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Fix the broken windows – letter to Justice Verma

Below is the text of my mail to Justice Verma in response to invitation for suggestions towards the commission headed by him Respected Justice Verma,  I write to offers some suggestions towards the changes needed for avoiding incidents like the gruesome gang rape in Delhi recently.  While there has been a popular outcry for amending the laws to cater for a more severe punishment for rapists, that may not be the solution, at least not in isolation. The issue of safety of women needs to be viewed in the perspective of the overall issue of improving the rule of law – as the former will automatically follow the latter. This needs to be tackled in a three pronged manner:-  ·         Enforcing existing laws. ·         Swiftly dealing with infringements. ·         Updating  laws and improving legal process. Enforcing Existing … Read entire article »

Filed under: Common man, Corruption, Law and Order, National Issues, Politics, Reforms

A Study in Futility?

A Study in Futility?

As per a recent news report, the Chief has ordered a study to look at increasing the availability of officers in units. With shortage of officers reaching alarming levels of almost one fifth of the sanctioned strength, the concern and urgency is understandable. Rising cases of discord, assault and affray in units are disturbing manifestations of this shortage. The handful of officers available in a unit at any given time are unable to maintain the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Blogitorial, COAS, Equipment, Military, Reforms, Shortage of officers

Flawed DNA?

Flawed DNA?

Delays in defence procurements and the resultant lack of preparedness have received much attention ever since the Army Chief’s secret letter to the Prime Minister was leaked to the media recently. The alarming status of induction of desperately required weapons and equipment have been topics of discussion in print and electronic media, Internet forums, and more importantly, in the parliament itself. The MoD and the Army Headquarters hold each other responsible for the delays. The … Read entire article »

Filed under: Civil Military Relations, Higher Defence Management, Politics, Reforms

ACR 360

ACR 360

Improving the internal health of the Army was a key challenge identified for himself by the present chief when he assumed office two years back. How far has he been able to address the problem remains to be seen in the absence of any indications, either in open media, or through the grapevine. While it would be illuminating to learn the steps (if any) taken by the organisation towards meeting this challenge, here are some … Read entire article »

Filed under: Appraisal System, Blogitorial, COAS, Military, Reforms

Pull of the Lanyard

Pull of the Lanyard

The Regimental system is one of the cornerstones of the Indian Army. Regimental spirit is the glue that binds fighting arms together in a unique bond of loyalty, camaraderie and selfless service. The spirit transcends decades, seniority and other barriers to bring all ranks of a regiment together, professionally and personally. In war and under adverse situations of all kinds, it is the thought of keeping the flag of the regiment flying high – “paltan … Read entire article »

Filed under: Appraisal System, Blogitorial, Military, Promotion System, Regimental spirit, Values, Welfare

Baa Baa Black Sheep

Image via Wikipedia One would hate to be in the shoes of the Chief of Army Staff these days. Having to wake up every morning dreading what bombshell the newspapers would bring can’t be a pleasant experience. Being at the helm of an organisation consisting of over 10, 00,000 bodies in this age of scandal hungry public and an ever obliging media, this is a cross that he perhaps has to bear. The sad part is that the antics of a few black sheep with unbridled libido, greed or ambition inevitably overshadow the sterling work done by the other 99.9% comprising the organisation. The latest scandal screaming at us from the headlines and ubiquitous red ticker tapes of breaking news is yet another such incident. Details of the case are under investigation, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Appraisal System, Blogitorial, Media, Military, Ponderings, Promotion System, Reforms, Values

Mandalisation of the Army

Image by Christian Haugen via Flickr Ajai Shukla’s article ‘Soldier Heal Thyself’ in Business Standard talks about ‘Mandalisation’ of the Army as one of the many ills that ail its appraisal and promotion systems. The previous Blogitorial on this Blog had also spoken of the urgent requirement of overhauling these. I would like to dwell a little further on the ‘pro rata’ policy responsible for this ‘Mandalisation’ – the background, possible reasons, and its impact. Prior to the introduction of this policy, the Combat Arms i.e. Armoured Corps, Infantry and Mechanised Infantry comprised the ‘General Cadre’, with no distinction amongst them for promotional vacancies. Selected officers from Combat Support Arms like Artillery, Engineers and Signals, based on merit, were also given the option to join the general cadre, giving them the opportunity … Read entire article »

Filed under: Appraisal System, Blogitorial, Military, Ponderings, Promotion System, Reforms

Challenges Before the New Army Chief

Image by jeffjose via Flickr Modernisation is main challenge for new army chief says this article. And there is no doubt that a great deal of his energies will be spent in this high priority area. The delays in procurement of equipment have received adequate press in the last few years. Interestingly, the outgoing chief had also spelt this out as his primary goal on taking over in Oct 2007, as had his predecessor in Jan 2005. The fact that this continues to be a major challenge points to the plethora of ponderables and imponderables that make the modernisation process so complex. But modernisation of the force in terms of induction of state of the art equipment is only one facet of preparing to face the challenges of the future battlefield. Another … Read entire article »

Filed under: Appraisal System, Blogitorial, Military, Ponderings, Reforms, Shortage of officers, Values

Shortage of Officers – a Simple Solution

Image via Wikipedia The shortage of officers is  a live problem  the army is facing today. Unfortunately, the realization has not dawned on many people that this is not merely the army’s problem, but the concern of the nation. Army is after all, a national asset, and any degradation in its efficiency is detrimental to national security and national interest. The efforts to overcome this problem therefore needs to be made at a national level. While articles on the subject continue to appear with regularity in national media and websites, practical solutions are hard to come by. This article on Meri News, for instance, even suggests better looking spouses for army officers, improving their social standing. One wonders the efficacy of such moves, but it is heartening to note that thought is … Read entire article »

Filed under: Military, Reforms, Shortage of officers