A MAJOR restructure at the Army Headquarters, the need for which was first felt during the 2017 Doklam crisis, has finally been approved by the government. In an order issued on December 2, the government has given its nod to create the position of a third Deputy Chief of Army, who will act as a “single-point advice” person to the Vice Chief of Army on operational issues.
The new Deputy Chief (Strategy) will head operations, intelligence, perspective and information warfare. The Directorate General of Military Operations and the Directorate General of Military Intelligence, both headed by Lieutenant General-rank officers, will be under him. Two new offices, for Perspective Planning and Strategic Communications, which will also be headed by director generals of Lt Gen-rank, will also come under the new Deputy Chief.
Current DGMO Lt Gen Paramjit Singh is likely to be appointed the first Deputy Chief (Strategy). Sources in the defence establishment said that since the sanction letter has been received from the government, the changes will start rolling out immediately.
Last year, a presentation had been given to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh about the proposed changes to restructure the Army Headquarters, as part of one of the four studies for reforms in the Army.
The need for the creation of the single-point advice person for the Vice Chief was felt during the standoff with China in Doklam in 2017. Sources had said earlier that this was because everything was under different verticals, and several officers would provide similar inputs. A steering committee for planning and operations was then created, and later it was felt that it should become part of the permanent structure.
Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat had commissioned four studies in June 2018, as the Army Chief then, for reforms in the Army.
The four studies were instituted with an overall aim to enhance the operational and functional efficiency of the force, optimise budget expenditure, facilitate modernisation and address aspirations. The recommendation to create the new posts was made as a result of the studies.