More officers in the armed forces will don stars on their collar tabs with the Ministry of Defence being asked to immediately furnish an action plan for implementing Phase-II of the AV Singh committee report.
Officers of the rank of Colonel and above will benefit.
Phase-I of the report was implemented in 2004 to lower the age profile of battalion commanders. However, the proposals for senior officers have been in limbo due to inter-service rivalries, financial implications and the government dragging its feet. Now, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence, in a report tabled in Parliament, has asked the MoD to do some serious thinking to ensure a younger age profile even at the senior level.
The AV Singh panel has recommended 220 additional vacancies in the rank of Brigadier, 75 for Major General and 20 for Lieutenant General. The navy and air force also want a slice of the pie.
“Getting around to implement Phase-II had become problematic as the three services were battling it out with each other for getting additional posts sanctioned. That has now been sorted out and we are inching towards implementation,” a senior official said on Monday.
Defence Minister AK Antony told HT that the ministry was working towards implementing Phase-II of the report.
The Phase-II of the report, if implemented in its entirety, provides for a voluntary severance scheme for senior officers to address issues such as “age bulge and cadre bulge.”
Brigadiers and above would also become eligible for lateral placement in para-military forces to create additional vacancies to accommodate junior officers.
Under phase-I, the MoD had upgraded 750 posts of Lieutenant Colonels to Colonels.