Monday, May 10, 2010

Army to outsource training of officers

Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 9
In a perceptible shift in its ideology and approach to modern-day requirements, the Army is experimenting with the concept of outsourcing the training and orientation programme of officers posted to some branches to private firms.

While the job of training is being offered to ‘reputed firms having a national or international footprint’ to take up such tasks on a turn-key basis, the training programmes would be handled by senior retired officers on their rolls.

Officers posted to some branches in higher headquarters are required to undergo capsule courses to familiarise them with the functioning of the branch. For example, the Master General of Ordnance’s Branch at Army Headquarters, which has initiated this project, conducts a three-day training course for all officers posted to it.

At present, such matters are dealt in-house by the services, with serving officers being deputed for the same. Outsourcing training with senior retired officers at the helm of affairs would, according to the Army’s thinking, ensure availability of skilled advice and conserve military resources and manpower.

The training programme would be designed and approved by the branch concerned and the firms concerned would be required to form a panel of retired officers expert in the required areas for conduct of training. Officers would be of the rank of colonel or brigadier and it would be mandatory for them to have had an instructional tenure at specified military colleges or training establishments as well as a staff posting at the branch concerned during their service career.

Not surprisingly, the move to outsource training and the expected participation of international firms has raised security concerns in some quarters. Screening of firms and personnel associated with training as well as assuring security of information would be mandatory.
Army to outsource training of officers

Comment: This idea seems to be mooted by the bureaucrats. Where is the necessity of Private Players/ Institutions when we have so many Military Training Institutions and Public sector Institutions like CSIR, DRDO in the country? All one needs is to select and employ Retired Military Professionals as expert staff and evolve specialised training capsules for ASC, Ordnance and EME. Emphasis should be on quality of products which ultimately trickles down to the foot soldier and reduction of corruption which is the cause of poor quality; be it services or products for soldiers. All training capsules must aim and emphasise on Service, Character and Integrity as component of Military Leadership.

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