The Defence has to cut out the manpower, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had stated. With there being more than 1.3 million men in uniform in the three forces – that is the Army, Navy and Air Force – the Indian military is ranked as the third largest military in the whole world.

“Flab in the military” has to be cut, is what eh stated. It could start with the Army. “I have asked the Army Chief to identify the areas, it though will take time and cannot be done overnight,” Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar today stated.

The ever increasing pension and the salary bills have forced to reexamine on the numbers of the standing military. This year the government will be spending about Rs. 95,000 crore on the salaries, an increase of nearly 16 per cent in the last two years. This year’s pension bill also stands at Rs. 82,333 crore.

Both pension and salaries have been rising over the years which has left less and less for funds for acquiring the much needed modern military hardware. Funds are available to acquire new military hardware this year is about Rs. 80,000 crore which is down by a total of Rs.14,000 crore from the last year’s budget. The NDA government will be paying an increased military pension by inducing  the one-rank-one-pension scheme, also by implementing the seventh pay commission as to when when the government decides to approves it.

“Every military station has telephone operators. What is the need for operators in today’s time when everything is automated? Much of the training can be carried out through simulators reducing, in some areas, the need to maintain large training staff and establishments,” Mr Parrikar said. “These reductions in manpower will be decided by the forces,” he said.

Shortage of services
The manpower shortage in the three services is about 52,000 including the officers and the men.

The numbers are the maximum for the Army with about 9500 officers and 34,000 men followed by the Navy (11000 plus sailors and about 1300 officers) and Air Force (5500 men and 150 officers)

A smart, lean military is “better” than a big, unwieldy, manpower-centric military, the Defence Minister said.