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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

COAS TO REVIEW CURRENT PROMOTION POLICY

TIMES OF INDIA





NEW DELHI: When he took over as Army chief last month, General V K Singh promised to improve the "internal health'' of his 1.13-million force. He has set the ball rolling now. 


Gen Singh is putting his weight behind a comprehensive review of the "quantification-based'' promotion policy for officers, which was ushered in by his predecessor Gen Deepak Kapoor and the now-retired military secretary (MS) Lt-Gen Avadhesh Prakash in January 2009, say sources. 


The steeply-hierarchical armed forces certainly need a "healthy'' promotion policy to ensure that officers with "robust moral fibre'' reach the upper echelons. 


This has become crucial after a flurry of liquor, ration, fuel and meat scandals, with several senior officers in the dock, has rocked the traditional high standards of probity and discipline in armed forces like never before. 


Incidentally, Prakash, who as MS was in charge of all promotions and postings in Army, is himself embroiled in the alleged Sukna land scam case with three other generals. 


Sources say Gen Singh has tasked a committee led by director-general of artillery Lt-Gen K R Rao to suggest changes in the January 2009 promotion policy, which are likely to be discussed in the Army commanders' conference next week. 


This comes in the backdrop of "negative feedback'' from the "environment'' (Army parlance for its formations spread across the country) about the policy. 


Under it, 95% marks are given for "quantified parameters'' like ACRs (annual confidential reports), courses, honours and awards. Only 5% is kept for "value judgement'' by selection board members on criteria like performance, recommendations, potential for employability in higher ranks and, importantly, "degree of difficulty'' in tenures. 


"This policy ignores environmental reality by relying too much on quantification. It virtually eliminates the human angle,'' said a senior officer. 


Added another, "It gives little credit to officers for serving in tough field postings like high-altitude areas or counter-insurgency operations. Earlier, gallantry awards and field service had much more weightage.'' 


The bifurcation of major-generals and lieutenant-generals into "command'' and "staff'' streams, with the former heading operational formations and the latter administrative duties, has also not gone down well in several quarters. 


The counter-view is the policy quantifies as many selection criteria as is feasible for "greater objectivity'' and enables the "most deserving'' officers from a batch are picked for higher ranks. "It keeps human subjectivity down to a minimum,'' said an officer.


READERS MAY LIKE TO READ THIS TOO :


http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Resentment+in+Army+over+promotion+policy-a0206370340

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