Continuing with the reforms in the armed forces, the ministry of defence has approved the abolition of 9,300 posts in the Military Engineering Services (MES). The proposal is in line with the recommendations of Lt Gen DB Shekatkar committee. The Ministry in its official release said, “In line with the recommendations made by the Committee, based on the proposal of Engineer-in-Chief, MES, the proposal of the abolition of 9,304 posts in MES out of the total 13,157 vacancies of the Basic and Industrial staff has been approved by Defence Minister.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had undertaken a high-level review of the recommendations of the Shekatkar Committee on 20 April in the presence of Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Bipin Rawat, Navy chief Admiral Karambir Singh, Air Force head Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Bhadauria, Army chief Gen. M.M. Naravane and Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar.
Lt Gen Shekatkar Committee was set up in 2016 for enhancing combat capability and rebalancing defence expenditure of the Armed forces for better teeth-to-tail ratio. The Committee submitted its report in December 2016
One of the recommendations made by the Committee was to restructure the civilian workforce in a manner that the work of MES could be partly done by departmentally employed staff and other works could be outsourced. The recommendation was aimed at making MES an effective organisation with a leaner workforce, well equipped to handle complex issues in the emerging scenario in an efficient and cost-effective manner.
The Military Engineer Services is construction and maintenance agency and is part of the Corps of Engineers of the Indian Army responsible for creating the strategic and the operational infrastructure other than major roads, as also the administrative habitat for Army, Air Force and Navy and the associated organisations of the Ministry of Defence. MES is a military organisation but has both Army and Civilian component of officers and other subordinate staff.