Shekatkar Committee for Armed Forces

Prelims & Mains

Shekatkar Committee for Armed Forces

Shekatkar Committee for Armed Forces constituted by Defence Ministry

Lt Gen D B Shekatkar (Retd) was appointed by the Ministry of Defence to Recommend Measures to Enhance Combat Capability and Re-balance Defence Expenditure of the Armed Forces.

Shekatkar Committee for Armed Forces  – Mandate

* To review training, administrative and logistics establishments vis-à-vis what is described as “best practices under Indian conditions”, the purpose being to optimise manpower in the defence forces and increase ‘teeth to tail’ ratio.

* Suggest “redeployment, repositioning and restructuring of manpower and resources” to improve combat capability.

* Suggest integration of civil infrastructure and resources into the logistic system of the defence forces in war and peace to “avoid duplication and reduce expenditure”.

* Suggest measures to “correct the bias of defence budget towards revenue expenditure.

Shekatkar Committee for Armed Forces  – Highlights of the Report

  1. A 4-star chief of defence staff (CDS) as the chief military adviser to the defence minister, devising an integrated war approach by the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force, financial management reforms and doing away with the multi-layered system
  2. Enhancing combat capability while restructuring of manpower/organisations under the Ministry of Defence (MoD)
  3. Implementation of the committee’s major recommendations over the next five years can save the government Rs 25,000 crore annually,
  4. India’s defence budget should be atleast 2.5% of its GDP.
  5. Doing away with the multilayered system of according financial clearance process—first within the finance division of MoD and then at the finance ministry has been proposed by the expert committee.
  6. The committee has further specifically pointed at re-organising the role of certain organisations like the DRDO, DGQA, Defence Estates, Defence Accounts, Ordnance Factory Board (OFB).
  7. Restructuring of the National Cadet Corps (NCC) and has suggested bringing it under the administrative control of the ministry of human resources than MoD.
  8. Optimal use and integration of manpower and resources by re-deploying ex-servicemen including retired officers and JCOs in various organisations has also been proposed.
  9. It is important to downsize manpower in certain organisations and curb wasteful expenditure… effective utilisation of available resources is the essence of this report
  10. To meet the urgent combat needs of our armed forces and in terms of providing them with modern equipments and weapon systems.
  11. Indian Army is the third largest army of the world with a 12 lakh force and the committee has supported continuing with its existing manpower as against the other two forces.
  12. The committee while recommending higher budget allocations for India’s defence sector has also advocated for increased financial powers of all the three service chiefs.
  13. Higher allocations in the Union Budget for the defence sector,
  14. Cutting down the expenditure and even close down certain organisations/PSUs, which it feels is wasteful expenditure.
  15. The massive finances needed to procure latest weapons and technology and modernise the combat requirements of the forces.
  16. An allocation of atleast 2.5% (going upto 3%) of GDP has been proposed for allocation as India’s defence budget.
  17. Creation of Joint Services War College that runs a one year combined course for all the three forces besides having a tri-service Intelligence training establishment have also been made.
  18. The committee has also recommended having the position of the four-star Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) who it said be made the chief single-point adviser to the defence minister on military matters.
  19. The committee has devoted a detailed chapter on the overall emerging security environment in the South Asia region, with specific mention of Pakistan and China.
  20. India needs to change its outlook towards war and should realign its war philosophy to meet contemporary challenges in the 21st century

Joint Doctrine Indian Armed Forces

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