New Delhi, Apr 28 : Defence Minister AK Antony on Monday called upon the top brass of the Indian Army to "ensure equity, fair play and transparency at all levels."
Antony said that this was the need of hour to ensure that that the faith of officers and personnel below officer ranks (PBORs) in the system is upheld and the youth is motivated to join the Armed Forces.
Addressing the Army Commanders' Conference here, Antony expressed hope that a fair solution to various anomalies relating to the services in the Sixth Pay Commission will be achieved soon.
"The Sixth Pay Commission has submitted its report. The services have pointed out various anomalies, which are being taken up at the appropriate level. I hope a fair solution will be arrived at, at the earliest," he said.
"Our Government is keen to improve other service conditions like married accommodation project and enhancing opportunities for providing the best education for children of armed forces personnel," he added.
Noting that the number of cases of suicide and fratricide has come down considerably, the Defence Minister said that efforts to reduce avoidable loss of lives have to be persisted with.
"I would urge all of you to pay your undivided attention to better and more humane man management. Commanders and officers must respect the dignity of the soldiers and redress their grievances on priority. You must also provide opportunities for increased qualitative and quantitative interactions with officers and soldiers," said Antony.
Antony called upon the Commanders to collectively ensure that personnel issues are addressed urgently and without any favour or rancour.
"You have to be extremely careful and prudent on the issue of inter se gradings, which results in delays in promotion. This process needs to be streamlined. The model for quantification of various parameters for promotion of officers needs to be expedited," he added.
Antony also called for urgent remedial measures to "reduce the increase in the number of statutory complaints."
Talking about the importance of women in the armed forces, Antony said: "I have given an assurance in the Rajya Sabha that the Ministry will look into the aspect of grant of permanent commission to women in the non-combatant stream, to begin with. It is a commitment that we all must honour and endeavour to achieve this objective on priority."
Reiterating that the modernization of the armed forces is the UPA Government's top priority, Antony said, "We remain firmly committed, at the same time, to the process of indigenization."
"All stake holders must work in tandem to enhance our overall defence preparedness," he added.