Defence Minister approves Army headquarters reforms, force to get new deputy chief

New Delhi: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has approved all the recommendations made by Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat for the reorganisation of the Army headquarters which would result in saving of 20 per cent officers posted in Delhi who would now be posted to field fighting formations along the borders.

The recommendations approved were made by the Army for turning itself into an agile, lethal and capability-based force to tackle the challenges of future warfare.

“After the approval, 229 officers would be optimised from Army headquarters and would be relocated to units and formations of the field armies… The Defence Ministry has approved all the recommendations made by the Army headquarters on February 27 after nearly nine months they were initiated by the ground force,” Defence Ministry officials said.

Interestingly, some of the recommendations and suggestions made for the reform have been hanging fire for more than four decades now but have been cleared now.

As per the new plans, the Army will get a third deputy chief who would be known as Deputy Chief (Strategy) and who will look after all the important directorates of military intelligence, information warfare and operations in the force.

Information Warfare will also get a major boost as a Lt Gen would monitor this aspect along with cyber warfare.

At present, there are two deputy chiefs in the Army. The first Deputy Chief is known as Deputy Chief (Planning and Systems) who looks after capital procurement in the force while the second one is known as Deputy Chief (Informations systems and Training), officials said.

As per the new plan which is the brainchild of Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat, the Army will get rid of the post of the Director General of Rashtriya Rifles who would now be shifted to Northern Command in Udhampur and will now be looked after a Maj General rather than a Lieutenant General.

In the other significant plans of the restructuring of Army Headquarters and reorganisation of the force, entire modernisation and revenue procurement of the Indian Army is going to be done by the Deputy Chief (Capability Development) who was earlier known as Deputy Chief Planning and Systems.

To look after the cases of corruption and ensure probity and transparency, a new officer of the Major General rank has been appointed under the Army Chief who would report directly to him while another post has been created for the Army who will look after human rights.

The Indian Army had ordered four separate studies as part of Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat’s plans on restructuring the force into a lean and mean fighting machine.

The Defence Ministry on its part had also ordered a separate study under Lt Gen DS Hooda for the same purpose.