Don’t divide the army, Mr Parrikar - Broadsword by Ajai Shukla - Strategy. Economics. Defence.

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Monday 30 March 2015

Don’t divide the army, Mr Parrikar

How AVSC Phase I vacancies were distributed (fairly) in 2003; and how Phase II vacancies were distributed (unfairly) in 2009, based on "Command Exit Model"

By Ajai Shukla
Business Standard, 31st March 2015

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has badly flubbed his first major decision relating to the morale and cohesiveness of the Indian Army. After the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) --- the military’s departmental tribunal --- wisely struck down a discriminatory army promotion policy, Mr Parrikar’s ministry has appealed in the Supreme Court. Instead of welcoming the AFT’s righting of a bitterly-resented wrong, Mr Parrikar has backed the divisive notion that some branches of the army are superior to others; and these should be favoured with extraordinary promotion quotas and vacancies rather than going by merit alone.

In its landmark verdict on March 2, the AFT ruled that promotions to the pivotal rank of colonel (i.e. commanding officers of units) are unfairly biased in favour of two army branches: the infantry and artillery. The tribunal held that “discriminatory” army promotion guidelines of 2009 denied “equal opportunity of promotion to all officers of all corps of Indian Army”, and ordered the reconvening of all promotion boards to the rank of colonel held since 2008. In this review, vacancies would be equitably allocated to arms and services, based on “pro rata” calculation of their actual officer strength.

Since 2009, a disproportionate share of colonel vacancies has made it possible for 60 per cent of infantry and artillery lieutenant colonels to become colonels, while officers from other arms and services have a success rate as low as 26 per cent. Worse, this injustice gets extended to the higher ranks of brigadier and general, where the vacancies for each arm or service corresponds to the number of colonels it has.

Mr Parrikar’s worrying lack of judgment lies not just in his failure to see this injustice, but also in the divisive argument that his appeal is based on. Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told the Supreme Court that the infantry alone “faces the bullets”. Unashamedly scaremongering, he argued for faster infantry promotions because the Pakistan army has younger infantry commanders. Rohatgi forgets that India’s “older” commanders have won every war with Pakistan.

Mr Parrikar should remember his army fights as an integrated whole, not as gladiatorial infantrymen supported by lesser arms and services. Infantry units in counter-insurgency roles are officered to a major degree by young officers on deputation from other arms and services. The AFT judgment notes that their combat performance often surpasses that of infantry and artillery officers. In actual war, rapidly shifting frontlines and long-range, precision strike weaponry make the battlefield hazardous not just for infantry and artillery, but equally for engineering support, communications, repair and recovery of combat equipment and logistic support like supplying ammunition, fuel and supplies. There are few tasks more hazardous than those performed by combat engineers, which clear minefields under enemy fire. It was for this that Prem Bhagat --- an engineer, not an infantryman --- became the first Indian officer to win the legendary Victoria Cross. Every Indian soldier knows this, even if Mr Parrikar does not.

Yet how can the defence minister understand the danger of dividing officers along lines of promotion self-interest, when the army’s own generals apparently do not. The current dispute began when a dominant cabal of infantry and artillery army commanders and army chiefs from 2001 to 2009 cynically subverted the recommendations of two high-powered committees --- the Kargil Review Committee (KRC) and the Ajai Vikram Singh Committee (AVSC) --- which recommended ways of reducing the age profile of the Indian army.

In 1999, the KRC --- benefiting from the wisdom of K Subrahmanyam and George Verghese --- advocated lowering age across the army, not just for officers. Instead of recruiting soldiers for 17 years (the practice since 1976), after which they are entitled to a pension for life, the KRC recommended recruiting soldiers for just 7-10 years, after which they could be sidestepped into paramilitary forces or the police. This remains unimplemented due to Home Ministry opposition.

In 2001 the AVSC suggested ways of reducing the ages of officers at every rank and in every arm/service --- not just within the infantry and artillery. To quickly promote younger officers, the AVSC authorised additional army vacancies at senior ranks --- 1484 additional colonels; 222 more brigadiers; 75 new major generals and 20 additional lieutenant generals. This aimed at reducing the age of commanding officers (colonels) by five years to 36-37 years, of brigadiers by six years to 44-45 years, and major generals would command divisions when they were 51-52 years old, three years younger than before.

Simultaneously, the AVSC recommended a longer-term solution to the problem of a prohibitively steep promotion pyramid. This involved taking in more “short service commission” officers, who mostly retire after serving five years. For those five years, they provide the army the lieutenants and captains it needs, without staying on to compete for vacancies at senior ranks.

From 2001-2009, the AVSC’s short-term recommendations were perverted by four successive army chiefs --- two each from the infantry and artillery --- who distributed most of the newly authorised rank vacancies to their own arms through a policy called “Command Exit Model”, rammed through on January 21, 2009. This pretended that the AVSC aimed at reducing ages in the infantry and artillery, and presented a fallacious logic for allocating additional colonel vacancies to the two favoured arms. The infantry was effectively handed 110 colonel vacancies to command battalions of Rashtriya Rifles (RR) and Assam Rifles (AR), in addition to 350 infantry battalions. Although officers from every arm/service man AR and RR battalions, exclusionary conditions were framed to make it almost impossible for non-infantry officers to command these units. The infantry thus increased its colonel vacancies by 30 per cent (from 350 to 460).

To compound this advantage, it was decided that infantry colonels would command for just 2½ years. With 460 infantry colonels needed every 2½ years, that meant 184 colonel vacancies each year. In contrast, the engineers and signals were arbitrarily given command tenures of 4 years, and the logistics services of 5 years; reducing the number of colonels they needed each year.

With an artillery chief, General Deepak Kapoor, heading the army in 2009, the artillery was similarly favoured. Small “light batteries”, traditionally commanded by lieutenant colonels, were elevated to “light regiments” commanded by colonels. The artillery’s command tenure was shortened from 3½ to just 3 years.

Internal simmering within the army has boiled over after the AFT judgment. Initially just 5-6 officers went to the AFT, but now dozens are approaching the Supreme Court, adding their combined weight to the moral force of the AFT judgment. Mr Parrikar is cornered, after having briefly appeared enlightened earlier this year, when he promised the defence ministry would end its habit of fruitless appeals against adverse court verdicts. He seems likely to be rudely shocked when the Supreme Court rules on April 15.


  1. How can you blame the RM when in the article you have yourself pointed that there is a bias to certain branches within the Army. This is not the problem of the army alone this also exists in the IAF and Navy where rivalries between branches exist. With a large ego and a variety of 'mule headedness' being a part of service psyche which we must recognise, such things are bound to happen.

  2. # hypothetically the military nursing service, and the army postal service corps too could be given the benefit of equal opportunity of promotion now sought to be made open to all officers of all corps of indian army; the APS is already a corps, the correct designation, title being army postal service corps, and the MNS may not be denied appending the term 'corps' to their designation, title as military nursing service corps, with the 7th pay commission. the MNS have an enviable success rate in lobbying at the pay commissions.
    a freshly appointed nursing officer, working at the base hospital delhi draws higher emoluments than the nursing supervisor at the safdarjung hospital, and equal emoluments to the principal of the rajkumari amrit kaur school of nursing, delhi. this is because MNS nurses scale of entry, grade pay, is in the Group A, while in the central government hospitals nurses begin in the Group C. this has nothing to do with university qualifications, as the MNS includes mostly non B.Sc Nursing, holding diploma in nursing certificates, many granted by the military hospital schools of nursing.
    there is sociology behind this gross violation of equal pay for equal work, compounded given that the rashtrapati is the common employer of both civilian as well as military nurses. this is probably since the third, fourth pay commission a number of army officer's daughters have joined the MNS, and nurses have increasingly been marrying young army, air force, navy officers rather than the air force corporals that they usually married earlier when many of the nurses and air force corporals were from the state of kerala.
    as bumble famously said in dickens' oliver twist - then sir, the law is an ass.

    1. infantry officer has a degree of BA/BSc....from NDA and he earns way higher than his counterparts who are just clerks so we should reduce their pay...did the argument sound idiotic...well it is and so your comparison between MNS nurses and nurses outside....
      Secondly, a technical officer who btech+mtech earns at least three times less than his counterparts outside.......and you want a BA pass to get promoted and Btech+Mtech to be carved and thrown out of army....what logic is this??

      Thirdly, George 90% of Army officer wives are housewives doing nothing......MNS officers contribute more to this Army and the Nation any day as compared to any Army officers wife....I think any Army officer should feel honored to have them as their wives....I think i have replied to you condescending arguments sufficiently. And from your name i gather you are from kerela which provides maximum brave women to MNS. Have some respect..

  3. While the Engineers clear the mine fields, it is the Infantry who are called upon to walk through. The Armoured Corps refuses to attack through a minefield justifying - Tanks are a costly resource as if Infantry soldiers are canon fodder.

    When it comes to pay and allowances Infantry soldiers are least paid. Take a survey of gentlemen cadets opting for choice of arms and you will know the status of "Queen of Battle"!

    I think it is high time the TEETH is respected more than the TAIL.

  4. Sir I would be delighted if the following arguments could be conveyed to the Respondent's legal team.

    The purile defence by infantry that the extraordinary increase is neccessary to reduce the age at assumption of gallant infantry COs so that as leaders and commanders they can match their men in physical abilities. The 'tip of the sword' in the infantry is a platoon led by JCOs seconded by Havaldars - both in their late 30s / early-40s. Leadership under fire is a question of fitness - physical as well as mental - and not age. Moreover the CO does not lead an assault - those days are over. So whether in attack or in withdrawal, the CO's age-related physical abilities aren't crucial at all as are being made out to be. The Battalion HQ always follows the assaulting companies and not the other way around.

    See the tragic results of immature, poorly-developed leadership skills and command abilities of 'younger' COs in the infantry and other arms where an ever increasing No of recent incidents of collective insubordination and affray in infantry / artillery / armoured corps units were triggered by failures of younger COs to comprehend or respond to the situation with requisite maturity that comes from age.

    If indeed reduction of age of command of infantry COs was a consideration, this being a MS matter, was raised / steered / defended by the Manpower (Personnel) Directorate. Why?

    If indeed age reduction is a consideration for those who 'face bullets', what justification was there for the Artillery's disproportionate increase in promotional vacancies. They (the COs especially) are always and every time at the rear of the combat zone.

    Management of age profile of COs is by instituting shorter command tenures in battalions and resorting to residual part-command tenures till the optimal age profile of COs is achieved. Not by this blatant robbery. Today infantry COs are commanding their battalions for nearly three years in 75% cases. They obviously can't find enough half-Colonels to promote - that is a serious problem of quality and quantity. It's happened because of this blatant robbery of cadre vacancies.

    The net result of this cadre mismanagement is a huge churn and internal turmoil within the Army that is quietly sustaining a dilution of quality - professional as well as ethical - amongst Colonels. The infantry (and Artillery) can't find enough half-Colonels to promote so 'donkeys and asses' get promoted to sustain the enlarged 'quota' up the promotion chain. The other arms and services fight for the promotional scraps of a diminished quota and use every Machivelian ruse and trick to beat the odds of prejudiced promotional prospects and processes. Either way, the professional and ethical / moral quality of theArmy's officer cadre at the crucial command rank of Colonel (and thereafter) is being screwed up 'beyond local repair'.

    I know that the Supreme Court will be misled by the Appellants as well by its own ignorance and reluctance to see the truth of the matter. Instead they will toe the 'party line' and obey the laws of inertia.

  5. Moshe Dayan and Ariel Sharon became Major Generals at the age of 34 and 36 in the Israel Armed Forces. They were pretty good weren't they?

    1. The question remains are we... 'pretty as well as good'? That they rose to become a PM and Defence Minister settles the question , conversely our Lt Generals (including retired Army Commanders) stoop and wag their backsides hankering for appointment as Administrative Members of AFTs - a post normally assigned to be held by retired Major Generals. That answers it...

  6. It's not the RM but our own who have considered themselves superior to few others n implemented it. But then easier is to blame others than our own...

  7. Shukla,

    You have been at the forefront of the division. Why blame the poor RM for following military logic. Army must follow military logic rather than this sort of trade unionism you and your ilk have been promoting.

    Indian Army is the only Army in the word which makes the government spend for six years in School for the cadets, three years in princely NDA, one year in IMA then commissions that cadet in ASC, Ordinance, EME etc. after ten years heavy expenditure on the cadet, one of them is made to join a technical Arm / Service and government further burdened for bearing expenditure of his degree course for three years and further two years for his M Tech.

    By the time he attains a service of 15 years he starts demanding that he be made a colonel along with Infantry or Artillery officer of the same age and service! Tell me Colonel when and how did he serve the Army ?? Perhaps studying engineering to no ones benefit ??

    And you are crying horse for them. Nay! you are crying horse for someone else but resorting to trade unionism. Equal benefits for unequal work and responsibilities !! What kind of management mantra is that !!

    George Nina above has given a good example and ripped apart you equality theory.

    Your efforts are to remain an insider in spite of being a clear outsider by misusing your freedom of expression. That is all.

    1. Mr anonymous,Your military logic says that after spending a fortune on training officers in technical arms making them engineers and the postgraduates from should throw them away dissatisfied rather than ensuring they have long satisfying tenure to pay back to the ARMY....Well you are making it easy for them, like airforce officers where they learnt to fly at expense of the govt and left for much higher paying jobs outside. Even our technical officers would also do this thanks to you......

      Secondly, in these modern times where technology means the difference between winning and loosing war with swift info gathering, analysis and thus enabling better and faster decision making and cohesion between tri have the audacity to say that the expense by government in training officers technically is perhaps to no bodys benefit....I thinks you have no idea what you are talking about....
      Role of infantry is important but output of infantry in non war times is absolutely nothing while all other arms contribute ensuring better infra,logistics,comn,medicines for infantry and this in times to come thus enabling a well oiled war machinery. Apart from that they contribute officers and jawans to RR,AR and paramilitary requirements. ALL Arms including infantry are part of one body. If you want to dissatisfy any say heart for lung of luck to you.
      Thirdly, hear a story of two cadets joining is brilliant in physicals and academics while the scrapes through. Brilliant cadet chooses technical arm and the other guy joins infantry. Now the brilliant guy does well in his courses and after 15 yrs wait to be promoted while the other guy is moving in the CO's veh because his board is still pending.After two years due to less vacancies brilliant guy is written off. End result army looses a brilliant guy. ....Now you cannot argue that all brilliant guys go to infantry as it is always the least subscribed arm during declassification....Even if say it is equally chosen and we assume infantry vacancies are half the vacancies available( this is also exaggerated figure) still probability of any good guy choosing infantry is still 50% therefore the story told will happen in 50% of the cases.......therefore, with your military logic we would loose a lot of good, brilliant officers.......
      One request, pl don't call your military logic because it is is stupid logic.

      Lastly, if you feel George Ninan has a point....Pl read my reply to him....His argument is not only is shameful.

    2. Dear frnd
      1. It is not army which makes govt spend.. But its other way round. Its the govt which spend to get quality intake.
      2. Every arm & service requires its own qualifications. And only selected ones get to do degree/Mtech..therby achivig greater potential. There are many people in other arms & service who have greater combat exposur when compaired to normal infantary so why shudnt they have a common base.
      3. You said Why shuld there be eqal benifits for uneqal work & responsibilities...... Do you really know what r you talking....every one is eqal...& has same responsibilities & specialised work. Plz dont try to bring inferioriorism in our great army.
      4. And are you trying to support a theory which equates offrs from IMA/OTA with MNS/ Postal.(i know you like ninas sense of humor but still....common mate)

  8. In the Army cadres up to the rank of Brigadiers are Corps cadre and any one can do little about it.

    Selection for Major Generals of General Cadre is not proportionate to number of Brigadiers belonging to each Arms. Then why mislead the people and this mud corps slinging?

  9. I could not disagree more with Ajai Shukla. Non want to join the Combat Arms and if they do by default, most are looking to opt out at the first available opportunity. If Infantry is unpopular there is a well established reason and that has now been corrected. Ad for the numerical Matrix it would look less dramatic if the AV Singh Phase I & II upgrades were combined and looked afresh. As for the larger picture the process may have been hasty but the intentions cannot be faulted. The Tail was getting too Attractive and this perception had to be corrected and it has been done. If some lost out so be it!

  10. @Anonymous 14:07 - Exceptions are not the rule.

    Not every General in the Wehrmacht was Rommel. Not every Marshal in Russia was Makarov not every General in the US was Patton.

    Also Israel in the seventies and India in 2015-16 are quite different. Each have their own kinds of civil society and general environment.
    Which influences the military.

  11. @Nayan - "While the Engineers clear the mine fields, it is the Infantry who are called upon to walk through."

    That way engineers are first into the battle, take the highest risk of unseen enemies, clear IEDs in Urban battles and even take part in active battles along side Infantry and Armour.

    Since they take the most risk compared to any one else and are the basis of movement of military attack why are there promotions being decreased by 86%.

    We have not once had a chief from the Engineers, not once ? why is that ?

    They are more of fighters than the fighters themselves.

  12. An aggrieved party an aggrieved individual an aggrieved lover the jealous wife, can never be satisfied. Result is in front of everyone to see. Criticism is healthy but stretching it beyond reason is not warranted. A beleaguered Army , taking the bashing from all and sundry will one day wilt and become a Police Force controlled by the Politician then Mr Ajai Shukla ji and others aforementioned would be Happy.

  13. I wonder what Ajai Shukla would have written had he been an infanteer! Like they say, hindsight is 20-20 !!!!!

  14. Dear Sir,

    We have seen very cogent and factual reasoning in your post.
    Understandably, those who got the undue and unfair advantage DO NOT want others to get their fair share. 'justifications' for the vac-loot may be aplenty (even Pak 'justifies' its claim on Kashmir.

    Now that matter is sub judice. Let us wait patiently for some time before the matter gets finally settled (we know which way). Thereafter one set of people will have to finally shut their trap for good!

  15. What sick mentality to carry out mandalisation of army!If you are capable you are!If you are not you are not!You do not require any justification for the promotion!If infantry is the queen she requires a retinue to keep her so!Take away her retinue and she is naked as the day she was born!Who does not understand this is very very sick mentally and otherwise!Denying promotion on the basis of origin of officers is not only wrong but will also damage the army especially it's officer corps beyond all recovery!What a tragic turn of events for the army and its glorious traditions!

  16. 1st submission to the honorable decision makers - A simple logical cdata analysis would show the actual no. of bullets fired vs infantry personnel killed in 2nd WW,1965, 1971 and 1999 kargill ops ; remember in the same ops other arms also equally braved the vagaries of frontline
    @ 2nd point -- what about hardships and hazards of military service during peace time as wars are far and few between decades -(1948,1965,1971 19999 and to get a correct perspective let us keep CI and IS duties aside because in those duties , young captains , majors and lt cols go from all combat support arms as much or more than infantry and arty) ; in peacetime military service be it field or peace areas the daily challenges of technical support arms are as much tough or hazardous -
    can anyone imagine breaching through crazy network of vintage minefields, many having obsolete but still lethal mines (heck - we are not even trained for obsolete and phased out mines but they exist in huge quantities); has any one bothered about hazards of demolition charges, neutralizing and removing terrorist IEDs, explosives . Can we wonder the risks of landslides and exploding rock splinters that blasting through rocks to make tracks in snow clad mountains envisage, can you feel the frost bite of the road opening parties and open seat of a bulldozer at - 8 degree or operating a dozer in snow at 6 in the morning to open our mountainous routes and maintain the highest motorways? these are just a tip of the iceberg that peacetime operational works of the army involve, how about lugging up cement bags iron girders poles , stones and iron sheets etc up the same snow clad peaks? deelve deeper with our friends and contacts and we'll know all about ravages of leading and operating multiple flood releif columns each year, how about various bridges demolished , blown apart and relaid within 24 hours wether due to militants ,floods or CommonWealth corruptiion Games,and hazardous duties for various other earth quakes, tsunamis natural disaters etc which invariably tax the so called technical arms round the clock, much more that than infantry , arty brethren; btw does Arty ever face enemy bullets 16,000 mtrs behind the enemy lines , in their dugout and fortified gun posts ?

    @3rd and most pertinent -- Our so called master strategists and security advisers read, prophesies and circulate so frequently about the next generation of warfare - so which adversary IN A FUTURE STANDOFF would not like to attack destroy and hack away at our critical infrastructure, banking network, communications and railway network and economic exchanges at a much lesser incremental military cost to that adversary?? - how would we feel foregoing our weekly groceries for weeks and foregoing our monthly paychecks for months? Add to that the scenario of a threatened survival with no water, no electricity, roads rail bridges etc ,no telecom and internet due to destruction of our critical infrastructure. Hope we are not banking on our superior Infantry and Arty alone to save us from this warfare. Here we are not even imagining CBRN warfare i.e chemical biological radiation nuclear war which may be unleashed if the push comes to a shove for the radical elements of our western adversary .

    Last but not the least we can double check as to what happened in the year long Op Parakram in 2002 -03; Suitable parliamentary replies would show we lost close to 1000 soldiers without any war/ battle only in minefields and related tasks of Op Parakram - any body's guess how many bullets were fired or "braved" by our Infantry and Arty superiors in that year long standoff?
    with great respect for all our bretheren and greater respect for our Infantry and Arty superiors i appeal for a holistic and fair review of the main issue ; BECAUSE JAI HIND IS MUCH MORE IMPOTANT than a parochially divided army - Jai Hind

  17. Wasn't it Napoleon who said Army marches on its stomach.and Indian Army realized gravity and thus started promoting ASC officers ahead of Infantry by couple years as were Armoured Corps officers getting command ahead of Infantry by couple of years.No guessing, all AC officers were outstanding, 9 pointer universally.Resultantly,not only Army Commanders but all senior officers were predominantly from AC, be it mountain,insurgency or ditch cum bund defensive environment.Took some idiot Infantry commander to understand the game and correct the lopsided policy.I can understand writers concern for AC officers under grab of shadow boxing-dividing Army.Why feel shy of saying unwarranted gain for artillery officers and some injustice to AC officers.What about Mech Inf who were always treated as second class by their environment, well tears for them ;they willingly broke from mother.By the way when did IA fought mobile battle except in stage managed dry exercises.I do admire cleverness and dishonesty of the writer.

  18. Shukla , just to educate you a total of 41 Victoria Crosses were given to the Indians and their distribution is as
    Artillery - 01
    Engineers - 01
    Cavalry - 02
    Infantry - 37
    Shall I rest my case here or do you want to continue with Param Vir Chakra . Which I think all are aware.
    So if the bulk of the ground war is going to be fought by the Infantry then shouldn't they be suitably rewarded.
    This tirade of malice , I hope is not what you carry from your Armoured days a past rancour. Agreed there may be flaws in the system but then which man made system is perfect corrective measures can be taken but to condemn everyone and everything of the system of which you were a part doesn't behove you.

  19. It is ironic to see infantry and artillery officers considering themselves as special ones. Worldwide, ground forces are moving towards motorization and mechanization. Americans have heavy BCT, Stryker BCT and only few infantry BCTs. Chinese are equally mechanizing their ground force with speed. So one fails to understand why Armoured and mechanized officers are being discriminated in promotions in Indian Army.

    Is Indian Army planning to walk to Islamabad? Or will it make a human/infantry chain against China like it did in 1962?

    In future even air-mobile forces and Combat Aviation Brigades would get larger roles. So ideally all arms officers should get equal promotion opportunities. Support officers may get lesser portions and that would be justified but at least arms officers need parity.

    Why this parochialism?

  20. In your pages and elsewhere on internet I have often read that Mud Corps officers are superior because most of them were / are superblocks (or blokes if you wish) and pass out higher in merit. The same logic as given by IAS fraternity to other services for being higher in merit. This line of argument is very faulty given the environment and conditions of training as also assessment in IMA. This line of argument is further stretched by NDA entrants to justify their superiority over other entrants which remains fry cry on the ground. This kind of logic has now been abandoned by the Mud Corps and the want to base their agitation on the grounds of "equality of opportunity".

    However, there is no equality between Artillery, Infantry and Mechanised officers in terms of their responsibilities, environment, background, work conditions and required organisational structures. In India the all arms concepts, organisations and command setup exists and applies to levels of Division and upwards. not to brigades and battalions or artillery regiments. It would be absurd for any one to demand a share of command of those elements where one does not belong to.

    Rashtriya Rifles and Assam Rifles are not Infantry per say but are modelled on Infantry for extended and different tasks. Arguing that officers from other Arms are equally competent to command those battalions is unrealistic, and much more illogical is the fact that other Arms Officers do well while in RR or Assam Rifles. Yes, they may do well as young officers and subunit commanders in a particular way. That does not qualify them to function well as commanding officer. This is akin to an IRS officer doing well as Director in MoD and then demanding that he be made Defence Secretary. Shukla's arguments verge on that category.

    It is unfortunate, that given the nature of Indian environment, geography, terrain, weather, nature of borders and other huge security requirements, Indian Army will remain predominantly Infantry and artillery.

    The contentment of the maximum is the sound management mantra if contentment of all is not achievable. The fundamental democratic ideals also are directed to achieve that. Satisfaction level of minority at the cost of majority is not a good argument from any perspective. demoralising majority to please minority is definitely not a good organisational culture. Calling this as mandalism, puerility, etc etc only is going to vitiate the atmosphere. And Shukla is not doing any good to the Indian Army, society or the nation though he may under wrong notions.

    majority is not. Threating RM of the consequences of honourable SC is nowhere any where near good journalism.

  21. We all who served, know what happened in kargil. Army officers refused to lead charges against pakistani paramilitaries. IA came out looking like a third class force. Officers so unfit that after 200m they needed breaks. If Clinton had not arranged the cease fire and withdrawal by the pakistani paramilitaries, god knows what would have happened.

    The pakistani's colonels are getting even younger, and hungrier after their battles on the western border. Whats wrong with trying to copy what they do. Afterall they are 1/3 of our strength, yet are able to match us.

    1. BC it was inf who shaamed n did not do there job n that's y this kargil took place. India won all previous wars when age of inf COs was over 40. Cos not reqd to show physical courage but should b able to motivate his comd. Our inf Col did not ensure correct procedures that's y kargil took place. What a shame.....

    2. U wanna win wars with 5.56mm insas.

  22. There is nothing wrong in giving higher percentage of promotions to Infantry and Artillery officers and it should be done one has to realise and compare the workload an Infantry officer is most taxed where as other arms have good time MIND YOU THAT EQUAL OPPORTUNITY SLOGAN IS A BUG FOR INDIA SEE OR REMEMBER 1962 KAUL FROM ASC WAS GIVEN COMMAND A CORPS (EQUAL OPPORTUNITY) YOU WANT TO DO IT AGAIN iNFANTRY IS QUEEN OF THE BATTLE FIELD remove them from support of armour they wont budge an inch with no infantry whom will arty support will the armour hold the ground without infantry I WOULD ADD THERE SHOULD TWO CHANNELS COMMAND AND STAFF OTHER WISE TODAYS OFFICERS TWO DAYS AFTER THEY PUT OM THEIR PIPS START THINKING ABOUT STAFF COLLEGE (BABUGIRI-- CARRYING BRIEFCASE INSTEAD OF WEAPONS) AND PAY LITTLE ATTENTION TO FIGHTING IF YOU CALL IT SOLDIERING

  23. The guys from perhaps teeth are forgetting that todays service officers have combat exposure almost same and may be more in some cases with teeth arms.3 ys attachment and after a truncated 2 yrs tenure again to tenure in rr where they do coy it justified to deny them promotions vis a vis teeth??what abt most of tech offrs who form bulk of these tail .after doing so much of combat exposure why shd they be left out.

  24. Everyone does the work he or she is required to. so essentially there is no need to discriminate in promotions.
    A large number of infantry officers probably never opted for infantry, while a number of services officers never opted for services.
    So lets not try and decide who has the better, more difficult or more glorious job.
    We all do what we are required to do and as long as we do it capably, thats all that matters.
    Discrimination anywhere, whether caste, class, religion, poverty, riches has never helped anyone.
    Can we think rationally and not be driven by personal biases against, and for, arms and services!

  25. One must always recognise merit else we will cause serious damage to the Army and the country in the time of need. Thats why we have strict SSB selections. As for someone saying that officers study engg and courses till 15years...well its being blown out of proportion. They do this to ensure that they do their job. If then they want to be a Col, its for their Service, not of Infantry. Though the same offr has done an attachment (ASC Lt Vijyant Thapar Kargil, AOC... more number of attachment officers died in OP Vijay than Infantry officers! Canon fodder??) for first three years in tough fd tenure. Done an RR tenure for 2.5 years. In first 10 years of service he has more hard fd tenure than his course mates. We are here, we have arrived...let the Supreme Court rule otherwise.....we will shake the roots of this system!

  26. What about the blatant misuse of men by army officers across all levels.first we should learn life without sahayaks and working..compete with the men physically and then think of own promotions

  27. I thought why not add my two-point bit...

    Infantry battalion commanding officers in the Pakistan Army, as in almost all armies worldwide, are Lieutenant Colonels instead of Colonels. Therefore they are younger. That's one lie nailed.

    As for Infantry 'facing bullets', the scales of all risk allowances instituted at the behest of the infantry (guardians of the national hymen), are inverted in that the admissible allowance rates increase with increasing rank. The men who are at the forefront of risk get lower scales than officers; and amongst officers the rates increase with rank. I wonder how did the infantry justify this criminally prejudiced inversion? I guess they would have factored-in the fratricidal and fragging risk that is tantamount to 'facing own bullets' - in a sense!

    Amongst the highest 'risk' units of Rashtriya Rifles battalions, the infantry provides just 6% of the fighting strength; armoured corps provides 9% of the manpower whereas the mechanised infantry provides 13% of the strength.

    It's time somebody called the infantry's lie. After all they gave India it's most corrupt Chief (N C Vij) who also bought into Adarsh Housing Society alongwith his partner in crime from the Gunners (Deepak Kapoor).

    #WeFaceBullets my bloody left... toe.

  28. Its something we have to live with. Look we have caste'ism in our blood. From they way Buddism disappeared to our everyday lives, we are who we are. The army system was british but over the years, we have introduced indian specific changes. Each change brings us closer to our way of doing things. Or do you want to continue to work the way of our conquerors?

    Just as in our society, we have different levels, so shall we in our most expensive arm of the government. You have the king and queen and the support staff. If you are smart, you know what path you should choose. Its there in the open. Accept it or just leave.

  29. Many people giving their views as anonymous. Speaks volumes about the courage of conviction.


  31. 1. There is a serious flaw in the way the Services Headquarters project their requirement for MAN POWER and the Govt (MoD) sanctions the same.
    2. Neither AVSC nor Ajai Shukla have understood or caught on to basic flaw. The AFT has rightly identified the flawed outcome of one such exercise (AVSC II ) but not hit the nail in the head since the basis of authorisation and sanction of additional vacancies itself was faulty.
    3. Firstly the Armed Forces Man Power Authorisation Exercise is peculiar to the forces and secondly with in the forces there are hundreds of variations from unit to unit ,fmn to fmn and Arms ,Services ,Corps Regts and what not.
    4. The basic fault crept in after 1962 when massive re orgs and new raisings started but ASECs and reviewing / sanctioning auth at Govt level started equating MAN POWER for Armed Forces with purchasing TOMATOES /POTATOES or sanctioning MP for a factory .
    5. Hagling , bargaining ,asking for matching savings and "cutting own tail to increase teeth till tail became so short that it exposed the ass " became the norm.
    6. AVSC was a typical example where the POTATOES were purchased in bulk and then distributed through a बंदर बाँट ? Why didn't the Services Hqs ask for and Govt sanctioned the vacancies IN FIRST PLACE based on requirement of indl Arm/Service/ unit / fmn ?
    6. My dear Sirs. It is known as EATING INTO YOUR OWN GUTS.
    7. It happened many times earlier. When Divisions were raised like 18, 24 and Corps like 12 Corps ,the Govt told Army to go ahead but find MEN FROM WITH IN THE RESOURCES . Even the post of Lt Gen for 12 ** was not sanctioned so AHQ reduced DGMT to a Maj Gen so that the new Corps can be Commanded by Lt Gen !
    8. Ajay Shukla being a Cavalry Man and now a journalist may have his own axe to grind against Foot Soldiers but anomaly lies somewhere else. And yes. Each Arm and Service is IMPORTANT to win a war.

  32. Don't know why people with little knowledge comment on serious matters which is obvious he is not from fighting arm but from a Corps--? with no knowledge how battles are fought on the ground gentlemen good order of merit in Academy,staff College or sand model discussions always don't warriors but soldiers--Yes just pay attention to some of the comments seeking higher % of promotions for their Corps
    1)Tip of the sword is a inf platoon -- correction it is the section and therein the inf soldier.
    2)Moreover Co's don't lead an assault and follow behind -- correction CO's lead an Assault and are generally in the middle of the assault line.
    3)Artillery officers are in the rear of the combat zone--- Dear dear then who is directing the artillery fire.
    4)Donkeys and asses get promoted -- if the commentator was made to walk and fight outside his tin box of sardines he would sweat from his backside and may even dirty it.
    5)If ability to waffle on sand models and make deep thrusts and hooks makes them a fighting Arm then the criteria is wrong these people cant shoot straight or advance on orders but can make tall stories and write citations in connivance with Journalists (Vikram Vhora) from the safety of the tin box -- and when the sun sets quickly huddle to the rear behind the infantry despite having NVD's , armour protection and fire power -- if they come across a minefield god help them they want Engineers and infantry despite having Trawls at their disposal-- above all have never advanced more then 7 to 10 kilometers deep in all the battles and wars we have fought while on the sand models went right upto Rawalpindi -- arm chair, peace time sand model soldiers
    6) some one has mentioned Moshe Dhyan and Sharon what are they famous for -- CONVERTING flamboyant Armoured Corps personnel with long hair, colourful scarves a horse whip in another (with no horses) into a fighting Arm --Oh how i wish we had someone like them to make this Corps into a fighting arm
    7)Again someone has commented about casualties of officers other then from infantry -- well they were on attachment and had freshly graduated from the academy and the training was a common denominator of Infantry -- Just reflect how General BM Kaul once an Infantry officer in some frontier force as a 2/lt later changed over to ASC brought the biggest shame on the Indian Army which even our success in Bangladesh has be able to wipe out -- Sparrow flew his AMX 13 to Chushul but these tank did not even budge an inch had they moved a bit things would have been different

  33. Let the law of the land has its say...Two wrongs dont make one right, together...Plz dont fight each other..

  34. Dear sir I just wanted people of this country to be made aware that beyond infantry, armd , engrs etc there is a service known as military nursing service which functions under armed forces medical service. The nursing officers( ladies) of this service are harassed physically and verbally in the services. Their pattern of work is very bad. Not even in civil any one can dream about. An numbers of times issues have been raised, but senior ladies are not capable to bringing changes in their working pattern of the nursing officer. Can any one work upon this do somingthing to help these ladies.

  35. Dear sir.The amount of work .an MNSoffr does couldnt be compared with any civil nursing staff.The workload n the pattern of work is innumerously different.The responsibilities n service to the nation considered..a nsg offr is an integral part of indian defence.MNS OFFR must be equally respected like any other defence offr.

  36. The Discrimination Against The Lady Officers of Military Nursing Service (MNS) In India Can Suitably Be Described As "LADY WITH THE LAMP" :

    L owering of stature

    A rmy Act 1950 applied arbitrarily

    D ark beige uniform from Olive Green changed to give a distinct dress code

    Y ears and years of sacrifices

    W ithdrawal of display of star plates and flying of flag on official vehicle

    I mplimentation of AFT verdict stayed by the Supreme Court

    T raining and course duration of BNOC/SNOC reduced

    H ectic duty hours

    T ime bound promotions not same as for other regular commissioned officers

    H onour to represent as republic Day parade contingent not given so far

    E stablishment of MNS corps eluded in India

    L eave Travel Concessions entitlements downgraded to equate with PBOR’s

    A rms & weapons training discontinued

    M embership of clubs/Institutes denied

    P ay band disparity and reduction in Grade pay


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