Recently there was a news article that Defence ministry has scrapped the decision of the Naval HQ to create new offices for two rear admiral-rank officers in Delhi and Gujarat. Now this was most confusing piece of news. After all how can one part of the entity called Government of India scrap the decision taken by another part of the same Government of India?
Integrated HQ Ministry of Defence (Navy) is an integral part of the Ministry of Defence. Therefore Naval HQ is as much Govt of India as is the Ministry of Defence. Therefore who in the MoD has actually scrapped the decision. A decision taken by the VCNS and approved by the CNS must have also received the concurrence of MoD (Finance) and would have gone through the laid down route in the MoD. Once this is done then no one below the Defence Minister can scrap the decision. Further in case the Raksha Mantri wants to change the decision then he first has to take proper military advice, which in this case can be rendered by the Naval Chief only and not any non military entity in the MoD. Thus if this has not happened then it will be fully right for the Navy to just stick to its guns.
It has been reported that a few months back, some babu in the Defence ministry had sought details from the Naval HQ for making the appointments of Flag Officer Delhi Area (FODA) and Flag officer Gujarat Naval area (FOGNA) without his consent after it came to his notice. However the identity of this Babu has not been revealed. Apparently this baboon thinks that he is more powerful than the Chief Of The Naval Staff. In the absence of a full time Defence Minister, this chap thinks that he can dictate terms to the Navy.
FODA and FOGNA were created quite some time back with Parikkar in saddle and therefore he must have given his clearance to the Chief. With Parikkar getting to know the intricacies of the babudom, they did not dare to question him. Now after his departure to Goa, they are again trying to assert themselves.
The Navy, which is an integrated part of the MoD should hold its ground, and just initiate a fresh proposals for making these appointments and send it directly to Jaitely, the Raksha Mantri. As thes naval officers are urgently required to carry out these important tasks assigned to the force.
These babus are actually acting like baboons by stating that it came as a surprise to them that the Integrated HQ MoD, Navy had raised two new offices without the consent of their part of Defence ministry. And they are making such statements to the media, amazing!! They further added that without their approval, making such appointments was not permissible as such offices have financial bearings on the government. They are trying to show that IHQ, MoD Navy is not part of the MoD. How incredulous!!. In the first case, the Navy has appointed a Rear Admiral-rank officer as the FODA, just like the appointment Army has in HQ Delhi Area. Area Flag Officers is an appointment dealing basically with administration, logistics and maintenance of all Naval Assets and Naval Stations under them including their local defence.
Now a joint secretary level officer who may not be able to even clearly differentiate between the Navy and the Merchant Navy has raised a red flag while going through files of a construction project and seeing that Rear Admiral Kishen Kumar Pandey was using FODA designation in them. So he is now trying to act mightier than the DCNS, VCNS and the CNS. The VCNS should just give him a shut up call and end the story there it self.
It is so obvious that FODA is a Senior level appointment working on important projects, including construction of the National War memorial and War museum at the Indian Gate complex which required dedicated officers to look after it. The officer would also be very soon required to start work on the construction of Nau Sena Bhawan, which will be a big task. The workload had gone up quite considerably in the national Capital anyway .
On the appointment of the new office of FOGNA area, it is for every one to see that the best place for this office would be Gandhinagar. Apart from the seat of the Gujarat Govt, a maritime state, Gandhinagar also has the HQ of South Western Air Command and HQ 11 Infantry Division, that is all the forces meant for defence of Gujarat. Also FOGNA has to coordinate with over 15 State and Central Govt agencies for coastal security. It is just as Maharastra Naval Area is in Mumbai and Goa Naval Area is in Panaji. In the foreseeable future there will be Commodore NOIC Porbandar, Jamnagar and Hazira.