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Government approves Shekatkar Committee recommendations to reform military

The Union Defence Ministry has approved most of the proposals of a committee of experts, headed by Lt. Gen. D.B. Shekatkar (Retd) to bring host of reforms in the military and improve financial management.

Around 90 recommendations have been of the committee were approved. Most of these recommendations are measures to increase coordination among the three Services and cut down flab in Army to make it lean and agile.

Some recommendations of Committee
  • Capital expenditure: Roll-on defence budget must have enough capital expenditure available for modernisation.
  • It must be against the present practice of surrendering unspent capital budget at the end of each financial year.
  • Performance audit: It must be conducted of non-combat organisations under the Defence Ministry.
  • It must include those dealing with defence estates and accounts, Director- General of Quality Assurance, Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and National Cadet Corps (NCC).
  • Downsizing or rationalisation of manpower: It will lead to significant savings.
  • Joint services war college: It must be established for training middle-level officers.
  • Reduce deployment of active-duty soldiers in avoidable postings: They will be replaced by retired officers and jawans in the running of NCC.
  • Comprehensive reforms in the running of NCC: Transfer of NCC out of the Defence Ministry to the HRD Ministry: NCC can be run by re-employed or on-contract ex-service personnel.

Implications

If recommendations of committee are implemented over the next five years, government can save up to Rs. 25,000 crore from the current defence expenditure.

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