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New Delhi: The Army is reviewing its policy on providing aides-de-camp (ADC) to the governors of states as it faces an acute shortage of young officers, ThePrint has learnt.

In a letter earlier this month, the Army headquarters has asked military secretaries of all the commands across the country to review if ADC should continue to be posted on deputation with the governors of states, keeping in view their functional utility and the current shortage of young officers in the Army.

The Army has also told the commands an ADC may be required in states having substantial army presence.

While states such as Punjab, Rajasthan, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland have a large Army presence, states like Odisha and Jharkhand, have comparatively fewer Army establishments.

What is ADC in armed forces?

An aide-de-camp (official position) in the armed forces primarily functions as a protocol officer, who looks after implementation of the protocols, and as an executive assistant.

An ADC is also responsible for carrying out liaison with the local military authorities and looks after the professional requirements of the officer/governor he is attached to.

An ADC should have five to seven years of experience in the armed forces. He is selected on the basis of his professional performance and an interview. 

Besides the governors of states, aides-de-camp are authorised to senior officers in the armed forces and the President of India.


Also read: Bipin Rawat’s plan to train jawans for officer role is Army admitting staff shortage, quality


President has five aides-de-camp

The President of India has five aides-de-camp — three from the Army, and one each from the Navy and the Air Force.

Each state governor has two aides-de-camp — one comes from either the Army/Navy/Air Force, and the other one from the state’s police force. 

As many as 16 aides-de-camp are provided by the Army to the governors, while the rest come from the Navy and the Indian Air Force.

Earlier, Vice-Presidents were not assigned an ADC, but ever since Venkaiah Naidu took over as the Vice-President, he has been assigned two aides-de-camp from the military. 

Over the last few years, several senior Army officers have been replacing their ADC with a staff officer, who has about 16-18 years of experience and is usually a “non-empanelled lieutenant colonel” because of a shortage of young officers in the Army, a senior Army officer told ThePrint.

Doing away with ADC system will be ‘worst decision’

The Army’s move to review the policy has evoked a mixed reaction. While some felt it would help address the redundancy of the job associated with the position, others said it is a legacy that should not be done away with. 

A second senior Army officer told ThePrint the system of ADC to governors has “its roots in our legacy”.

“The service to the governor is the first point of military contact available to the state and one of the best selected officers is sent for the job. Continuing this is not only the interest of civil-military relationship, but also critical as the Army’s participation in democracy,” the officer said.

“Doing away with this out of narrow, perceptional gains will be the worst decision we can take, as it gives an exposure to the officers in military administration,” the officer added.

A third Army officer, however, said it is not yet a policy and at a preliminary stage. “Only views have been sought as of now on the idea,” the officer said.

Just a vestige of the past: Ex-Himachal governor

Some former governors were largely supportive of the idea to do away with the legacy of ADC. 

Former governor of Mizoram Lt Gen. Madan Mohan Lakhera (Retd) told ThePrint: “There are so many times that the officer (police or military) ensures a smooth tour programme for the government (among other tasks). However, if the Army feels that there is a shortage of officers, military ADC can be withdrawn as the governor deals with mostly the civil population.” 

V.S. Kokje, former governor of Himachal Pradesh, said the Army has initiated a good move.

“I feel it is just a vestige of the past. The roles performed by a military ADC attached to a governor can also be performed by others and they can contribute much more in their core jobs,” he said.

Nikhil Kumar, who has been the governor of both Kerala and Nagaland, however, said ADCs are personal secretaries to the Governor and are hence “an asset”.

“Special care is taken to select officers with a smart bearing and very good service record. He is expected to have high grade general knowledge and local sensitivities in his work as Personal Assistant of the Governor and is thus an asset,” he told ThePrint.

“He (the ADC) is also an Ambassador of his parent service/cadre expected to be at his best in assisting the Governor,” he added.


Also read: This is how more Army jawans can become officers under new Bipin Rawat plan


 

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27 Comments Share Your Views

27 COMMENTS

  1. Army or civilian, Indians are under a democratic system;every action and thought should be carried out in a democratic way,not whimsically, all stakeholders should be consulted reasonably..The going on in the Army seems not very attractive anymore,,something needs to be done innovative, incentivisng but not certainly the ‘Tour of duty “way..

  2. REVIVE THE SSB PATTERN FOR SELECTION OF OFFICERS IN ARMED FORCES . THE SELECTION SYSTEM IS OUTDATED AND DOESNT MATCH THE NEED OF THE HOUR. HOWEVER, OTHER COUNTRIES HAVE REFINED THEIR SELECTION PROCESS UNLIKE OUR’S OLD OBSOLETE SSB PATTERN. STRENGTHEN THE MIDDLE LEVEL COMMAND OF JCOS/ SUBEDARS WHO HAVE VAST FIELD EXPERIENCE. ABOLISH THE OLD BRITISH PATTERN OF BRITISH OFFICERS AND INDIAN SUBEDARS / JAWANS. ABOLISH THE CUSTOMARY BRITISH ERA MESS PARTY PATTERNS . EMPOWER JAWANS WITH HIGH TECH REAL WARFARE TRAINING AT PAR WITH OFFICERS. OFTEN VIDEOS SHOWING JAWANS EXPLOITED BY OFFICERS WORKING IN THEIR RESIDENCES IS NOT NEW. ARMED FORCES NEED TO REDRESS ITS OWN ISSUES AND LETS THE GOVERMENT DO ITS OWN WORK. SUPPORT GOVERMENT AND NATION IS ABOVE ALL. JAI MAA BHARTI

  3. If Indian army is also recruiting soldiers & officers likewise US army then the whole scenario is changed very positively only the government have intention and interest to do this.

  4. It is a tunnel-vision move and needs to be summarily rejected. It needs to be remembered that any appointment , at any rank, outside the army, gives us an extra vacancy. That helps in improving cadre prospects. Unfortunately, we have never thought or planned on these lines. ADC’s for Governors /LT Governors must be retained and can even be of Major rank. The Army should also look for other vacancies outside the Army, instead of all the time harping on shortage of officers. There are many ways of removing the shortage; the problem is we have not been able to persuade the MoD to improve a much better golden handshake to our Short Service Officers. If Mod does not listen, raise the level and continue the pressure even in Parliament. Our ability to fight the enemy and insurgents is first class, but when it comes to the political leaders and bureaucrats, we tend to back out. Numerous incidents can be quoted but this is not the place.

  5. Not able to meet the shortage of officers in the army proves the point that our Def organisation is not able to come up with a good career options and opportunities for young minds in our country. It seems now the policy makers have accepted defeat in this regards and now trying their tooth and nail to meet the challenges in house reshuffling. Without realising the fact that problems lies somewhere else, tomorrow I think they may come up with idea to stop all deputation from army in all dept. We should understand that shortage is at middle level officer not at Colonel and above. So we should understand that it is low career, and low financial perspective which is not attracting youth, than suddenly govt come up with cutting gradually all previously granted packages. Then why will someone join when he knows that his career will be fixed in 13yr, without telling him about his fault and incompetence and he will be serving in that rank for next 20 yr.

  6. Slowly and steadily army officers are being removed from all power centers in the country . We have enough Lt Cols and Cols to replace these young officers and such senior officers will play a better role in all respect. Deputation of Army officers to BSF and CRPF was removed on similar grounds. If these forces are officered by Army, we would never require Army in the aid of civil authorities. Take example of AR. AR bns performs at par with army because of Army officers. Army as well as bureaucracy knows as to why young minds do not wish to join Army. In our times film heroines used to line up to marry Armed Forces officers but these days army officers daughters do not want to marry army officers. This is all due to a systematic degradation of Armed Forces officers cadre in all respect. These days government has found some very senior serving officers who are ready to do any harm to the organization for their petty gains… we elect illiterate and greedy people to govern us… we can not spare 16 officers out of 40000 officers during total peace time…..

  7. It is definitely a good move. Not only Army but all defence services must support this effort to ensure right man is placed for right job. A n officer for combat role must not be wasted in a kind of job that can be done away with a competent civilian counterpart.

    There would be many who would oppose this progressive step certainly as they must be thinking that withdrawing of ADCs will adversely affect getting many jobs done in the civil on the recommendations of the Raj bhawan as it provides good opportunity and link between the Defence personnel and the civil administraion.

  8. Well Armed Forces can take another Self defeating decision of removing ADC from Governors of States. They are known for taking such decisions in past also. For its own good, Army must integrate with civil population rather go down further in Frog in well concept. Such disastrous decisions in last 70 Years have contributed immensely in down gradation of Armed Forces and Armed Forces can happily take credit for it.

  9. A retrogade decision. Army chief is in siege mentality. Every day we hear army taking retrogade decisions to make way for police. Facing shortage of 16 officers in a strength of 32 k plus force is a joke. Java army chief lost sense of logic and numbers

  10. Army wastes a huge number of junior officers in staff appointments. ADCs to Governers can be senior officers instead of junior officers. That will benefit both sides. Civilians will get advisors who actually know their service capab

  11. 1.with time we must accept to change our mindset.
    2. Gone are the days of legacy. In current environment, which is that job of coordination which an official from state govt cannot do?
    3. The officers in this service bracket need to be exposed to the various disciplines of their own job and improve their personal skills.
    4. An excellent move by the Army. Further Army must also check the job relevance of each appointment/post. Look where some can be combined.Effect of digitalisation be also looked into.

  12. It is well observed that such young officers have a great exposure being ADCs to civil administration but they actually play a very small part as a representation of the military services in their role as ADCs. However these officers are selected to join the milatary service after going through a difficult selection process where even the best sometimes fail! It is such a waste of such fine talent being ADCs to civil administrators. Even the president’s bodyguards should be disbanded and these fantastic men be assigned to actual work they were selected for. If the govt can easily decide to change our architectural history by implementing the Central Vista project that will destroy something of much greater value, both aesthetically and monetarily, then all this pomp and show of shining brass around civil administrators must be stopped and the officers returned to their actual duties

  13. Let us examine how and why Governors in India got AsDC who is primarily a military executive assistant to a military commander in the field. During the early British rule there were only three governors of the three presidencies. Each presidency had it’s own Army and the Governor was the Supreme Commander of this Army and hence the ADC came with the office. Later when governors were appointed to the larger reorganized provinces, they were also given AsDC for pomp and show to the natives. By late 19th century the armies were also centralized but the ADC legacy continued for reasons of empire.This legacy continues after India became independent because the origins of this office were forgotten. Presently only the President being the Supreme Comander of the Armed Forces should be having AsDC on his staff.Even the ADC to the VP cannot be justified. It is time the service chiefs withdrew all other officers reputed as AsDC.

  14. Sir , get more missile ..upgrade our defence technology ..hire .1% on ground millitary in every year..kinldly ask finance minister to increase and freeze defence budget ..no more used defence budget in other areas..its purely allocated only to improve , subscription ,or uprgade our land ,water ,air defence technology.. ..then we will see who is going to threat us..

  15. Army should place high profile Lieutenant Colonels who could not make it to the next rank but had all prerequisites to perform at his best as ADC instead of young Majors who are required to strengthen the units.

  16. Cocoon mentality won’t get the army so far. The muddle our armed forces are in is more self created than external factors. Citing ‘lack of officers’ as a reason to withdraw own officers from such prestigious positions only reflects the narrow thinking which decision making echelons posses in Armed Forces. The logic wants us to convince that amongst a cadre strength of 40 thousand plus officers, another 25-30 will ‘HELP’ the officer shortage, if ADCs are withdrawn! RIP LOGIC.
    Armed forces should rather be pitching for more deputations and cross service avenues, both within and outside services. Let officers go on state deputations. Let the public see and feel your officers first hand for them to get convinced, pick and choose this profession. If it were correct, armed forces should have been running a media publicity campaign inviting people to join. No other government service need it since the society itself knows and aspires for reaching and emulating them. Armed Forces need introspection and not lip service at this critical juncture when institutional integrity appears in shambles.
    “If you withdraw into yourself, you run the risk of becoming egocentric. And stagnant water becomes putrid”. The young talent knows better and thus avoids getting stuck for life. No promotional avenues and whatever little is left is dwindled with everything less professional Excellence.

  17. We spend huge money to train an officer. It is wastage of talent. Army should appoint JCOs for this positions ( If need be).

  18. We spend huge money to train an officer. It is wastage of talent and money. Army should appoint JCOs for this positions ( If need be).

  19. I Wonder Why the Army thinks of restricting itself within the Army like cocoons. Giving quantum of exposure in various disciplines of the government will only enriched the organisation. The ADC represents the Army of the Nation in various National and State functions with the President of India and the Governor of States giving the Officer a very good exposure which will definitely benefit the organisation.
    If there is shortage of young Officers in the Army, it is a very high time to carry out introspection and realise the shortcomings as to why good great young minds do not prefer the Army. Why ???
    A very simple question would bring out the various aspects of shortcomings and then make it attractive to woo the young minds.

    When almost 60 to 70 percentage of Officers does not even reach the select rank of Colonel, why should the young mind prefer to join. A serious review of promotion policy is needed which provides growth in service and which does not cut the career halfway.

  20. Most of the Governors nowadays do not know what the ADC’s job is. They treat the AsDC as their personal valet or security person, as if he was like a personal bodyguard.
    Today’s Governors deserve only a police ADC-cum-Security Officer. Giving them a military ADC is an insult to the officer cadre of the Armed Forces. If someone HAS TO BE GIVEN give them a Naib Subedar or a Subedar.

    • WHY OFFICERS ARE NOT TO BE GIVEN BUT JCOS. . . DONT THEY HAVE ANY RESPONSIBILITY. THEY ARE THE BACK BONE OF THE INDIAN ARMY. DONT DISTINGUISH IN BETWEEN. EACH AND EVERYONE FROM A SEPOY TO A GENERAL HAVE A COMMON UNIQUE RESPONSIBILITY WHICH IS THE ONE AND ONLY AIM TO PROTECT THE NATION. SO DONT DISTINGUISH.

    • ADC must be abolished for all appt incl President औफ़ India , down to Maj Gen in Army
      Waste of human resource

  21. It’s a good move. But, the questions arise what so essential duties the ADC and Military Secy to the President do that this move can’ t be taken to the level of the President of India even?

    • The requirement of the day is to do away with the appointment of Governors and wasteful expenditure on maintenance of Raj Bhawans and the Staff.. similarly the Rajya Sabha and the appointment of Vice President be done away with.. similarly in states do away with the Legislative Council..as far as ADCs are concerned, they must continue with the President as he is the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces..make major reforms and not miniscule and incremental changes.. Veteran Colonel Arjuna Jang Bahadur

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