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Army flab might face the scissor

Wednesday - September 12, 2018 4:08 pm , Category : WTN SPECIAL

WTN- News is that Indian army, the second largest in the world by number, is planning to trim its flab and be smarter. 

With over 1.3 million active personnel, the army has to spend a major share of its budget allocation in paying their salaries, which is a big burden.

Even the US has lesser men in their army than India’s. Most major countries are trimming or have reduced the numbers of army men to keep costs down and use the resources in more priority areas.

The Indian government spends close to 2.6 per cent of the GDP on defence, which is the highest among major developed or developing nations. In a poor country like India, this means cost cutting in education and health sector to provide for the army. This in turn lowers our human development index, which is a major setback. India is among the top five spenders on defence.

Nearly 50 per cent of the budget allocated to the forces goes just to the army, while the navy and the air force have to do with the rest 50 per cent. Of the 50 per cent the army gets, 83 per cent reportedly goes only in salary and perks of soldiers and officers, while just 17 per cent fund remains for important purchases.

Effectively, more men don’t necessarily mean a stronger or better army. We may take pride in having the most number of men in uniform to protect our country, but for most of the time, most of these men are not engaged in war or combat. This makes thousands of them more or less redundant for most part of their career. There is no point paying them for something they are not required to do. It is not just for the sake of having them to inflate the numbers that we spend so much of money on their upkeep.

Modern day warfare in any case is much different in strategy and technique than what it was a couple of decades back. Large scale wars have been replaced by incisive localised ambushes which are often covert and needs lesser men. We are today more reliant on sophisticated weaponry and enhanced modes of rapid communication, which also makes the role of men on less strategic profiles, less important. The need is to invest more on acquiring advanced technology, which is the only way to trump enemy forces. The better planes, tanks, ships and missiles we have, the more likely we are to win in a conflict than a thousand foot soldiers marching with antiquated guns.

The army experts have taken a progressive decision and in all likelihood, the defence ministry will support this scaling down in phases. A couple of lakhs lesser men won’t debilitate the army, but it will save millions of rupees which can be used for better bolstering of the armory and surveillance / communication paraphernalia. 

A smart organisation is not a humungous one. The key is to get the optimum from a small but efficient core team by better utilising their capabilities.  The army has now a different type of target to hit.

-Window To News
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