All triservice matters should come under the purview of the Chief of Integrated Defence Staff (CIDS) till such time the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) is sanctioned. The CIDS/CDS should be the single point channel for all matters pertaining to Defence to the Raksha Mantri.`
—Brig Vinayak Ramnarayan
Your Feb-Mar 2018 issue of SALUTE: Some wise man had said “Don’t expect him to fight like a Gladiator and treat him like a butler”. It may not be applicable to the present scenario but, it’s a point worth pondering over. An instant analysis as conveyed revolves around the frank and forthright state of the overall state.
—Col Sujit Parashar
In my understanding, an organisation such as ours has to have three distinct organisational setups -an advocate for programs (Service HQ who initiate proposals), managers of programs (e.g. those responsible for procurement) and those responsible for oversight. Our higher defence organisation consisting of RM, Chiefs of Defence Staff, etc should have role of macro management of defence, policy formulation and oversight functions. The problem comes when those responsible for oversight become responsible for managing the programs, as it is happening in our case. The MoD is responsible for policy formulation, approve capital procurement proposals, is responsible for procurement and also undertake oversight functions. This leads to dilution of accountability and leads to delays in execution of approved programs and other malaise we are well aware of. Since MoD is responsible for running of defence PSUs they will continue to underperform. The higher defence organisation of any country should not be in the business of running programs, they should only make policies and undertake oversight functions – that’s the only way to make our system efficient and effective.
Every one knows where the malaise is but no one, not even the PM wants to remedy it. The babus know that the soldier for his honour will happily lay down his life for the integrity of his nation’s borders and for that little piece of metal on his chest, even if he has to fight with bamboo sticks instead of modern weapons, guns and fighter air crafts. This PM sounds and appears very concerned but the cobweb of babudom are so strong and intricate that even this PM seems to have given up. I wish he and his team could have shown similar seriousness for “Make In India” as they have for “Congress Mukt Bharat”. Another request or a suggestion. Such wonderful write-ups by you and other brilliant military minds if keep getting published in journals military, then its readership remains woefully and hopelessly limited and minuscule as readers are military men who matter very little or not at all. Such articles must be published in magazines read by general public.
This refers to your issue on India’s Defence Sector. Skills can’t find free, fair fluent expressions with bent, blunt, outdated worn-out tools! On the subject of Ordnance Factories, let them be taken over by the private sector, even if it is a JV with a foreign concern albeit in conformity with the rules of majority stakes with the Indian partner.
—Col. Raghu Nath Banerjee
Your issue on the ‘Indian Defence Sector: Many Miles To Go’ was beautifully encapsulated. Echoes every soldiers feelings. A captivating write up moving from one thought to the other like a well rehearsed symphony. Pleasure to read.
This refers to the article by Lt Gen Sudhir Sharma on the Regimental System. Regimentation is the greatest compliment to a soldier. By virtue of God’s blessings, we are the third generation in Army. When I visit my unit where my decorated elder son & younger son also a decorated SF Officer my age reduces by a quater of century.
—Col Aroon Sinha
This refers to the article on the Regimental System. I would even go to the extent of saying that regimental spirit goes down to even fourth generation. I heard this conversation between two passengers, one a young army officer and the other a software engineer working in the US.
“oh even my grandpa was in…Regiment”.
“Ah ha, That was my fathers’ battalion”.
One could see the camaraderie thereafter with full throated laughter, animated conversation, as if these two were friends for ages. I thought ‘even brats create space in regimentation’.
The article by Gen Sudhir Sharam on the Regimental System showed great warmth and camaraderie, which is rare in civilian life. I was so happy to read the article
It will be disastrous if Regimental System is done away with or even diluted. I hope that never happens.
—Capt Armeet Singh Sondhi
The article by Gen Sudhir Sharma very well expressed the true meaning of regimentation; it’s our greatest strength.Lets nurture it.
—Lt Gen. Vishnu Kant Chaturvedi
The Regimental Spirit which is the essence of soldiering has been lucidly expressed by Gen Sudhir Sharma whose association goes back to Jamnagar in 82 and Tezpur in 99.
—Yashpal Singh Chauhan.