Army Commander Conference came to an end on April 22 with the closing remarks of General Bipin Rawat. The Biannual Army Commanders’ Conference had commenced on 17 April 2017. During his closing address the Chief of Army Staff impressed upon the need to work in a collaborative manner for maintaining combat effectiveness of the Army. He expressed his confidence at the way the Army has been adapting itself to the dynamic internal and external operational environment. He added that there is a need for sustained and holistic modernisation of the Army wherein combat and manoeuvre arms, Air Defence and Aviation are on high priority.
It has been decided to give heft to the modernization plan of the Army. A comprehensive plan to speed up land acquisition for infrastructure development has been decided to be addressed through the State Governments. The Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshall B.S. Dhanoa and Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba had also addressed the Conference emphasising on evolving a joint operational philosophy. During the deliberation a session was dedicated to discussion with Ministry of Defence to evolve a more wholesome action plan on administrative and modernization issues.
During the deliberations, important issues having HR policy ramifications have been discussed. There is an impetus to evolve a more pragmatic HR plan. The core values of Army though haven’t changed; rapid societal changes and discernible impact of socio-economic aspirations on Army have been a focus area of the just concluded Conference. The Army unlike most Government departments has a highly pyramidal structure, which results in over 50 percent personnel not being promoted despite being highly competent thus necessitating optimum utilisation of this pool of competent personnel. The Conference deliberated on measures to enhance transparency and inclusiveness leading to greater equability. The proposals to make Short Service Officers entry scheme more popular, streamlining the intake pattern, employment of Women Officers and grant of Honorary ranks to Junior Commissioned Officers and Non Commissioned Officers have been deliberated on with positive roadmaps.
The Chief during the course of the deliberation highlighted the need for a more participative form of policy formulation. Concerned branches of the Army HQ have accordingly been directed to interact with wide cross-section of offices, branches, and personnel. Army Commanders’ Conference is an important event in the planning and execution process of Indian Army. To ensure due diligence, decisions are taken through collegiate system comprising Army Commanders and Senior Officers.