New Delhi, Jan 5: Ministry of Defence on Friday reversed its years’ old order which placed a status of equivalence between military officers and their civilian counterparts. The order had enraged the army officials. The ministry, in a statement, said that the order issued on October 18, 2016 on the issue of equivalence between Armed Forces officers and Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Services (AFHQ CS) Officers stands withdrawn. The new order was issued after Minister of Defence Nirmala Sitharaman took the decision on the matter. Also Read - Economic Reforms Will Continue, More Ahead, Says Sitharaman
“The Ministry of Defence letter dated October 18, 2016 on the issue of equivalence between Armed Forces officers and Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Services (AFHQ CS) Officers is withdrawn,” the defence ministry said. The order has generated uproar among the military officers by giving equivalence to the officers of Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Services with their counterparts in the military. Also Read - Finance Ministry Seeks Proposals for Annual Budget 2021-22 Via E-mail
For example, according to current norms, director-level officers have been put on the same level with the directors of the Armed Forces Headquarters-cadre. The military officials have been insisting that Lt Colonel is equivalent to directors of AFHQ cadre. Also Read - Job Creation to Tax Relief in Housing, Key Takeaways From FM Sitharaman's Aatmanirbhar Bharat 3.0
Following the order, for example, a Principal Director in AFHQ was made equivalent to a Major General, a Director was made equivalent to a Brigadier and a Joint Director was made on par with a Colonel. A Colonel earlier was equivalent to a Director.
The ministry said “local designations” assigned to both service and civilian Officers in Service Headquarters/ Inter Service Organisations (ISOs) is also withdrawn.