DMPQ: What was the mandate of the committee headed by D B Shekatkar? Outline its recommendation. ( Military reforms/ polity)

The committee, set up in 2015 to recommend measures to enhance combat capability and rebalance defence expenditure of the armed forces, has submitted its final report in December 2016. The committee said that if recommendations are implemented, the government can save up to Rs. 25,000 crore from the current expenditure. The major recommendations are as follows:

  • Cut down excessiveness in the army
  • Make Army lean and agile and increase coordination
  • Recommended a roll on defence budget for effective utilisation
  • Recommendation of performance audit for non combat organisation.
  • Downsizing or rationalisation of man power
  • Joint service war college for training middle level officer.
  • The committee had also recommended having the position of the four-star Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) who it said be made the chief single-point adviser to the defence minister on military matters.
  • Allocation of more funds with latest technology
  • Optimal use and integration of manpower and resources by re-deploying ex-servicemen including retired officers and JCOs in various organisations had also been proposed.
  • The committee had also recommended abolishing military and dairy farms, where several thousand army personnel and a considerable number of officers are involved in mundane tasks like cattle rearing and growing vegetables.
  • One of the most important recommendations of the committee was to increase the retirement age of jawans by two years, which will help the army save a significant amount on pensions and training of personnel.

 

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