Why in news?
The Government has accepted and implemented three important recommendations of Committee of Experts (CoE) under the Chairmanship of Lt General D B Shekatkar (Retd) relating to border Infrastructure.
These were related to speeding up road construction, leading to socio economic development in the border areas.
Details of what was accepted:
- On the matter related to creating border infrastructure, the Government has implemented recommendation of CoE to outsource road construction work beyond optimal capacity of Border Roads Organisation (BRO). It has been made mandatory to adopt Engineering Procurement Contract (EPC) mode for execution of all works costing more than Rs 100 crore.
- The other recommendation relating to introduction of modern construction plants, equipment and machinery has been implemented by delegating enhanced procurement powers from Rs 7.5 crore to Rs 100 crore to BRO.
- New Technology like blasting technology for precision blasting, use of Geo-Textiles for soil stabilisation, cementitious base for pavements, plastic coated aggregates for surfacing, is also being used to enhance the pace of construction.
- The land acquisition and all statutory clearances like forest and environmental clearance are also made part of approval of Detailed Project Report (DPR).
- Ministry of Defence, in 2015, had constituted a committee (under the chairmanship of Lt. Gen Retd. DB Shekatkar) to recommend measures to enhance combat capability and rebalance defence expenditure of the armed forces.
- Shekatkar committee had submitted its report on December 21, 2016, which made recommendations on enhancing the combat potential of India’s three armed forces, rationalising the defence budget, and improving the teeth-to-tail ratio.
Key Recommendations of the Shekatkar Committee
- According to a 2017 report, the Shekatkar Committee had recommended that India’s defence budget should be in the range of 2.5 to 3 per cent of the GDP, keeping in mind possible future threats.
- Enhancement in standards for recruitment of clerical staff and drivers in the Army was one of the recommendations.
- It recommended Improving the efficiency of the National Cadet Corps.
- It had also suggested the establishment of a Joint Services War College for training for middle-level officers, even though the three separate war colleges — Mhow, Secunderabad and Goa — could continue to train younger officers for their respective services.
- It had also recommended that the Military Intelligence School at Pune be converted to a tri-service intelligence training establishment.
- The report also focuses on optimisation of Signals establishments to include radio monitoring companies, corps air support signal regiments, air formation signal regiments, composite signal regiments, and merger of corps operating and engineering signal regiments.
- It included restructuring of repair echelons in the Army to include base workshops, advance base workshops and static/station workshops in the field Army.
- It also called for the closure of military farms and army postal establishments in peaceful locations, which is among the recommendations already implemented.