Cabinet approves 1,896 defence posts

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New Delhi, Oct 3 (UNI) The Government today approved 1,896 new posts in the three defence forces, from the rank of Colonel to Lt General, apparently to placate the Armed Forces up in arms against the ''discriminatory'' Pay Commission report.

''The Cabinet has decided to implement the Phase-II of the Ajay Vikram Singh Committee Report, which recommends upgradation of 1,896 posts in the Army, Navy and Air Force,'' Information and Broadcasting Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi told reporters.

The implementation of the Report will reduce stagnation and bring down age profile of commanding officers.

The upgradation will be carried out in the Army and the Air Force over a period of five years, and in the Navy over the next ten years.

The total number of posts to be upgraded will be 1051 in the Army, 342 in the Navy and 503 in the Air Force.

Of the 1051 posts in the Army, 20 are at the level of Lieutenant General and equivalent, 75 at Major General and equivalent, 222 at Brigadier and equivalent, and 734 at Colonel and equivalent.

The corresponding figures in the Navy will be 4 at Vice Admiral and equivalent, 14 at Rear Admiral and equivalent, and 324 at Commodore, Captain and equivalent.

In the Air Force upgradation will be effected for 6 posts at Air Marshal and equivalent, 21 at Air Vice Marshal and equivalent, 61 at Air Commodore and equivalent, 415 at Group Captain and equivalent.

The Cabinet also approved the proposal for the reduction in the regular cadre and corresponding increase in the support cadre consisting of Short Service Commissioned Officers and re-employed officers (for Army) as envisaged in the Ajay Vikram Singh Committee Report and as per requirement of the three Services irrespective of gender.

On July 16, 2001, the Defence Ministry had set up a Committee under the Chairmanship of Ajay Vikram Singh, then Special Secretary, with representatives of the three Services with an aim to achieve ''combat effectiveness'' by bringing down the age profile of battalion and brigade level commanders.

The Committee submitted its report in February 2003 and the Defence Minister accorded in-principle approval to the report in September 2003.

Phase-I of the Report in respect of non-select ranks-- i.e.

Lieutenant Colonel and equivalent and below-- was implemented in December 2004.

UNI YJ RP HS1655

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