The three-day Army Commanders' Conference, which commenced on April 30, concluded today after successful deliberations on key operational and vital logistic issues related to management and administration of country's defence capabilities as also those relating to operational effectiveness.
Shortfall in strength of officer cadre, recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission, feasibility of granting permanent commission to women officers besides other administrative issues were discussed threadbare at the Conference.
Exclusive sessions were earmarked for intense deliberations on the aspects of shortfall in the authorised strength of the Army's officers' cadre and the recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission.
Both these issues have serious impact on morale and motivation of the armed forces as well as continued operational effectiveness.
Following the discussions, it emerged that the shortfall in the officers cadre was an outcome of reduced intake as well as growing trend of personnel seeking premature release.
Besides, offering an equitable financial compensation package which would surely boost intake, the participants suggested other in-house measures such as improving intake of short service commissioned officers, lucrative separation and continuation terms, infrastructure development in training academies to improve training capacities and an awareness campaign for the target population.
The suggestions to improve upon the recommendations of the Pay Commission primarily focused on increasing military service pay of the Personnel Below Officers Ranks (PBOR), extending its benefit to the higher ranks, and its arrears being paid retrospectively with effect from January 1, 2006.
Correcting aberrations in Grade Pays in middle officers ranks and restoring their status and parity with other government services besides making benefits available to all ranks in service irrespective of restraint of dates of their commission, joining or promotions were the other proposals that came at the Conference.
Views from senior Army leadership were obtained on these issues while Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor took note of the concerns of all ranks as highlighted by top commanders and expressed satisfaction with the proposals formulated.
The government too was aware of key concerns of the Army, he said, adding he expected early approval of the measures, which had emerged during the course of deliberations.
Besides detailed appraisal of the operational and security situation in each theatre, other issues which drew attention of the senior commanders included upgrading and synergising the training curricula and methodology of the PBOR, measures to expedite defence procurements through refining of the DPP-06 and feasibility of granting permanent commission to women officers.
Gen Kapoor commended the progress made in various projects related to developing and consolidating network-centric capabilities and stressed the need for further augmenting the cyber security mechanisms in the country.
The suggestions and proposals, which emerged during the deliberations, would soon be formalised by the branches and directorates concerned and processed with the Defence Ministry for government approvals, prior to their implementation.
UNI AG PDT RN1916