New Delhi: The Ministry of Defence could get joint secretaries from the three services as the government is considering a proposal for the appointment of three officers from the Army, Navy and Air Force in this regard. The proposal sent to the Appointments Cabinet Committee (ACC) suggests appointing three Major General-rank officials from the Army, Navy and Air Force as Joint Secretaries in the Department of Military Affairs, sources said.
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According to them, the officers whose names have been sent for approval include Major General Narayanan, Rear Admiral RK Dhir and Air Vice Marshal SK Jha.
If the plan is approved, it will be in line with the practice at the DMA (Department of Military Affairs). The Chief of Defence Staff-led department also has Indian Administrative Services officers. Important positions in the department are manned by both civilians and staff from the Armed Forces Headquarters cadre.
The CDS has also divided the work between the civilian and military joint secretaries in a manner where the IAS officers are handling the parliamentary work, mostly related to dealing with other ministries and civilian departments. Most of the work related to three services of the Defence Ministry has come to the DMA, while the rest of the residual work has been assigned to Joint Secretary (Armed Forces) in the Department of Defence.
The DMA exists in addition to the four existing verticals in the Defence Ministry — the departments of defence, defence research, defence production and development and ex-service welfare.
The DMA is responsible for handling the armed forces, integrated headquarters of the Ministry of Defence, the territorial army, procurement exclusive to services, except capital acquisitions and jointness in procurement, training and staffing for the services through joint planning and integration of their requirements.
It facilitates the restructuring of military commands for optimal utilisation of resources by bringing about jointness in operations, including through the establishment of joint/theatre commands.