Army changes promotion policy for Maj Gens, Lt Gens

The Army has changed the promotion policy for Major Generals and Lieutenant Generals by categorising them into staff and command streams in the backdrop of Ajai Vikram Singh Committee (AVSC) report.

Last Updated: Aug 19, 2009, 20:35 PM IST

New Delhi: The Army has changed the
promotion policy for Major Generals and Lieutenant Generals by
categorising them into staff and command streams in the
backdrop of Ajai Vikram Singh Committee (AVSC) report.

The new policy envisaged giving senior officers from
staff stream only administrative duties, while the command
stream officers would get to head operational formations, Army
sources said here today.

The policy, they said, had come into effect from January
one this year after Phase II of the AVSC report was
implemented last year.

The AVSC report recommended creating new posts of 75
Major Generals and 20 Lieutenant Generals in the Army.

Under the new policy, senior rank officers would get
promoted into two distinct staff and command posts, but would
get no opportunity change streams while moving up the ladder.

Also, the promoted officer would be allotted a stream on
a pro-rata basis keeping in view the availability of staff
and command posts at any given point of time.

This, in effect, would mean that once a Major General
was placed in staff stream, he would get no opportunity to
command an operational formation of the Army.

"The new policy has been in discussion at the Army
Commanders` Conferences for the last two years and came into
effect from January one this year," sources said.

Asked if there was any opposition from senior ranks as
the policy could deny opportunity for deserving officers, the
Army headquarters vehemently denied any such dissent, be it
oral or written, from any quarter.

As per the new policy, first mooted by General K
Sundarji when he was army chief in late 1980s, a Major
General, once selected into staff stream, would take up posts
such as Chiefs of Staff of a Corps or a Command Headquarters,
or head an Area Headquarters, which are all administrative

On the other hand, a Major General from the Command
stream would head operational formations such as a Division
and once promoted as Lieutenant Generals, would command a
Corps and get the opportunity to become Army Commanders and
Vice Chief.

The Army currently has about 40 operational Divisions
and six Commands -- Udhampur-based Northern, Pune-based
Southern, Kolkata-based Eastern, Chandimandir-based Western,
Jaipur-based South-Western and Shimla-based Training Commands.

The policy was implemented first for 15 Major
Generals, who were promoted to Lieutenant General rank in
January this year.

The Army headquarters then sent the selected
officers in two seperate lists of 10 for command stream and
five for staff stream to the Defence Ministry for final
clearance, sources said.

The existing system of promotion to senior ranks was
based on a merit ranking system taking into account the annual
confidential report (ACR), which included parameters such as
courses attended, commands held, and awards received.

Army sources said 95 per cent marks were allotted on
the basis of quantified assessment from ACR and the remaining
five per cent was awarded by Army Commanders, who constitute
the Promotion Board, on the basis their assessment of the

"The existing system of assessing the officers has not
gone through changes. Army Commanders still hold the
discretionary powers to identify promising officers and
provide five percent of the marks, which is a value-based
assessment," sources added.

The Ajai Vikram Singh Committee, which went into
issues of stagnation among officer cadre of the Army, Navy and
Air Force, had recommended creation of new posts across all
ranks thereby providing career mobility to young officers and
keeping a young profile for troop commanders.

The committee report was implemented in two phases,
the first phases in 2004 for officers from Captain to Colonel
ranks and the phase two in December last year for officers
from Brigadier to Lieutenant Generals ranks in the three

Bureau Report