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Inter-Services Organisation (Command, Control & Discipline) Bill 2023

  • 09 Aug 2023
  • 4 min read

For Prelims: Inter-Services Organisation (Command, Control & Discipline) Bill - 2023, Andaman and Nicobar Command, Commands of Indian Army, Navy, Air Force.

For Mains: Salient Features of Inter-Services Organisation (Command, Control & Discipline) Bill - 2023

Source: PIB

Why in News?

Lok Sabha recently passed the Inter-Services Organisation (Command, Control & Discipline) Bill - 2023 with the aim to bolster the efficiency, discipline, and jointness among the Armed Forces.

What is the Inter-Services Organisation (Command, Control & Discipline) Bill 2023?

  • Background: :
    • Currently, the Armed Forces operate under distinct Service Acts – the Army Act 1950, Navy Act 1957, and Air Force Act 1950.
      • However, the diverse nature of these acts has sometimes posed challenges in maintaining uniform discipline, coordination, and expeditious proceedings across the inter-services establishments.
      • The Inter-Services Organisation (Command, Control, & Discipline) Bill - 2023, addresses these concerns with its forward-looking provisions.
    • ISO Bill 2023 does not propose any alteration to the existing Service Acts, Rules, or Regulations that have stood the test of time and judicial scrutiny over several decades.
  • Salient Features:
    • Applicability: The bill is applicable to all regular Army, Navy, and Air Force personnel.
      • Also, the central government holds the right to designate any force established and maintained within India to which the provisions of the bill will apply.
    • Inter-services Organisation: Existing Inter-services Organisations will be deemed to have been constituted under the Bill. These include the Andaman and Nicobar Command, the Defence Space Agency, and the National Defence Academy.
      • The central government may constitute an Inter-services Organisation which has personnel belonging to at least two of the three services: the army, the navy, and the air force.

Note:

  • Joint command in Andaman and Nicobar Islands is the first Tri-Service theatre command of the Indian Armed Forces, based at Port Blair in Andaman and Nicobar Islands of India.
    • The Indian armed forces currently have 17 commands. There are 7 commands each of the Army and the Air Force. The Navy has 3 commands.
    • Each command is headed by a 4-star rank military officer.
  • Expanded Command and Control Authority: One of the central tenets of the bill is the extension of command and control authority to the Commander-in-Chief or Officer-in-Command of an Inter-services Organisation.
    • Unlike the existing structure, where these officers lack disciplinary and administrative powers over personnel from other services, the bill empowers them to exercise full command and control.
    • This includes maintaining discipline and ensuring the proper execution of duties by service personnel.
  • Commanding Officer: The bill introduces the concept of a Commanding Officer, responsible for overseeing a unit, ship, or establishment.
    • This officer, in addition to their unit-specific duties, also carries out tasks assigned by the Commander-in-Chief or Officer-in-Command of the Inter-services Organisation.
  • Central Government Authority: The superintendence of an Inter-services Organisation will be vested in the central government.
    • The government may also issue directions to such organizations on grounds of national security, general administration, or public interest.
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