DefenceIndian Army

Army Plans To Reduce 2 Lakh Troops, And Deployment In Kashmir Could Change

Story Highlights
  • The Shekatkar Committee, established by former defence minister Manohar Parrikar, presented a report in December 2016 recommending a number of changes to make the armed forces more leaner, more unified, and more contemporary.
  • According to sources, one of the ideas was to eliminate two companies from each battalion.

The Army is trying to cut its size by approximately two lakh over the course of the next two years, which may involve reorganising the Rashtriya Rifles, the anti-terror battalions in Jammu and Kashmir, in addition to certain static units.

According to sources in the defence and security establishment, the Army intended to reduce its size from 12.8 lakh soldiers to roughly 10.8 lakh.

When asked if a schedule had been established, sources responded that the process of rationalising troop strength is ongoing and a number of factors are being considered.

The sources revealed that the Army is already short roughly 1.35 lakh people as a result of no recruiting in the previous two years.

Even if the Agnipath programme has been implemented, only about 35,000 to 40,000 people will be hired this year.

“The Army sees an average of 60,000 people retire each year. The Agnipath plan would only cover a portion of the gap, and this is intentional, a source said.

According to sources, allocation to different arms including infantry, armoured, and EME (Corps of Electronics and Mechanical Engineers) would be based on the rationalisation approach once the recruitment process was over.

For instance, the company from which the vehicle is purchased would be hired to perform repairs andminister maintenance at the Base Depot.

According to sources, deputations to organisations like the National Cadets Corps (NCC) have also been drastically reduced.

The Regimental Headquarters will also experience a decrease in deputation.

According to a second source, “the goal is to make sure that the teeth-to-tail ratio is maintained in a healthy fashion.”

Army Headquarters was the first to undergo a significant restructuring. In 2021, it underwent a number of improvements aimed at removing excess fat and streamlining procedures.

The Shekatkar Committee, established by former defence minister Manohar Parrikar, presented a report in December 2016 recommending a number of changes to make the armed forces more leaner, more unified, and more contemporary.

Army rejig in Kashmir

According to sources, the Rashtriya Rifles (RR) deployment in Jammu and Kashmir may be restructured as part of the new policy.

Although there are around 63 RR Battalions in the Union Territory, they are distinct from other Army units. In contrast to a standard infantry formation, which consists of four companies, each RR battalion comprises six companies, each of which is commanded by a Major and has 100 to 150 soldiers.

According to sources, one of the ideas was to eliminate two companies from each battalion.

Another was to determine if it was possible to decrease the actual number of RR battalions and enlarge each one’s Area of Responsibility (AOR) without having an impact on the counterterrorism grid.

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