India Army Set To Become Leaner, Meaner and Hi-Tech Amid Major Restructuring

The India Army is all set to become leaner, meaner and Hi-Tech. In a major move to reorganize the Indian Army, General Bipin Rawat has proposed to prepare the force for 21st-century which is leaner, meaner and more technology driven. This would a cut of 150,000-200,000 troops from the current 1.2 million plus force in the Indian Army.

The restructuring efforts, as reported by HindustanTimes could lead to cuts of 50,000 troops in the next two years and over another hundred thousand over the next five years. This is the first time that the Indian Army has considered a cut– the last time being in 1998, before the Kargil war. Some of the cuts will be from infantry but with India swiftly modernizing and technology at disposal there are divisions of the force that are less relevant today.

Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat wants to start from Army HQ itself. The Directorate General of Military Training (DGMT), he feels, can be trimmed down drastically. The Information Warfare section in Military Operations and Public Information section might be merged. A merger of the Weapons and Equipment Directorate and the Policy Planning Directorate is also on the cards. More changes are likely in the logistics sections of the army, considered inflated even earlier.

In the formations, the Engineering Signal regiment and the Operating Signal Regiment could be merged. The Corps of Signals could lose 8,000 posts. In the Military transport department, the “third line” of vehicles that is to be used during conflict may not be used anymore. Civilian transport could well be used.

One far-reaching change could be the discarding of tank transporters. Presently, there are steel transportation trucks that carry 40 tonnes of steel. The Indian army is already in discussions with the union transport ministry to make new steel transports to be proficient of carrying 50 tonnes.

Major changes are also being contemplated for senior officials. Presently, infantry officers get to command battalions at the age of 36-37. Officers will now have to wait until they are about 40, as was the case earlier. The army feels the COs should be a little more experienced. But senior officers will be getting to command brigades, divisions and corps when they are younger.

Part of the restructuring would also mean fewer promotions to higher offices in the coming years. Instead of 14 officers moving from major general to lieutenant general, there will be only ten and subsequently, eight.

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