Indian Navy officers to be appraised by juniors, peers | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Indian Navy officers to be appraised by juniors, peers

ByRahul Singh, New Delhi
Oct 08, 2023 05:30 AM IST

This new system aims to produce well-rounded middle level leaders and will be implemented immediately.

The Indian Navy on Saturday announced changes to its appraisal policy to include feedback from juniors and peers as a key parameter for rating the performance of officers before they can climb the career ladder.

Naval officers were thus far rated only by their superiors, the existing practice in the bigger army and air force (HT)
Naval officers were thus far rated only by their superiors, the existing practice in the bigger army and air force (HT)

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Naval officers were thus far rated only by their superiors, the existing practice in the bigger army and air force.

The switch from the decades-old model to the new system seeks to address limitations in the existing top-down approach and produce well-rounded middle level leaders, officials aware of the matter said. The policy will be applicable up to the rank of commodore, equivalent to a brigadier in the army, Hindustan Times has learnt.

Navy chief Admiral R Hari Kumar steered the overhaul named 360-Degree Appraisal Mechanism. The navy — the smallest among the three defence services — accounts for around 10,500 officers and more than 65,000 sailors.

The navy recognised that the current appraisal mechanism of periodic confidential reports by senior officers had an inherent limitation as it did not cater for or quantify a leader’s impact on subordinates, and adopting a new policy was necessary, the officials said.

“The 360-Degree Appraisal Mechanism is aimed to address this shortfall through detailed surveys involving suitably identified peers and subordinates for officers being considered for promotion,” navy spokesperson Commander Vivek Madhwal said. The new appraisal system will be implemented with immediate effect.

“How you are viewed by juniors is an important element of leadership at every level. The new system will help drive the navy’s mission of remaining a combat ready, credible, cohesive and future proof force,” said one of the officials requesting anonymity. The changes to the appraisal system to create the leaders of tomorrow will have far-reaching benefits for a service that is focussed on modernising its operational capabilities through indigenisation and checking China’s rising influence in the vast Indian Ocean region, said another official.

The navy elaborated on the new system in an official statement announcing its implementation. The annual confidential reports of officers will factor in their evaluation by juniors and peers in a broad range of areas. The assessees will not know how a certain set of juniors or peers have rated them as the navy wants the feedback to be as candid as possible, but the senior leadership will share the outcome with the officers to highlight areas of improvement for career advancement, the officials pointed out.

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The questionnaires for juniors and peers will seek to gather feedback on diverse issues including professional knowledge, leadership attributes, suitability in war and crisis, and the potential of officers for holding higher ranks, the statement said. “Inputs, thus obtained, will be suitably quantified for independent analyses by a nominated board of officers, headed by a flag officer. This will also be provided as feedback to the officers to bring about behavioural changes and improvements,” it said.

The navy added that an agile, adaptive, and advanced human resource management approach was imperative to advance the growth of its men and women who are its greatest asset and central to the service’s ‘ships first’ credo.

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