Govt announces 2 new army posts with focus on reforms
The government on Thursday announced the post of a Deputy Chief of the Army Staff, or DCOAS, (Strategy) with an aim to bring about structural reforms in the army, about two years after the plan was envisaged.
The government also announced another new post of Director General (Information Warfare) at the army headquarters, confirmed an official, who is from the security establishment and is aware of the developments.
This official, who requested anonymity, denied that the developments were connected with the situation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
Border tensions between India and China have reached new heights in the aftermath of a clash in eastern Ladakh’s Galwan Valley on June 15. The clash resulted in the deaths of 20 Indian soldiers, including a commanding officer, and an undisclosed number of Chinese soldiers.
The current Director General of Military Operations (DGMO), Lt Gen Paramjit Singh, is set to become the first DCOAS (Strategy), the official said.
He added that the need for this particular post had been highlighted in several surveys and studies done as part of the army’s restructuring efforts.
Officials said the post of DCOAS (Strategy) was created to deal with military operations, military intelligence, strategic planning and operational logistics.
The process for this began in 2018 and was finally cleared by the government on Thursday, the official said.
It was not immediately clear who the new Director General (Information Warfare) would be.
The move according to officials in the know, will have its advantages as it will reduce the burden of work of the Vice Chief of Army staff. “The Vice Chief already sees all of the Chief’s files...so, with this, one task will be reduced. The DCOAS will oversee the work of the Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) and that of the Director General Military Intelligence (DGMI),” said a second official.
At present, the DGMO and the DGMI report to the Vice Chief. In the new structure, they are expected to report to the DCOAS (Strategy).
Lt Gen (retired) Deependra Singh Hooda said the move will ensure that there is just one person (the DCOAS) in charge of military operations and intelligence. “So you get a comprehensive picture,” he said. “It’s a good idea as it will enable better operational planning.”
The creation of the Director General (Information Warfare) post is being seen as recognition of the emerging trends in warfare. “Earlier there was just an ADGPI (Additional Directorate General of Public Information) who looked at things with the lens of the media,” said Lt Gen Hooda. “Now, this new officer will work at how to deal with fake narratives and all kinds of current challenges that it poses.”
But there was criticism in some quarters as well. “When you don’t even have a formal security strategy, what is the point of the new post (DCOAS)?” said Lt Gen (retired) HS Panag. “There will be someone handling strategy in army, someone in navy and someone in air force. And they will all be rudderless.”