The government has approved a long-awaited cadre review policy for Junior Commissioned Officers and other rank-holders in the Army, a step which will offer higher career progression to nearly 1.45 lakh personnel of the force, a senior Army official said today.
Adjutant General of the Army Lieutenant General Ashwani Kumar said the upgradation would take place over a span of five years. "The third cadre review has been approved by the government on September 1. This is for upgradation of JCOs and Other Ranks," he said.
The decision was conveyed to former Army chiefs by incumbent General Bipin Rawat at the biennial Chiefs' Conclave where they were also apprised about overall security challenges facing the country, including on the borders with China and Pakistan.
Kumar told the Chiefs' Conclave that the defence ministry has agreed to start residential Army Public Schools in Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh and Mamun in Punjab with a capacity of 2,000 children each. This, he said, would cater to the growing needs of children of army personnel of all ranks. As of now, the Army Welfare Educational Society (AWES) is managing 137 schools and 11 professional colleges.
Lt. General Kumar also informed the Chiefs' Conclave that two more state-of-the-art assisted reproductive technology (ART) centres have been established in Bhopal and Guwahati to assist childless couple in the Army. These centres are in addition to the existing ones in Delhi, Pune and Mumbai.
After the amendment in electoral rules in October, 2016, which permitted electronic transfer of postal ballots, the Army has in a big way undertaken measures for electronic registration of Army personnel, the officer said.
He said there were instances of postal ballots reaching the returning officers after completion of the election process, but the electronic transfer of postal ballots would reduce this time to half.
He added that the electronic transfer of postal ballots were used in five states that went to polls early this year. Of the 12 lakh personnel, over 10 lakh personnel have been registered for this.
Lt. Gen. Kumar also appraised the Chiefs' Conclave about the formation of the Army Welfare Fund Battle Casualty to help the next of the kin and disabled veterans, and the first tranche of disbursement of Rs 3.24 crore was done in July this year.
The Army Welfare Housing Organisation, from being a construction agency, is also acting as a facilitator to all ranks in negotiating bulk requirements of dwelling units already constructed by reputed builders, he added.