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Abolition of Posts in MES

  • 09 May 2020
  • 5 min read

Why in News

Recently, the Defence Minister of India has approved a proposal for the abolition of a number of posts in the Military Engineering Service (MES).

  • This move is in lines with the recommendations of the Lt. Gen. D.B. Shekatkar (Retd.) Committee.
  • MES is the infrastructure development agency for the armed forces and defence establishments.

Key Points

  • Optimum Utilisation of Resources: This step of abolition of around 9000 posts of basic and industrial staff will lead to significant savings.
    • Almost 70% of the budget is used for payment of salaries and allowances and leaves very little money for actual infrastructural development.
  • Restructuring of Workforce: The committee also recommended to restructure the civilian workforce in a manner that the work of the MES could be partly done by departmentally employed staff and other works could be outsourced.
  • Efficient & Lean Workforce: Its goal is to make the MES an effective organisation with a leaner workforce, well equipped to handle complex issues in an efficient and cost-effective manner.
  • Projected Savings: The recommendations can save up to ₹25,000 crore in defence expenditure, if implemented over the next five years.

Shekatkar Committee

  • It was a 11-member committee, appointed by the erstwhile Defence Minister in mid-2016.
  • It was headed by Lt. Gen. D.B. Shekatkar (Retd).
  • It had the mandate to suggest measures to enhance combat capability and rebalance defence expenditure of the armed forces.
  • It submitted its report in December 2016.
  • Recommendations:
    • It made about 99 recommendations from optimising defence budget to the need for a Chief of the Defence Staff.
      • Of these, the first batch of 65 recommendations pertaining to the Army were approved in August 2017.
    • It recommended that India’s defence budget should be in the range of 2.5-3% of GDP (Gross Domestic Product), in view of current and future threats.
    • It had also suggested the establishment of a Joint Services War College for training of middle-level officers, with three separate war colleges at Mhow (Madhya Pradesh), Secunderabad (Telangana) and Goa, focusing on training younger officers.
    • The committee had also mooted for the Military Intelligence School at Pune to be converted to a tri-service intelligence training establishment.
    • The recommendations on the creation of the Chief of Defence Staff post and a Department of Military Affairs have been already implemented.
    • Restructuring of Army headquarters
      • The Army headquarters had instituted 4 studies with an overall aim to enhance the operational and functional efficiency of the force, optimize budget expenditure, facilitate modernization and address aspirations.
      • These studies are Re-organisation and right-sizing of the Indian Army, Re-organisation of the Army Headquarters, Cadre review of officers and Review of terms of engagement of rank and file.
    • Government Owned Contractor Operated (GOCO) Model
      • In the model, the assets owned by the government are operated by the private industries.
      • The main advantage of the model is that it is efficient and will boost competitiveness among the private entities.
    • Closure of Military Farms and Army Postal Establishments in peace locations.
    • Other recommendations which have been implemented include, optimisation of signals establishments, restructuring of repair units, redeployment of ordnance echelons, better utilisation of supply and transportation units and animal transport entities, etc.

Source: TH

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