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Defence ministry withdraws controversial note on status equivalence

The ministry said the cadre restructuring of AFHQ CS as approved by the Union Cabinet shall be duly implemented

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Nirmala Sitharaman
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman| Photo: PTI

In a major decision, the on Friday announced the withdrawal of a controversial note it had issued over two years back on the status equivalence between and their civilian counterparts, which had triggered widespread anguish in the

"The Ministry of Defence letter dated October 18, 2016, on the issue of equivalence between officers and Headquarters Civil Services (CS) Officers is withdrawn," the said.

It said the letter has been withdrawn following a direction by Defence Minister

The ministry further said the cadre restructuring of CS as approved by the Union Cabinet shall be duly implemented.

"Designations to be created in consequence of the additional posts sanctioned by the Cabinet will be done in consultation with Service HQs," it said.

There has been growing resentment among the who have been insisting that the current status equivalence was flawed and that the government must address their concerns.

For example, according to current norms, director-level officers have been put on the same level with the directors of the Armed Forces Headquarters-cadre. The military officials have been insisting that Lt Colonel is equivalent to directors of cadre.

In the October 18, 2016, letter, the defence ministry, had made the rank equivalence between civilian officers and serving on the basis of their functional responsibilities.

Following the order, for example, a Principal Director in AFHQ was made equivalent to a Major General, a Director was made equivalent to a Brigadier and a Joint Director was made on par with a Colonel.

A Colonel earlier was equivalent to a Director.

The ministry said, "local designations" assigned to both service and civilian Officers in Service Headquarters/ Inter-Service Organisations (ISOs) is also withdrawn.

It also said that both Service and Civilian Officers will use their respective cadre designations only.

"So far as the Channel of reporting/rendition of Annual Performance Appraisal Report (APAR) is concerned, status quo ante is hereby restored, i.e., the position which existed prior to the issue of MoD letter dated 18 October 2016 shall prevail," the ministry said.

First Published: Fri, January 05 2018. 21:51 IST