Army commanders to discuss Ladakh standoff

Readiness for winter deployment, HR reforms on agenda of four-day meet

With the standoff continuing along the disputed boundary in Eastern Ladakh, the situation on the ground in Ladakh as well as the Army’s winter preparations will be reviewed at the highest level at the Army commanders conference, chaired by Army Chief Gen. Manoj Naravane, which began on Monday. The conference also has a series of reforms on its agenda.

The first day has been scheduled for deliberating on matters related to human resource management, an Army source said. The commanders will brain storm on a series of reform measures to cut down on ceremonial practices, among other measures, a second source said.

There will be a comprehensive review of the situation across all the borders including Ladakh, the second source said. Chine has deployed close to 50,000 troops along the LAC, which has been matched by India, and with no breakthrough in talks for disengagement, both sides have made preparations for deployment at high altitudes in the harsh winters.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen. Bipin Rawat as well as the Navy and Air Force Chiefs are scheduled to address the conference on Tuesday. The biennial conference is attended by senior officers of the Army including the Vice-Chief, seven Army commanders, Principal Staff Officers (PSOs) of the Army headquarters and other senior officers.

On Wednesday, the Commander-in-Chief of the Andaman and Nicobar Command, the only tri-service command, will update the Army commanders. Several studies are currently underway for the formation of integrated tri-service commands beginning with a joint air defence command.

The last day of the conference will include an update by the Director General of Border Roads Organisation (BRO) on the various infrastructure development projects being undertaken by BRO and allied formations. Automation initiatives to optimise utilisation of manpower at various levels of the Army will also be discussed, the first source added.

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