06 Feb How Military Officers are Being Promoted. Is there being a rethought . Here is why?
An inquiry by the Central Bureau of analysis into corruption charges against two senior army officers has bring out a rethink on the Defence Ministry’s promotion policy for officers of the three forces – the Indian Navy, Air Force and Army.
In a rare decision , the Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar put a clear limitation when he was waiting approval of the advocacy of the two officers – both Major Generals – to the Assignment Committee of the Cabinet (ACC). He wrote this to the committee saying that the two should be given promotion only if the investigations had them cleared. The A.C.C. consists of the Prime Minister and the Home Minister. The two officers were being considered for the promotion to the rank of The Lieutenant General in Indian Army.
Questions are now being asked around how the two officers nearly made it to the top of the pyramid. At every rank, officers are weeded out frequently to make sure not everyone gets promoted, sources say. The minister making the promotion provisional is compelling because the allegations of graft pertain to posts the two held in the past.
Top sources have confirmed that instead of the age and time remaining in the service being the top most criteria for promotion to senior ranks like Lieutenant General, the ministry is now wanting promotions to be based on talent.
As of now, a Major General must have at least two years of service left to turn into an Army Commander. “It all boils down to who is born when. Talent, merit and capability get under-played after all the decision of picking up the next rank depends on residual service and available vacancies,” a top official of the Ministry of Defence said.
There are also allegations that officers play favourites in promotions. “The difference between officers in the quantitative system – where service records and accomplishment are shortened to numbers – is very small. In fact, almost everyone gets marked on the higher side, indicating inflation,” says Major General Ravi Arora (retd).
“The system is more or less clean, but it can be rigged as well because of the regimental partisan and individual bonding ,” he adds.