Major restructuring in the offing, India may soon have thousand-General Army

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Indian Army soldiers display their skills as they take part in a combat demonstration during Army Day in New Delhi on Friday. EXPRESS PHOTO BY PRAVEEN KHANNA 15 01 2016.

New Delhi: The Indian Army could soon have over a thousand Generals amongst its ranks if a proposal given by it is cleared by the government and also agreed to by the Air Force and the Navy. The Army currently has about 42,000 officers and if the planned move is cleared, the force would see the biggest one-time jump (700) in the number of Major Generals since Independence.

The top Army leadership has been open to a recent idea of the officers bypassing the Brigadier rank. As part of the proposal, some 1,000 Colonels are to be promoted as Major Generals bypassing the Brigadier rank.

In the present system, about 1000 colonels are promoted to Brigadier rank and then, 300 of them become Major Generals.

It may be noted that the proposal does not envisage the abolition of the Brigadier rank. Officers in charge of brigades will serve as Brigadiers for the time they are in command. And as their tenure comes to an end, the officers will automatically get promoted to Major General rank.

​At present, there are some 300 Major Generals, nearly 90 Lieutenant Generals, and one General — the Chief of Army Staff – in the Indian Army. The restructuring would not put any financial burden on the Indian Army, sources said.

It may be noted that the restructuring issue is a tri-service matter and the Navy and Air Force also have to approve it. If the number of Major Generals go up in the Army, the number of Rear Admirals and Air Vice Marshals would also increase.

Once all three wings of the Indian armed forces are on the same page, the proposal would be placed before the government.

The Army believes the proposal would help streamline the structure of the force and also make the armed forces a better career option.

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