To smoothen ruffled feathers of the armed forces over "discriminatory" pay commission report, the government on Friday approved 1,896 new posts in the three defence forces at the top level from colonels to lieutenant generals and their equivalents. "The cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, has taken a decision to implement the Phase-II of Ajai Vikram Singh Committee report," Information and Broadcasting Minister Priya Ranjan Dashmunsi told reporters soon after the meeting.
The implementation of Phase II of the report that recommended creation of the additional posts will ensure quicker promotions to army, navy and air force officers. The decision is also aimed at stemming the high rate of attrition among middle-rung officers from majors to colonels and their equivalents in the three services, which already face a shortage of about 13,000 officers, mostly in the middle-rung. The move will cost the exchequer Rs 8.44 crore annually, government sources said.
Under the proposal, the army will get about 1,051 new posts upgraded in select ranks and it will be implemented over a five-year period.
The upgraded or created posts included 20 lieutenant generals, 75 major generals, 222 brigadiers and 734 colonels.
The army already has 61 lt generals, 199 major generals, 824 brigadiers and 3,389 colonels serving it at present.
The navy, on the other hand, would get 342 posts of commanders upgraded to select grade ranks from within the authorised strength of the Indian Navy. But this would be done over 10 years.
The Cabinet approved the creation of four new vice admiral, 14 rear admiral and 324 commodore and captain ranks under the AVSC report.
Navy already has 15 vice admirals, 43 rear admirals and 418 commodores and captains serving it at present.
The air force too would get 503 new posts by restructuring of the officer cadre of select ranks over a five-year period.
That would comprise of six air marshals, 21 air vice marshals, 61 air commodore and 415 group captains.
Already, the IAF has an existing strength of 22 air marshals, 47 air vice marshals, 131 air commodores and 476 group captains serving at present.
With the armed forces not attracting enough talent in recent times and with premature retirements plaguing them the government had set-up the committee under former Defence Secretary Ajai Vikram Singh to suggest ways of making the services attractive as a career for the youth.
Based on the committee's recommendations for restructuring of the officer cadre, the government implemented the Phase I of the report concerning lower rungs from captains to lt colonels in the army and their equivalents in the navy and air force in 2004.