In major decisions concerning re-organisation of Army headquarters, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has approved a separate vigilance cell under Chief of Army Staff (COAS), an umbrella organisation under Vice Chief of Army Staff (VCOAS) for enhanced focus on human rights issues and relocation of 206 officers from the Army Headquarters to field formations.
A Defence Ministry release said on Wednesday that the minister gave the approval to the proposals after a detailed internal study conducted by the Army Headquarters.
The separate Vigilance Cell under COAS will have tri-services representation. At present, the vigilance function for COAS is through multiple agencies and there is no single point interface.
"An independent vigilance cell will be made functional under COAS. Accordingly, ADG (Vigilance) will be placed directly under the COAS for this purpose," the release said.
The cell will have three Colonel-level officers (one each from Indian Army, Indian Air Force, and Indian Navy) and it will be done within the existing posts at the Army Headquarters. The special Human Rights Section will be headed by ADG (Major General rank officer) directly under the VCOAS.
"To give high priority to the observance of human rights convention and values, it has been decided to set up a special Human Rights Section headed by ADG (Major General rank officer) directly under the VCOAS," the release said.
The section will be the nodal point to examine any human rights violation reports.
"To enhance transparency and ensure the best of investigative expertise is available to the section, a Police officer of SSP/SP rank will be taken on deputation," the release said.
The ministry decided that a total of 206 officers will be optimised from the Army Headquarters and these officers will be made available additionally to formations and units of Army in the field.
The 206 officers include three Major Generals, eight Brigadiers, nine Colonels, and 186 Lt Colonels and Majors. The government, in consultation with the Indian Army, has been taking measures to reform the force.
The first phase of the reforms involves redeployment and restructuring of approximately 57,000 posts of officers/Junior Commissioned Officers, other ranks and civilians.
The reforms include optimisation of Signals establishments, redeployment of Ordnance echelons, better utilisation of Supply and Transport echelons, closure of military farms and army postal establishments in peace locations, enhancing standards for recruitment of clerical staff and drivers in the Army and improving the efficiency of the National Cadet Corps.
The Defence Ministry had constituted an experts committee under the Chairmanship of Lt Gen (retd) D B Shekatkar to recommend measures for enhancing of combat capability and rebalancing defence Expenditure of armed forces with an aim to increase "teeth to tail ratio.
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