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Defence Minister approves abolition of 9,304 posts in Military Engineering Service

NEW DELHI (PTI): Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday approved abolition of 9,304 posts in the Military Engineering Service as part of a mega reform process aimed at enhancing combat capability of the Armed Forces and re-balance military expenditure, officials said.

There will be no job losses in view of the decision as the posts identified for abolition are lying vacant for last three years, the officials said.

The Military Engineer Services (MES) is a premier construction agency which operates under the Corps of Engineers of the Indian Army. It is one of the largest construction agencies in India with a total annual budget of around Rs 13,000 crore.

The decision is in sync with recommendations made by a committee headed by Lt Gen DB Shekatkar (retd.) to carry out mega reform in the three armed forces.

"The proposal to abolish 9,304 posts in MES out of the total 13,157 vacancies of the basic and industrial staff has been approved by the Defence Minister," a Defence Ministry spokesperson said.

He said the decision is in line with the recommendations made by the Shekatkar Committee as well as based on the proposal of the Engineer-in-Chief of the MES.

"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 official said.

The recommendation by the high-level committee 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.

In August 2017, the Defence Ministry approved 65 reform measures for the Indian Army, which included redeployment of nearly 57,000 officers and personnel of other ranks, based on the recommendations of the Shekatkar Committee.

The reform measures included optimisation of signal establishments, closure of military farms and army postal wing in peace locations, as well as restructuring of repair echelons, including base workshops.

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