministry of Defence has approved the posting of a regular Director General of Military Intelligence, who coordinates human resources and technical inputs on enemy movement and action along the border. Important posts of the Director General of Infantry who advises on equipment, battle worthiness, training and modernisation along with the DG of Army Aviation, in charge of flying operations, have been waiting to be filled. Promotions and postings of officers in the ranks of Major Generals and Lieutenant Generals also have been cleared after months. For a frontline force, it is only natural that its men should get their due.
Some time back, the military had proposed raising the retirement age of jawans. ‘I am looking at manpower costs. Why should a jawan serve for 15-17 years when he can work for 30 years? We are losing trained manpower,’ CDS General Bipin Rawat, who is also the DMA Secretary, had said. There was also a proposal to cut the pension of those seeking premature retirement. The defence forces have been facing the task of modernisation amid a slender hike in budgetary allocation. The tension at the border, while straining resources, might as well offer an opportunity to transform the forces.