Army to refine promotion policy

Discussion in 'International Politics' started by Parthy, Nov 3, 2010.

  1. Parthy

    Parthy Air Warrior Senior Member

    Aug 18, 2010
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    NEW DELHI: The Army seems all set to junk its promotion policy for generals as well as rework the "quantification-based'' selection system for all officers, which were ushered in by previous chief General Deepak Kapoor and his then military secretary (MS) Lt-Gen Avadhesh Prakash despite objections from some senior commanders.

    Sources said Army chief Gen V K Singh and his MS Lt-Gen G M Nair recently made a presentation to defence minister A K Antony on the changes needed in the promotion policy to ensure "good officers'' climb up the ladder in the steeply-hierarchical force.

    A strong pitch, in particular, was made for abolishing the existing practice of bifurcating major-generals and lt-generals into "command'' and "staff'' streams since it had caused a great deal of disgruntlement.

    "Antony has accorded in principle approval to revert back to the earlier system of having one common merit list for senior officers, based on the number of vacancies, instead of bifurcation,'' said a source.

    As per the policy in force since January 2009, the generals approved in the "command'' stream go on to head operational formations like divisions and corps, while ones in the "staff'' stream are relegated to administrative duties. Incidentally, the Army currently has 88 Lt-Gens and 290 Maj-Gens.

    Gen Singh also wants the "quantification-based'' selection system to be reworked since it virtually eliminates "the human angle''. Under the existing policy, 95% marks are given for "quantified parameters'' like ACRs (annual confidential reports), courses, honours and awards.

    Only 5% is kept for "value judgement'' by selection board members on criteria like performance, recommendations, potential for employability in higher ranks and, importantly, "degree of difficulty'' in tenures.

    Antony, however, does not want too much tinkering with this system since he is against "personal prejudices or favouritism'' playing a big role in promotions. The existing system is "more objective'' since it keeps "human subjectivity down to a minimum''.

    Be that as it may, the Army urgently needs a complete overhaul of its promotion policy to ensure only upright and competent officers reach the upper echelons, given the spate of land, liquor, meat, cereal and other scams in recent years.

    The recent Sukna and Adarsh land scams have only served to buttress this point. Incidentally, while Lt-Gen Prakash (retd) is one of the four generals indicted in the Sukna case, Gen Kapoor himself is one of the privileged allottees of a flat in the controversial Adarsh Housing Society in Mumbai.

    Said a senior officer, "The prevalent `Yes, Sir' culture in Army needs to be curtailed, and soon. It breeds sycophancy rather than professionalism in the force, where a differing viewpoint is unfortunately often treated as insubordination.''
  3. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Apr 17, 2009
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    Do what you want, subjectivity can never be wiped out.

    What if an officer tags onto a favourable senior through most of his career. Such cases are not unusual! The "value judgement'' by selection board members on criteria like performance, recommendations, potential for employability in higher ranks will still be judged on what is endorsed on the ACR (Annual Confidential Report). The "degree of difficulty'' in tenures will be the only one which cannot be fudged!

    Notwithstanding, the Command stream and the Staff stream is a whole lot of bunkum. On what criteria can one say one is good as a Commander and one is only good as a Staff Officer?
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2010

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