NEW DELHI: In a first, the central government has approved appointment of military personnel of the three forces as the additional secretary and joint secretary in the Department of Military Affairs (DMA).
The department has been pursuing these proposals since last February and prior to its formation, these positions were held by civilian bureaucrats.
Names of four armed forces officers have been approved in the circular issued by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC).
While Lieutenant General Anil Puri has been approved as Additional Secretary, Major General K. Narayanan, Rear Admiral Kapil Mohan Dhir and Air Vice Marshal Hardeep Bains have been named as Joint Secretaries in the Department of Military Affairs.
Till now these positions in the DMA were held by the uniformed officers as the officiating appointments.
The DMA that comes as a major reform in the higher defence management is in addition to four existing ones viz. the departments of defence, defence research, defence production and development and ex-service welfare. It came into being on January 1, 2020 with the appointment of General Bipin Rawat as the first Chief of Defence Staff. He was the first uniformed officer to be given the rank of the Secretary hitherto preserved only for civilian administrators. Also, two IAS officers, Rajeev Singh Thakur and Shantanu, were moved to the Department of Military Affairs.
The department that was created to facilitate optimal utilization of resources and promote jointness among the three services handles the integrated headquarters of the ministry of defence, the territorial army, procurement exclusive to services except capital acquisitions and jointness in procurement, training and staffing for the services through joint planning and integration.
The creation of the theatre commands is being pursued by the DMA.