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Has not decided on shifting the Army Training Command from Shimla to Meerut: MoS

The army as part of its plan to restructure the force was looking at shifting the Army Training Command (ARTRAC) to Meerut.

Jul 16, 2019, 10.10 AM IST
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However, some officials felt that it will not be logical to shift an entire command to Meerut. They added that there will be logistical issues in this as well.
NEW DELHI: The Defence Ministry on Monday said that the Centre has not decided on shifting the Army Training Command from Shimla to Meerut.

The army as part of its plan to restructure the force was looking at shifting the Army Training Command (ARTRAC) to Meerut. This was being done to not only have better infrastructure to cater to the command’s growing roles after the restructuring, but also have better connectivity to the Army Headquarters in the national capital.

However, Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik in response to a question on whether the government has decided to relocate the ARTRAC from Shimla to Meerut, raised in the Rajya Sabha on Monday said, “No, sir.”

Sources added that the relocation is yet to be approved by the defence ministry. The ARTRAC is one of the seven training commands. It controls the training establishments and writes training pamphlets. It was raised at Mhow in Madhya Pradesh in 1991 and was shifted to Shimla in 1993. The army was planning to shift it again to Meerut. The army felt that it needed more infrastructure, because it is looking at merging the Directorate General of Military Training (DGMT) with the ARTRAC. The DGMT has a similar role to the ARTRAC. The DGMT executes training plans for operations, war games and joint training.

Another reason of shifting the ARTRAC to Meerut was due to its proximity of the Army Headquarters. This would lead to more interactions on the issues dealt by the ARTRAC. Presently, it takes a long time and high costs to reach Shimla. Meerut, on the other hand, is better connected with the expressway.

However, some officials felt that it will not be logical to shift an entire command to Meerut. They added that there will be logistical issues in this as well.

The army is looking at these new changes as part of a plan to reorganise itself into a lethal and agile force, which is capable of handling future challenges. The plan stems from four major internal studies- ‘Reorganisation of the Army Headquarters’, ‘Reorganisation and rightsizing of the Army’, ‘Cadre review of officers’ and ‘Review of terms of engagement of rank and file’.

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