20 army officers to be promoted as lieutenant generalsMay 26th, 2011 - 6:01 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, May 26 (IANS) After over a six-month delay, the government has cleared more than 20 senior army major generals for promotion to the rank of lieutenant general, following the two-year-old policy of dividing them into the much sought after command and less attractive staff streams.
Government sources said here Thursday that the promotion of the major generals to the next rank was approved by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh recently.
A total of 63 major generals were in contention for promotion, but most of them retired in the past six months, thereby losing out on continuing in service and getting the higher rank.
This decision comes even as the army under its chief General V.K. Singh has been for nearly a year now pushing for a change from the two-stream policy and to a single-stream system so that all major generals promoted as lieutenant generals get a chance to lead battle formations such as a corps or a command.
Under the existing policy, promulgated during the tenure of the then army chief Deepak Kapoor in January 2009, the promoted officers are segregated into two streams so that there is a clear-cut defining of what roles such officers would play in the future of the army.
The staff stream officers would only be appointed in administrative support roles under the 2009 policy, such as chiefs of staff of a corps or a command.
Apart from these officers, another 139 brigadiers are still awaiting results of their promotion boards, which were held in January.
These two boards were to be convened in October 2010, but the army top brass had hoped that the defence ministry would approve the single-stream promotion policy in time so that all 202 officers could be considered under the new policy. Hence, the sitting of the boards was delayed and finally held in January 2011.
The recommendation for single-stream policy had been made by the army after what top officers claimed was a study conducted to assess the opinion of the serving officers. However, despite seeking an opinion from the law ministry on the recommendation, the defence ministry was yet to take a final call on the issue.
The defence ministry, sources said, was wary of the legal tangles that it might get into if the single-stream policy was cleared and implemented at this stage.
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Tags: appointments committee, army chief, army officers, brigadiers, chief general, chiefs of staff, deepak kapoor, defence ministry, higher rank, lieutenant general, major generals, manmohan, manmohan singh, prime minister manmohan, prime minister manmohan singh, promotion boards, promotion policy, stream promotion, stream system, two streams