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Proposal to Army: Cut ceremonies, canteen for higher use of sources

Written by Man Aman Singh Chhina
| Chandigarh |

October 18, 2020 2:55:02 am


Proposals embrace slicing down on ceremonial practices like brass bands. (File)

A slew of measures proposed to streamline utilisation of manpower in addition to monetary and materials sources has been acquired properly, however is creating ripples in Army circles. Because the proposals embrace disposing of Army Day and Territorial Army Day parades in New Delhi, slicing down on ceremonial practices resembling brass bands and quarter guards, particular person officers’ mess and CSD canteen for models in peace stations.

These proposed measures are a part of a report circulated after an inner evaluation of current practices. Titled ‘Optimisation of Manpower and Resources: Review of Practices and Facilities in Indian Army’, the train was carried out earlier this yr. Several ideas had been circulated amongst main institutions, command headquarters and main directorates of the Army — and acquired broad concurrence.

The Sunday Express has learnt that the proposed measures embrace discontinuing the Army Day parade on January 15 and Territorial Army Day parade on October 9.

The variety of Army bands

For personal well being, Army appears to chop ceremonies, canteens, mess and pipes and drums ensembles that take part within the Republic Day parade and Beating Retreat ceremony are proposed to be introduced down from 30 (15 bands and 15 pipes and drums) to 18 (10 bands and eight pipes and drums). The rationale: whereas prior to now the variety of marching contingents within the Republic Day parade had been introduced down from 12 to six, there had not been any corresponding lower within the variety of bands.

The proposals additionally state that Vijay Divas and Kargil Vijay Divas occasions must be held with least “fanfare”, and that whereas the intention is to inspire troops, “non-military aims” shouldn’t be a part of the occasions with giant manpower dedicated to those.

Instead of color presentation ceremonies, held at numerous places throughout the nation, to numerous regiments, this occasion is now proposed to be held solely every year at Rashtrapati Bhavan and might be attended by representatives of the models to be awarded together with their Colonel of the Regiment.

Similarly, one investiture ceremony might be held in Delhi for awardees of Army HQs and different models based mostly in Delhi. This might be presided upon by the Vice Chief of Army Staff or the GOC-in-C, Western Command. At the command degree too, there might be just one investiture ceremony a yr.

The variety of residential guards of Generals are proposed to be restricted to solely 4 (One NCO and three different ranks) and these too shall be authorised solely to Lt Generals and above as per entitlement. While visiting different stations, solely the Chief of Army Staff, Vice Chief of Army Staff and Army Commanders might be supplied residential guards if the keep is in a single day.

Multiple officers’ mess of completely situated models in peace stations are proposed to be amalgamated to kind one station mess. However, models which transfer from peace to subject tenures would have the ability to retain their officers’ mess. A board of officers is proposed to be set as much as put together a phased plan for establishing station officers’ mess.

Military police outriders and escorts for Generals are to be stopped and restricted solely to a couple ceremonial occasions. The Corps of Military Police is to deal with sustaining self-discipline amongst troops and for visitors management as additionally to “hone their policing skills”. No navy police car or outriders are proposed to escort any VIP inside navy stations too.

The Motorcycle Rider Display Teams of the Army Service Corps Centre and College, CMP Centre and School and the 1 Signal Training Centre are proposed to be merged into one workforce on the Signal Training Centre by 2022 and the remainder of the groups are to be disbanded by 2025.

Another proposal mooted is to eliminate unit ‘quarter guards’ which home a big complement of manpower. A ceremonial guard could also be mounted there as soon as a month, and for the remainder of the time, tactical guard must be used.

The cultural and dance troupe, conventional martial arts groups and jazz bands of models will stop to exist. They may proceed for use as ‘hobby’, their actions restricted to the unit.

Also, a unit can resolve whether or not it desires to have a good time Battle Honour Day or Raising Day within the yr — each is not going to be held. Raising Day occasions would even be curtailed and no presents or memento are proposed to be exchanged.

Like officers’ mess, there’s a proposal to eliminate particular person unit CSD canteens in a single station, and mix the numerous canteens into one in peace stations, preserving accessibility in thoughts.

Under the brand new scheme of issues, it is not going to be necessary for models to keep up a pipe and drum band. As of now, virtually all infantry and mechanised infantry models have a medical platoon whose members are skilled as band members.

The suggestions state that there’s appreciable scope to optimise the variety of pipes and drums as a number of of them are sometimes present in one station. A board of officers is proposed to be convened to establish bands for disbandment. Some infantry battalions which aren’t authorised bands however have them out of custom is not going to need to discontinue the apply.

Lesser attachments of jawans from models to larger headquarters, outsourcing of Diwali Melas, and discarding archaic workplace practices are among the different measures proposed.

A senior officer in Army HQs stated most responses have been optimistic, endorsing the proposals. “A final call on the proposals will be taken at the Army Commanders Conference which is scheduled to be held later this month in New Delhi,” the officer stated.

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