Indian Government has appointed Bipin Rawat as new Chief of Indian Army by superseding Two commanders those are senior to Bipin Rawat.
Now the question is this, is it right to supersede seniors at the cost of merit?
At this point of time people are arguing that government has get away for time tested convention of seniority as main criteria of selection. Although there is another criteria that is eligible candidate among seniors must have two years of residual services before appointment. But, it is not necessary that seniority and two year residual services are the only criteria.
The process of choosing a Service Chief
The government takes a final decision about the most suitable officer for the post (of Service Chief) after considering the prevailing security environment and requirements, defense ministry sources said today.
The selection process begins four to five months in advance with the ministry of defense seeking personal data and professional profiles of all eligible lieutenant generals among the Vice-Chief of Army Staff and General Officers Commanders in Chiefs of Commands.
The Service HQ forwards the data of the eligible candidates, including their professional exposure, achievements and operational experience, and “these are processed by the ministry and forwarded through the Raksha Mantri for consideration and selection to the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC).”
The ACC is the authority which makes the final selection based upon the inputs provided by the Service HQ and the ministry.
It also considers any other additional information that may help it select the Service Chiefs, for the assignment that involves strategic management of national security.
Why government has decided to take merit as a main criteria for selection?
- Now a days it seems that the main concept of security and war has been changed because new security threats like cyber attack, nuclear threat and war by using space technologies are growing rapidly.
- To deal with these new challenges commanders should be competent and up to date. For a commander it has become necessary to be part of decision making process, dealing with finance and at the same time he must be a good administrator and diplomat.
- In order to find out such army chief, government has decided to supersede the criteria of seniority.
- This decision of government has been become the issue of criticism because government has not followed a rule and previous convention. For future government is required to bring new rules and criteria which take merit too into consideration for the selection of army chief. The criteria of two years compulsory residual service can be reduced up one year which is already followed by Air Force and Navy.
So by reading this article it can be concluding that merit is quite essential for a army chief because the duty of security in this changing world where everything is changing in a rapid pace and the arena of Nation Security and Technology associated with security has not been remained untouched from these changes.
So to meet these new challenges we need to change our criteria and procedure for appointment of Army Chief.