Lt Gen D B Shekatkar Committee

  • To recommend measures to enhance the combat capabilities of the armed forces and re-balance the overall defence expenditure.
  • The overall aim of the committee is to ensure combat capabilities Indian armed forces and enhance their potential with a better teeth-to-tail combat ratio, within budgetary constraints.
  • It also aims at ensuring leaner and cost-effective fighting forces of India.
  • The committee was constituted owing to the present revenue component (day-to-day costs/salaries) in the defence budget.
  • The revenue component usually outstrips the capital outlay every year and leaves a very little for new modernisation projects for the armed forces.
  • Since the 1999 Kargil conflict, Union Government is trying to follow a policy of `save and raise’ in order to improve combat capabilities without manpower increases.
  • For this purpose government is focusing on modernisation and induction of cutting-edge technologies, for optimisation of manpower.
Major Recommendations:
  • Capital expenditure:
      • Roll-on defence budget must have enough capital expenditure available for modernisation.
      • It is against the present practice of surrendering unspent capital budget at the end of each financial year.
  • Performance audit:
      • It must be conducted of non-combat organisations under the Defence Ministry.
      • It must include those dealing with defence estates and accounts, Director- General of Quality Assurance, Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and National Cadet Corps (NCC).
  • Downsizing or rationalisation of manpower: It will lead to significant savings.
  • Joint services war college: It must be established for training middle-level officers.
  • Reduce deployment of active-duty soldiers in avoidable postings: They will be replaced by retired officers and jawans in the running of NCC.
  • Comprehensive reforms in the running of NCC: Transfer of NCC out of the Defence Ministry to the HRD Ministry. NCC can be run by re-employed or on-contract ex-service personnel.
Steps Taken:
  • Government has accepted most of the recommendations
  • If recommendations of committee are implemented over the next five years, government can save up to Rs. 25,000 crore from the current defence expenditure.
  • Government has started implementing the first phase of reforms based on above recommendations.
  • These reforms will be completed in all respects by 2019.



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