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Friday, January 18, 2008

Army optimistic about Sixth Pay Commission

Chief of the Indian Army Staff, General Deepak Kapoor, said Monday that the modernisation of the army was being stepped up with the induction of the Pinaka (multi barrel rocket launcher), and Brahmos missile systems.

General Kapoor said that the Army is in the process of inducting the Smerch multiple launch rocket systems soon. "The Akash missile system has been tried and tested for Air Force. The Army has not conducted trials and some of our expectations are still to be met," General Kapoor said while explaining the delay in the induction of Akash missiles into the Army.

When asked about delay in transfer of technology for the T-90 tanks, the Army Chief said that it is a complex process and in future "we would avoid such kind of delays," adding the Centre has already approved induction of 347 tanks.

He admitted that artillery modernisation was not going as per plans and there was a set back because its earlier trials were not satisfactory.

He also said that though the modernisation of the army was an ongoing process, at the same time "we need to improve human resource potential for the Army."

Admitting that there is shortage of approximately 11,200 officers in the Army, General Kapoor said that this would not compel them to compromise on the quality in the selection process. Talking about the lack of attraction towards the armed forces as a career option, he said all the organisations have to take youth from the same resource pool and corporate world is ready to pay much more.

General Kapoor sounded optimistic that the Sixth Pay Commission will address the situation and make recommendations, which would ensure that a career in the Army would be more lucrative. When probed further he said, "We haven't come to the stage to have compulsory military service for all in the country."

Commenting on prevailing situation in Jammu and Kashmir, he said situation is better in the state and violence has been down by about 55 per cent as compared to the past.