Military & Aerospace

Army: Management of Human Capital - II
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Issue Vol. 26.4 Oct-Dec 2011 | Date : 23 Dec , 2011

Human Capital Management: Management at the Induction Stage

Manpower in the Army comprises all ranks including civilians manning its establishments. Manpower planning involves issues related to intake of troops into the Army, including the number of officers to be inducted, the vacancies to be allotted to various Arms and Services on commissioning and laying down the numbers and class composition of jawans to be recruited from time to time.

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Since quality and not quantity is the restraining factor, the endeavor is to provide the requisite quality human resource to meet the challenges of a modern, technically oriented and secular Army.16 The charter encompasses the entire Indian Army and hence is gigantic.

Although maintaining the required manning levels for jawans is not so serious, the issue assumes grave proportion when it comes to maintaining the required numbers at the officers level.18 Several efforts are being taken to overcome the same.

Maintaining Quality of Intake

Induction of Officers. Given the economic boom and the resultant job opportunities that it has created in the private sector, the task of attracting and motivating appropriate talent to join the Army and thereafter retaining them in the organization has become extremely challenging and difficult.17 Constant efforts are made to improve the terms and conditions of service and make the pay and perks of service comparable with what is offered elsewhere to make a career in the Armed Forces equally attractive. Also, periodic advertisement campaigns are launched both through the electronic and print media to generate greater awareness amongst the youth about the advantages and challenges of a career in the Army.

Recruitment of Jawans. Quality of intake into the Army is very vital given the technological and systemic upgrades that are taking place as it is bound to have a major impact on the professionalism and standards that the organization would achieve in the future. A lot of care is hence being taken to ensure that there is no dilution in the quality of personnel inducted into the Army. Enrolment of Jawans is done based on the ‘Recruitable Male Population of the State with every district of the country being addressed at least once or twice every year based on its size and population. The initiatives being adopted to ensure quality include:-

Project Gyan Deep is an initiative to accord recognition to the “˜in service training carried out by JCOs/OR through their service career and have a Certificate/Diploma/Associate Degree/Degree granted to them for the same through a tie up with Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU).

  • Image Projection Campaign. This is a campaign aimed at projecting the Indian Army in its correct perspective thereby making the youth aware of the opportunities and challenges which await them once they join the Army. The endeavour is to motivate and attract the best talent to come forward and serve the Nation.
  • Automation of the Recruitment Procedure. Another important objective is the automation of the recruitment procedure so as to eliminate subjectivity and chances of irregularities in the recruitment system of Jawans. Steps are under way to achieve complete automation in all the Recruitment Zones in the country by end 2011 and install Interactive Voice Response System at the Directorate HQ and all its zones.
  • Computer Based Entrance Test. In the long term perspective, the aim is to introduce computer based entrance test for recruitment, thereby bringing in absolute transparency and openness in the intake procedure.

Maintaining the Manning Levels

Although maintaining the required manning levels for jawans is not so serious, the issue assumes grave proportion when it comes to maintaining the required numbers at the officers’ level.18 Several efforts are being taken to overcome the same.

Mitigating the Shortage of Officers. Shortage of officers, especially in the lower ranks, is an issue that has been plaguing the Army for very long.19 While opening the floodgates to make up the deficiencies could have serious repercussions, initiatives are being taken to reduce the deficit in a gradual manner. Increasing the number of entrants through the Army Cadet College (ACC), Permanent Commission (Special List) PC(SL) and Short Service Commission Offices (SSCO) are some of the measures being adopted to tide over the situation.

Yet another important initiative aimed at empowering JCOs/OR is Project “˜Kshamta”˜, which endeavours to provide soldiers with basic skills in Information Technology and English Speaking/ Soft Skills.

Induction of Women Officers. Based on societal requirements and the changed socio-economic environment obtaining in the country supplemented by improved service conditions, the policy regarding induction of Women Officers into Service has undergone radical changes.20 Provisions now exist for grant of Permanent Commission to Women Officers in select branches of the Army like the Education Corps and the Legal Branch. This policy shift has also resulted in partially addressing the problem of shortage of officers in the Army.

Release of Backlog of Vacancies and Exemption Bar Recruitment of Civilian Government Employees. In order to enhance functional efficiency of institutions/establishments in the Army where civilian staff is authorized but not available due to the ban on fresh recruitment, cases were taken up with the Government to accord sanction to fill up the vacancies. Consistent efforts bore fruit with the Ministry of Finance approving the release of 1/3rd of the vacancies, subject to a ceiling of one percent of the total authorized strength.

Accordingly, over 6000 civilian vacancies in various groups have been released.

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The views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of the Indian Defence Review.

About the Author

Lt Gen Mukesh Sabharwal

Former Adjutant General, Indian Army.

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