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Defence Ministry withdraws order that seemed to downgrade “The Status Of Army Officers”

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The Ministry of Defence on Friday issued orders to ensure parity between the armed forces and civil service officers at the Armed Forces Headquaters.

A Ministry letter, dated October 18, 2016, which had brought ranks of armed forces officers a notch down compared to earlier status vis-a-vis their civilian counterparts in the Army Headquarters, has been ordered to be withdrawn.The fresh order has been signed by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

According to the official order, the following shall take place with immediate effect:

-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issue of equivalence between Armed Forces Officers and Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Services (AFHQ CS) Officers is withdrawn.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 cadre restructuring of AFHQ CS as approved by the Union Cabinet shall be duly implemented. Designations to be created in consequence of the additional posts sanctioned by the Cabinet will be done in consultation with Service HQs. Local designations assigned both Service and Civilian Officers in Service Headquarters/InterService Organisations (ISOs) is hereby withdrawn. Both Service and Civilian Officers will use their respective cadre designations only.

So far as the Channel of reporting/rendition of Annual Performance Appraisal Report (APAR) is concerned, status quo ante is hereby restored, i.e., the position which existed prior to the issue of MoD letter dated October 18, 2016 shall prevail.

The issue of rank parity between military personnel and armed forces headquarters (AFHQ) civil service officers was one of the issues that Sitharaman had taken up after taking over as the defence minister in September, 2017

According to the official order, the following shall take place with immediate effect:

-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issue of equivalence between Armed Forces Officers and Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Services (AFHQ CS) Officers is withdrawn.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 cadre restructuring of AFHQ CS as approved by the Union Cabinet shall be duly implemented. Designations to be created in consequence of the additional posts sanctioned by the Cabinet will be done in consultation with Service HQs. Local designations assigned both Service and Civilian Officers in Service Headquarters/InterService Organisations (ISOs) is hereby withdrawn. Both Service and Civilian Officers will use their respective cadre designations only.

-So far as the Channel of reporting/rendition of Annual Performance Appraisal Report (APAR) is concerned, status quo ante is hereby restored, i.e., the position which existed prior to the issue of MoD letter dated October 18, 2016 shall prevail.

The issue of rank parity between military personnel and armed forces headquarters (AFHQ) civil service officers was one of the issues that Sitharaman had taken up after taking over as the defence minister in September, 2017

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