The biannual army commanders’ conference, presided over by the army chief and his eight seniormost lieutenant generals, is the force’s supreme decision-making body. So, when General Bipin Rawat called for an informal meeting of the army commanders in September 2018, a month ahead of the scheduled conference, the brass knew something was afoot.
They were right. In the huddle in New Delhi, Gen. Rawat unveiled plans for reform and restructuring of the force unlike any attempted in decades. The defence budget last February had left the army with one of its lowest budgets to buy new equipment-just 13 per cent or Rs 26,826 crore. This was because nearly 87 per cent of its budget would be spent on paying salaries, buying fuel and ammunition.
When the army commanders met again, formally in October, they had already flagged off four study groups to move into thrust areas identified by Gen. Rawat. Read More