Direct Entry JCOs Cadre.
Ministry of Defence has mooted a proposal for introducing Junior Commission Officers (JCOs) in the Indian Army. Presently most of Group ‘A’ Central Civil Services as well as All India Services have feeder/ support services in the form of Group B cadres. It has been found functionally essential that Direct Entry JCOs cadre is introduced in the Indian Army as feeder/ support cadre for Commissioned Officers Cadre. DE JCOs Cadre will facilitate making up of existing deficiency of Officers up to the rank of Lt Colonel, thereby providing a permanent solution to the problem of shortage of officers in the Indian Army. It will also help resolve many of the HR issues resulting from the pyramidal structure.
Vacancies for DE JCOs.
About 25-30% of Officers vacancies at entry-level are proposed to be apportioned for DE JCOs Cadre, as per details given below:-
- 04 to 06 DE JCOs to be authorized per Major Unit.
- Units with existing officers strength of 20 and more to be assigned 06 DE JCOs.
- Units with existing officers’ strength of 15 to 19 to be authorized 05 DE JCOs.
- Units with existing officers’ strength of 14 and less to be authorized 04 DE JCOs.
- Authorization of DE JCOs to be mentioned under Notes in War Establishment (WE)/ Peace Establishment (PE). It will be at the discretion of Commanding Officers/Head of Establishment to assign appointments to DE and Promotee JCOs as per their suitability against JCOs posts.
Recruitment/ Commissioning of DE JCOs.
The procedure for selection of DE JCOs will be as under:
- Selection to be done through examinations/ tests by UPSC, JCOs being Gazetted Group B equivalent officers.
- Minimum education qualification – Graduate.
- Age – Maximum up to 25 years.
- Candidates undergo CDS written examination and SSB interview. Candidates lower in overall merit given option to join as DE JCOs.
DE JCOs Pre-Commissioning Training.
The DE JCOs are recommended to undergo 1.5 years of Pre-Commissioning training. With the reduction in Regular Officers due to the introduction of DE JCOs and increase of SSCO entry, proportionate infrastructure in NDA and IMA will fall vacant. Same is proposed to be utilized for Pre-Commissioning Training of DE JCOs.
Career Progression of DE JCOs.
DE JCOs cadre is recommended to have time scale promotion from Nb Subedar to Lt Colonel’s rank in 21 years. Nb Subedar to be promoted to Subedar in 6 years and Captain in 12 years, Major in 15 years and Lt Colonel in 21 years. Maximum DE JCOs will retire as Lt Colonel. A few vacancies will also be earmarked for this cadre for selection grade Colonel. Retirement age for DE JCOs entry will be 54 years.
Impact/ Implications of DE JCOs Cadre.
Introduction of DE JCOs entry in Indian Army will have the following implications:-
- Since the DE JCOs will be against Officers vacancies, it will have no adverse effect on the existing promotion avenues of NCOs.
- DE JCOs cadre will help improve the operational effectiveness of Sub-units, as a mix of young & experienced JCOs will be Sub-unit 2ICs/ Platoon Commander. Presently, due to shortage of Officers, many of Sub-units are without 2ICs, while aged JCOs are commanding platoons.
- DE JCOs Cadre will facilitate making up deficiencies in Officers cadre.
- Introduction of DE JCOs cadre will help in reducing the overall strength of Commissioned Officers cadre. This reduction will facilitate the resolution of many HR issues of Army officers’ cadre.