Shekatkar Committee

  • Recently, the Defence Ministry has approved the proposal of Engineer-in-Chief of Military Engineering Services (MES) for optimisation of more than 9,300 posts in the basic and industrial workforce.
  • It is in line with the recommendations of the Committee of Experts, headed by Lt General Shekatkar, which had recommended measures to enhance combat capability and rebalance defence expenditure of the Armed Forces.
  • The recommendation was aimed at making MES an effective organisation with a leaner workforce, well equipped to handle complex issues in the emerging scenario in an efficient and cost effective manner.

Background

  • The 11-member committee, appointed by the late Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar in 2016, had made about 99 recommendations, from optimising defence budget to the need for a Chief of the Defence Staff.

Key Recommendations

  • According to a 2017 report, the Shekatkar Committee had recommended that India’s defence budget should be in the range of 2.5 to 3 per cent of the GDP, keeping in mind possible future threats.
  • It had suggested the establishment of a Joint Services War College for training for middle-level officers, even through the three separate war colleges — Mhow, Secunderabad and Goa — could continue to train younger officers for their respective services.
  • It had also recommended that the Military Intelligence School at Pune be converted to a tri-service intelligence training establishment.
  • The report also focuses on optimisation of Signals establishments to include radio monitoring companies, corps air support signal regiments, air formation signal regiments, composite signal regiments, and merger of corps operating and engineering signal regiments.
  • It included restructuring of repair echelons in the Army to include base workshops, advance base workshops and static/station workshops in the field Army.
  • It also called for the closure of military farms and army postal establishments in peace locations, which is among the recommendations already implemented.

Source : Civil Services Chronicle Online, May, 2020