Ministry of Defence approves abolition of 9,304 posts in Military Engineering Service

Highlights:

  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh approved the abolition of 9,304 posts in the Engineer-in-Chief of Military Engineering Services (MES). 
  • The move was aimed to optimize more than 9,300 posts in the basic and industrial workforce as per the recommendations of the Committee of Experts, headed by Lieutenant General Shekatkar.
Shekatkar Committee: A fact file
  • The military reforms committee -under Lt General (retd.) DB Shekatkar  was set up by then Raksha Mantri Manohar Parrikar in 2015.
  • The committee was established with a mandate for Enhancing Combat Capability and Rebalancing Defence Expenditure.
  • Shekatkar Committee had made recommendations on enhancing the combat potential of India’s three armed forces, rationalizing the defence budget etc.
  • Shekatkar Committee had made a total of 99 recommendations. 
  • The implementation of the recommendation of the committee will save Rs.25,000 crores. 
  • In 2017, around 65 were approved by the Ministry of Defence.
  • The committee submitted its report on December 21, 2016. It had apparently exceeded its brief with some 200 recommendations.
  • A major recommendation is that the defence budget should be 2.5% to 3% of the GDP.
Border Roads Organisation (BRO):
  • The BRO develops and maintains road networks in India’s border areas and friendly neighboring countries and functions under the Ministry of Defence.
  • It is entrusted for construction of Roads, Bridges, Tunnels, Causeways, Helipads and Airfields along the borders.
  • Officers from the Border Roads Engineering Service (BRES) and personnel from the General Reserve Engineer Force (GREF) form the parent cadre of the Border Roads Organisation.
  • It is also staffed by officers and troops drawn from the Indian Army’s Corps of Engineers on extra regimental employment.
  • The BRO operates and maintains over 32,885 kilometers of roads and about 12,200 meters of permanent bridges in the country.
  • The committee aimed to restructure the civilian workforce. 
  • As per the recommendation, the work of MES could be partly done by departmentally employed staff and other works could be outsourced.
  • A total of 13,157 vacancies were there in MES. 
  • The abolished 9,304 posts were included in the vacancies.
  • The committee recommended the closure of military farms and postal establishments in peace regions.
  • It suggested reducing the number of officers to 200.
  • It recommended enhancing the standards to recruit drivers in the army and clerical staff.