The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Promotion parity on cards

New Delhi, Jan. 21: The defence ministry is likely to extend a new promotion policy to cover the officer cadre of the Indian Air Force and the Navy, after the two services pointed out that there was a disparity with the army.

The government last month decided to partly implement the recommendations of the Ajai Vikram Singh committee report, which suggests restructuring the officer cadre of the army, with the creation of 500 additional posts at the rank of lieutenant colonels. The defence ministry had constituted the committee in 2001 to study manpower planning in the armed services.

IAF chief, Air Chief Marshal S.P. Tyagi, who took over earlier this month, said here today that defence minister Pranab Mukherjee had assured him that an order notifying the new policy would be issued shortly. A naval officer said the order was likely by the end of the month.

The navy has an officer strength of about 11,000 and there is a shortage of about 1,000 ' mostly at the ranks of liuetenants to liuetenant commanders.

The stated objective of the new promotion policy is to make the officer cadre of the armed forces younger and fitter. However, the congestion in the officer ranks is the most in the army because it is the largest of the three services.

Younger officers who would take command at the field level are perceived to be better prepared physically and psychologically to lead their units in combat, especially in taking on the pressures of counter-insurgency operations.

Earlier, the IAF chief visited the National Cadet Corps Republic Day camp where he praised the cadets for the excellent work being done by the corps in grooming the future leaders of the country.

Tyagi urged the cadets, at a reception he later hosted for them, to maintain discipline and fitness throughout.

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