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Inter-Services Organizations Bill, 2023

  • 18 Mar 2023
  • 4 min read

For Prelims: IAF, Navy, Army, Joint command in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

For Mains: Inter-Services Organizations Bill, 2023.

Why in News?

Recently, the Inter-Services Organisations (Command, Control and Discipline) Bill, 2023, was introduced in Lok Sabha to empower designated military commanders to take charge of soldiers and enforce discipline, regardless of the service they belong to.

  • The bill came ahead of the impending move to establish integrated or joint commands, where all the manpower and assets will be under the operational control of a single three-star general of the Indian Army, Navy and IAF (Indian Air Force).

What are the Key Provisions of the Bill?

  • The system is likely to include five joint services commands - western, eastern, northern, maritime, and air defense.
  • The central government may constitute an Inter-services Organisation, which may include a Joint Services Command.
  • It will empower the Commander-in-Chief/the Officer-in Command of Inter-Services Organisations to maintain discipline and ensure proper discharge of duties of all the personnel from the army, navy and IAF serving under his command.
  • The Commander-in-Chief or the Officer-in-Command of an Inter-services Organisation shall be the head of such Inter-services Organisation.

What is the Current Set up of Indian Armed forces?

  • At present, soldiers from their respective services are governed by different Acts of Parliament.
    • They are the Navy Act of 1957, the Air Force Act of 1950, and the Army Act of 1950.
    • In a current joint services setup, an army soldier commanded by a navy officer would have to be sent back to his parent unit for any disciplinary proceedings. The navy officer does not have administrative powers over the said soldier.
  • 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.
  • There is one joint command in Andaman and Nicobar Islands which is the first Tri-Service theatre command of the Indian Armed Forces, based at Port Blair in Andaman and Nicobar Islands of India.
  • The other tri-service command, the Strategic Forces Command (SFC), looks after the delivery and operational control of the country’s nuclear assets.
  • There are also some tri-service organisations like the Defence Intelligence Agency, Defence Cyber Agency, Defence Space Agency, etc.

How does China Operate its Armed Forces?

  • In 2016, China re-organised its 2.3-million People’s Liberation Army into five theatre commands to boost offensive capabilities.
    • Its Western Theatre Command handles the entire 3,488-km Line of Actual Control from eastern Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh.
  • India has four Armies and three IAF commands for the northern borders with China.

What is the Significance of the Move?

  • The bill will pave way for various tangible benefits such as expeditious disposal of cases, saving time and public money by avoiding multiple proceedings and greater integration and joint Manship amongst Armed Forces personnel.

Source: TH

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