Move for parity in army ranks | Hindustan Times
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Move for parity in army ranks

The MoD gives the nod for implementing the second phase of the AV Singh Committee report to restructure the officers' cadre. Rahul Singh reports.

india Updated: May 23, 2008 03:08 IST
Rahul Singh

After being robbed of all hope by the Sixth Pay Commission, the Ministry of Defence has brought some sunshine for the armed forces. In a step aimed at doing away with stagnation at the middle rung of military hierarchy, the MoD has given the go-ahead for the implementation of the second phase of the A.V. Singh Committee report for restructuring the officers' cadre.

Details of the number of posts (colonel upwards) upgraded were hazy. The report's implementation had been held up for long as a result of the three services wrangling for more general-rank posts. The army had initially sought 20 new posts for lieutenant generals, 75 for major generals, 222 for brigadiers and 1,484 for colonels. The air force had demanded seven posts for air marshals, 32 for air vice marshals, 158 for commodores and 592 for group captains. The navy had sought seven new vice admirals, 16 rear admirals and 492 commodores and captains.

MoD sources hinted at a "sizeable gap" between the posts apportioned to the three services and their initial projections. "The ministry has approved creation of posts on the basis of a compromise reached by the armed forces to maintain parity in rank structure."

The report will be implemented after Cabinet approval.

The MoD's frugality in creating new general-rank posts, however, will not bother the report's author: former defence secretary Ajai Vikram Singh. In an exclusive interview to HT, Singh had earlier said he was not in favour of promoting more generals and admirals without functional requirements for these posts. The first phase of the report was implemented almost four years back when the MoD upgraded 750 posts of lieutenant colonels to colonels, besides slashing the qualifying years of service to become lieutenant colonel, major and captain for increasing career mobility.
The three services had taken a confrontationist stance to corner more of the 156 general-rank posts that the report had recommended.
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