The evolution and management of the Navy's personnel policies have been turbulent since 1939. During the Second World War, the Royal Indian Navy had expanded from 114 officers and 1732 ratings in 1939 to 3014 officers and 27,433 ratings in 1945. After the demobilisation of 1945 and 1946 and the partition of the Navy in 1947, the Navy had shrunk to 672 officers and 5508 ratings.
After 1947, the demands for manpower steadily increased. Ever since then, personnel policies have been driven by several considerations, of which the more basic ones have been:
(a) To overcome shortages by constantly innovating the schemes of intake.
(b) To raise the educational standards of intake so that personnel can cope with the rising technological levels of naval equipment.
(c) To minimise the durations of courses, so as to release manpower for manning new acquisitions.
(d) To minimise the exodus of trained and experienced technical manpower to the Merchant Navy and the civil sector by offering longer careers, better emoluments, more domestic accomodation, more schools for children, canteen facilities, loans from the Indian Naval Benevolent Association (INBA), Group Insurance Schemes etc to induce personnel to remain in service for as long as possible.
(e) These considerations have had to be juggled within the over-riding constraint of maintaining parity with the Army and the Air Force in physical and medical recruitment standards, pay scales, length of colour service, pensionary benefits, equivalence with civilian trades etc.
(f) Within the above framework, to devise allowances and perquisites like hardlying money, flying bounty, submarine pay, diving money etc to attract talent into the appropriate specialisations of the Navy.
(g) On board ships to maintain parity between the departments, the branches of the Navy and the specialisations/trades within each Branch, in terms of workload, responsibilities, career prospects and particularly the less liked duties like cleanship and ship husbandry.
The reconciliation of these conflicting considerations was not easy. During the decade 1965 to 1975, unrest and dissatisfaction manifested in diverse forms. The Navy pulled through. Shortages reduced gradually. Reforms were attempted in the procedures for recruitment, training and manning. Some reforms succeeded. Some reforms like fixed commissions and pre commissioning training (PCT) took time to take root. Some reforms like user-maintainer failed to gain acceptance.
As regards training, except for the advanced "dagger" specialisation courses and other highly specialised courses, the entire training of officers and sailors was being undertaken in India by 1965.
The parent schools, by and large, had the equipment they needed to impart training for the older ships. For every new acquisition, however, a balance had to be struck between the cost of setting up new training facilities ashore or making the maximum use of equipment aboard the new ships. The main constraint was that the wear and tear caused by "learning on the job at sea" degraded the life of equipment on board operational ships.
This chapter discusses the "Personnel" developments between 1965 and 1975 under the following headings:
- Officers Intake, Training, Progression and Promotion
- Sailors Intake, Training and Transfers
- Changes in the Navy's Sailor Structure and Branch Responsibilities
- Fixed Commissions
- The Training Reforms of 1974
- Discipline and Morale
- The Navy's Civilian Personnel
-Allotment of Personal Numbers to Officers
-Naval Standing Establishment Committee
-Changes in Regulations Regarding Moustaches and Beards
-Changes in Uniform
- Increase in the Navy's Borne Strength Between 1965 and 1975
- Changes in Sailors' Conditions of Service after 1975
INTAKE AND SCHEMES TO REDUCE SHORTAGES
In September 1939, when the Second World War started, the Royal Indian Navy had 114 officers. By the time, the war ended in 1945, the number of officers had risen to 3014. After the demobilisation of 1945 and 1946 and the partition of the Navy in 1947, the Navy had 672 officers.
The anticipated expansion of the Navy necessitated recourse to increased recruitment of direct entry officers, as also increasing the intake of regular entry officers. By 1964, the strength had risen to 1870 officers.
The position, in end 1965, was that the Navy was still 26% short and for the next five years a large number would be required to man the Russian acquisitions. A series of steps were taken to meet this looming shortage of officers:
- From 1965 onwards, Direct Entry recruitment was increased: 23 in 1965, 88 in 1966 and 216 in 1967.
- In 1965, the University Entry Scheme, which till then was applicable only to commissions in the Electrical Branch, was extended to the Engineering Branch.
- In 1968, a new Revised Special Entry Scheme (RSES) was introduced for cadets who had reached the Intermediate standard in education.
- In 1969, a Naval Academy was temporarily established at Cochin to train 80 RSES cadet entry officers annually.
- In 1971, shortages continued to persist in the Executive, Electrical and Engineering cadres. To overcome the shortages:
- Intake was increased through the Revised Special Entry Scheme.
- The Direct Entry Scheme was made more attractive by offering selected candidates permanent commissions instead of short service commissions.
- In 1974, the educational level of the Naval Academy's intake was raised. Science graduates were taken in for the Executive Branch under the Graduate special Entry Scheme (GSES), so as to maintain parity between the NDA graduate cadets and the Naval Academy's graduate cadets.
By 1975, though the overall shortage persisted, intake had improved. GSES for Executive Branch candidates and the Direct Entry Scheme of offering permanent commissions to Engineering and Electrical candidates had received good response. Both schemes were continued.
The residual shortages were made up through the Union Public Service Commission's Combined Defence Services (CDS) Examination, which had been introduced in 1974 to replace the separate examinations which used to be held for cadets to join the Indian Military Academy, the Naval Academy's GSES entry and the Air Force Academy.
MANNING PLAN FOR OFFICERS
In end 1975, shortages persisted in the technical branches, albeit at a reduced level. The shortage was particularly acute in the rank of Lt Cdr because of the new acquisitions, Long courses, Staff courses and appointment in the new units like Acceptance Trial Teams, Testing and Tuning Teams, Work Up Teams, Weapon Analysis Teams etc. The shortage of seaman weapon specialist officers had become so acute that these important teams, the sanctions for which had taken years of effort to obtain, were left unfilled. An Officers Manning Plan became inescapable:
- The requirements which would be fully met were those of operational ships, courses and junior officer's sea time.
- The shortages would be shared between shore establishments, Command Headquarters and Naval Headquarters.
- Special Duty List officers would increasingly fill General List billets ashore and also some Instructor billets in the specialist schools.
- Greater responsibilities were to be entrusted to MCPOs.
TRAINING OF OFFICERS
CHANGES IN TRAINING AT THE NATIONAL DEFENCE ACADEMY (NDA)
Until 1965, the NDA's three year syllabus had a common content for the first two years and an Army/Navy/Air Force syllabus for the third year. The drawback of this syllabus was that cadets who did not have knowledge of science and mathematics retarded the progress of the others, for whom the syllabus remained elementary.
In 1965, the Chiefs of Staff Committee directed the NDA to introduce a diversified syllabus - one for the Humanities - Social Science stream and one for the Science stream. The Chiefs of Staff also recommended that cadets be awarded a degree on passing out of the NDA.
A Syllabus Revision Comittee was appointed in 1968 whose terms of reference were to:
(a) Revise the NDA syllabus to a three year degree course in Science and in Humanities.
(b) Ensure that the revised syllabus was both broad based and need based.
(c) Consider measures for the award of a degree, by affiliation to a university.
(d) Suggest how the concomitant factors like age limit and minimum education standard on entry would have to be changed.
(e) Recommend the additional instructional and administrative staff and equipment that would become necessary.
The Committee comprised eminent educationists and service representatives. The Committee also sought suggestions from a wide spectrum of experts. All agreed that better educated officer material was highly necessary and that the award of a degree would also help in the post-service rehabilitation of officers. The Chairman of the University Grants Commission felt, however, that cadets who were good in service subjects and marginal in academics should have the option to pass out without a degree, because the overall development of a cadet's personality as a potential officer would suffer if acquisition of a degree became the primary aim.
The Committee's major recommendations were:
(a) The age limit and educational qualification at entry should be 16 to 18 years and Higher Secondary respectively.
(b) The NDA should be affiliated to the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in Delhi.
(c) The two streams, Science and Social Sciences, roughly equal in strength, should continue.
The Committee's Report was approved and the three year Degree Course was started in July 1971. The NDA was affiliated to the JNU on 31 August 1973. The 46th NDA course was the first batch of cadets to pass out of NDA as graduates in June 1974.
THE NAVAL ACADEMY AND THE REVISED SPECIAL ENTRY SCHEME
By 1968, the shortage of General List officers had started to become a constraint on the Navy's expansion. The anticipated strength of 3500 officers by 1975 required an annual intake of at least 150 cadets. Since the NDA could not take more than 65 naval cadets every year, it became necessary to start a "Revised Special Entry Scheme" and set up a separate Naval Academy. It was decided that the sailor's Basic & Divisional (B&D) Training School would have to move from Cochin to Goa and a Naval Academy set up temporarily at Cochin to meet immediate needs until the Academy's permanent location was chosen.
In 1969, approval was accorded for the institution of the Revised Special Entry Scheme (RSES). Under this scheme, naval cadets in the age group 17 to 20 years who had passed the Intermediate examination could be recruited in the Executive Branch. This scheme was identical to the NDA's "Special Entry Scheme" except that the initial training of one year would have to be conducted at Cochin in the Naval Academy.
RSES training commenced in January 1970 and the first batch of 36 executive cadets passed out of the Naval Academy on 14 December 1970. They joined the NDA's 39th batch of regular cadets for sea training on board the training ships TIR and CAUVERY.
GRADUATE SPECIAL ENTRY SCHEME(GSES)
In 1973, when the NDA got affiliated to the JNU in Delhi, all NDA cadets, on successfully passing their final examinations, received a bachelors degree of the JNU. As a result, the RSES candidate of the Naval Academy was out of phase with his NDA counterpart. It was decided that instead of taking in pre-graduate candidates, it would be more cost effective to recruit Science graduates only and thereby reduce the duration of their training at the Naval Academy.
In July 1974, the first batch of GSES cadets entered the Naval Academy for an initial training period of only 6 months. Whereas the original sanction was for a total of 80 cadets to be trained every year, the Naval Academy now trained 80 cadets every 6 months.
AFLOAT TRAINING AND TRAINING SHIPS
THE SCOPE AND CURRICULUM OF AFLOAT TRAINING
Afloat training is structured to train each subordinate officer in seamanship, navigation and man management, so that he will be able to:
(a) Perform the duties of an Officer of the Watch involving the safety and navigation of his ship.
(b) Supervise the control of his ship's radars, sonars and weapons.
(c) Take charge of sailors carrying out deck duties involving anchor work, boat work, rigging and ships husbandry.
(d) Effectively organise, command and look after the sailors in their respective divisions/part of ship.
The training programme for achieving these objectives is time intensive and imparted largely `on the job' and by performing `live' tasks.
The curriculum broadly consists of :-
(a) Harbour training, practical/classroom instructions, harbour watches and organised visits to naval/service/harbour/shore installations.
(b) Sea training comprising exercises, sea watches, attachments to each department of the ship, organised classroom instructions and practical training in navigation and seamanship.
(c) Man-management in case study/role play modes.
This training curriculum requires individual attention to be given to each trainee for him to be assessed at short intervals throughout the training period. Ships have therefore to be exclusively earmarked and suitably staffed, solely for training purposes.
Since the 1950's, the sea training of officer cadets had been undertaken in the Second World War frigates KISTNA, CAUVERY and TIR. The primary requirement was the endurance to undertake long cruises at sea.
By the end 1960's, these three ships had begun to age. The Navy examined whether the three old Second World War destroyers RAJPUT, RANA and RANJIT could be converted to the training role. It was found that their remaining life did not justify the cost of conversion.
It was therefore decided to convert the ageing cruiser DELHI to the training role. DELHI underwent a major refit from May 1971 to August 1972. DELHI, KISTNA, CAUVERY and TIR comprised the Training Squadron till the end 1970s.
In the mid 1970's, it was decided to convert the three diesel engined frigates BRAHMAPUTRA, BEAS and BETWA to the training role to take over from the older training ships.
DURATION OF INITIAL TRAINING
Cadet Entry Officers
The duration of initial training of Cadet Entry Officers was reduced in 1975:
|Until 1975||After 1975|
|Cadets Training Ship||6 months||6 months|
|Midshipmen Training||12 months||6 months|
|Sub Lts Courses||12 months||40 weeks|
|Sea attachment for watch keeping certificate||3 to 6 months||6 months|
Direct Entry Officers
The duration of training for Direct Entry Executive Officers was different from that of Cadet Entry Executive officers. It was reviewed constantly, depending on the feedback received from ships of the Fleet. The training duration was increased in 1968:
|Until 1968||After 1968|
|Naval Orientation||9 weeks||Naval Orientation||5 weeks|
|Sea Training||8 weeks||Sea Training (INS Delhi)||15 weeks|
|Sub Lt's Courses||34 weeks||Sub Lt's Courses||30 weeks|
|Sea Training (INS Cauvery)||15 weeks|
|Total||51 weeks||Total||69 weeks|
On completion, DE officers were attached to Fleet ships for obtaining their watch keeping certificate.
CHANGES IN TRAINING AT THE NAVAL ACADEMY IN 1974
The Naval Academy continued with the training of Revised Special Entry Scheme Cadets until January 1974.
In the beginning of 1974, it was decided to close down the B & D School in Cochin. All the officer courses conducted by this School were taken over by the Naval Academy. As a result, the Naval Academy, apart from running the basic courses for cadets, commenced conducting the following courses:-
(a) Initial Training for Direct. Entry officers of the Engineering and Electrical branches.
(b) Naval Science Orientation Course. for officers of the Supply Branch and officers from foreign navies.
(c) Special Duties (SD) List Post Promotion Course. for sailors promoted to officers in the rank of Ag Sub Lts in the SD Cadre.
(d) Divisional & Management Course. The B&D course done by all Executive Sub Lts during their technical courses was re-designated as the D & M Course when it was transferred from the B & D School to the Naval Academy.
(e) Lieutenants War Course. The B & D School used to conduct a War Course of four weeks duration for Ag Sub Lts of the Executive branch. In 1974, it was decided that this course was better suited to a Lieutenant. The course was re-designated as a Lieutenants War Course and conducted bi-annually at the Naval Academy.
(f) Upper Yardmen Course. Sailors who showed early promise at sea of being officer material were designated "Upper Yardmen" and given special assignments to test their potential. In end 1974, Upper Yardmen of all branches started being sent to the Naval Academy for their initial training.
(g) Commanding Officers and Junior Commanders Course. In end 1974, two new courses were instituted: the Junior Commanders course and the Commanding Officers Course. These courses were conducted at the Naval Academy in 1974, 1975 and 1976.
By 1976, it was found that it was not practical to carry out the initial training of cadets and of Ag Sub Lts of various branches separately. It was therefore decided that all initial training for cadets of the Executive Branch and Ag Sub Lts of all technical branches should be of the same duration, should have a common syllabus and should run concurrently. This was implemented from January 1976 onwards.
Commencing 1974, the Command Examination was introduced for Executive officers. All officers who aspired to command ships had to qualify in this examination. Its aim was to promote self study and to acquire professional competence to fill Command appointments at sea. Officers who failed in this examination would not be appointed in command.
Officers of the Submarine Arm who had qualified in the Submarine Commanding Officers Course were exempted from appearing in that part of the Command Examination which had questions on submarines.
LOGISTICS MANAGEMENT EXAMINATION
Commencing 1975, this examination was instituted for Supply Branch Officers. It was analogous to the Command Examination for Executive officers. Its aim was to promote self study of professional subjects and ensure professional competence to fill higher appointments.
TECHNICAL MANAGEMENT EXAMINATION
Commencing 1975, this examination was instituted for officers of the Engineering and Electrical branches to promote self study of professional and technical management practices and ensure professional competence to fill important assignments both afloat and ashore.
THE SELECT LIST SYSTEM OF PROMOTION
In 1969, NHQ promulgated the working principles on the selection of officers for promotion to the ranks of Commander, Captain and Rear Admiral.
The Promotion Committee would consider the officers branchwise, batch by batch, for promotion to higher rank, once a year, depending on the likelihood of fresh vacancies during the ensuing year.
The Select List comprised officers who were considered fit for acting/substantive promotion to the next higher rank.
The Selection Committee would grade each officer as follows:-
A - An officer who was "head and shoulders above" his contemporaries.
B - An officer fit for promotion in his turn.
D - Deferred for consideration without loss of seniority
R - Not yet fit for promotion
U - Unfit for promotion - having been considered three times and not found fit for promotion.
An officer graded A would move to the top of his batch in the Select List. In exceptional cases, an officer graded A could be considered for promotion with the batch immediately above his batch.
INTAKE AND SCHEMES TO REDUCE SHORTAGES
The Navy's procedure for the intake and initial training of ratings had been adopted from the British Navy. Its basic premise was that ratings should be inducted when young and given long periods of initial training to indoctrinate naval discipline and to familiarise them with life at sea. Accordingly, ratings were inducted as `boys' and trained in the Boys Training Establishment for two years before going to sea. Artificers were inducted as artificer apprentices and trained for four years before going to sea. The only way of meeting surges in demand was to resort to direct entry intake, curtail the long duration of initial training and accept the attendant consequence of lesser discipline.
In September 1939, when the Second World War started, the Royal Indian Navy had 1732 ratings. When the war ended in 1945, the number of ratings had risen to 27,433. After the demobilisation of 1945 and 1946, and partition of the Navy in 1947, the Navy had 5508 ratings.
The division of personnel between the two Navies necessitated a heavy recruitment drive in 1948, both of direct entry artificers and direct entry ratings as well as regular entry artificer apprentices and boys. This helped to ease the shortage. A decade later in 1958, contrary to expectations, 70% of the 1948 sailor entrants declined to sign on for further service after their initial contract. This shortage was aggravated by the need to find additional personnel for the new frigates and VIKRANT being acquired from Britain.
By 1962, another recruitment drive reduced the shortages. However, the anticipated advantage was offset by new commitments ashore and in the inter services organisations like NCC together with the demands for the Naval Garrison in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
In 1965, the shortage in the sailor cadre stood at 17% and a large requirement was looming to man the Russian acquisitions. It was anticipated that the same situation, as in 1948 and 1958, might arise in 1968 also.
The solutions clearly lay in increasing the Navy's capacity to train new entrants, increase the period of initial engagement and offer greater incentives to induce sailors to stay on in service.
Increasing the Period of Engagement
In 1965, a sailor's initial period of engagement was ten years. On completion, he could re-engage for five years and for two year thereafter i.e. up to a total of seventeen years. The authority for re-engagement beyond seventeen years vested in NHQ.
Normally all sailors were re-engaged upto twenty years of service if recommended by their Commanding Officer. Reengagement beyond twenty years was on a selective basis.
In 1966, to cope with the increased need for sailors, subject to the Commanding Officer's recommendation, all sailors could be re-engaged up to a total period of twenty five years or age of superannuation, whichever was earlier. The aim was to promote a greater sense of security of employment amongst sailors and ensure a longer career for those who volunteered for further service.
In 1973, re-engagement was permitted for five years at a time up to the compulsory age of retirement of fifty five years for all.
In 1976, the initial engagement was increased from ten to fifteen years. And, instead of promotion awaiting vacancies, time scale advancement to Leading rate was approved for sailors otherwise qualified.
TRAINING OF SAILORS
BOYS TRAINING ESTABLISHMENT (BTE)
Before the partition of the Navy in 1947, the only BTE of the Royal Indian Navy was located in Karachi. After partition, a temporary BTE was set up in Visakhapatnam. Training was carried out in a New Entry Camp and a Main Camp, both of which were located in temporary barracks in INS CIRCARS.
In 1954, the sanction for the BTE envisaged the training in seamanship of 1645 boy sailors for the seaman, stoker and electrical trades.
In 1962, the BTE started getting congested. Sanction was obtained to expand the BTE and acquire land from the Visakhapatnam Port Trust and from private owners.
In 1965, when the decision was taken to base the Russian acquisitions in Visakhapatnam and build a major naval base with a new Dockyard, it was decided to shift the BTE to Paradeep port in Orissa. This could not be pursued because the vacant multi-storey buildings which were to house the BTE, got occupied by the personnel of Paradeep port. The Navy then started investigating alternative sites, the primary requirement being proximity to the sea so that boy sailors could be taught boatwork, sailing and basic seamanship.
In 1969, after visiting Chandbali port and Ganjam port, the Navy chose a 1600 acre site on the bank of the Chilka Lake in Orissa, where 1200 boys could be trained at a time.
Chilka Lake was a sanctuary for migratory birds. The environmentslists sought, and the Navy willingly gave and has meticulously observed, the commitment to safeguard the environment of this bird sanctuary. The Prime Minister laid the foundation stone of the BTE. Construction commenced in 1973 and it was commissioned as INS CHILKA in 1980.
SEAMAN TRAINING ESTABLISHMENT (STE)
In the 1950's, direct entry sailors started being trained at the Basic and Divisional School at Cochin. As the Navy expanded, the numbers increased and the search started for alternative locations. Here too, the primary requirement was proximity to the sea where young sailors could be taught boat-work, sailing and basic seamanship.
In 1968, the Navy's proposal was accepted to site the new STE at Goa. In 1969, approval was accorded for the construction of the STE on a 230 acre site on a hill at Reis Magos, five miles north of Panaji, close to the northern bank of the River Mandovi. The STE was envisaged to train 500 direct entry sailors at a time.
On 9 Oct 69, the Prime Minister laid the foundation stone of the STE. The STE was formally commissioned as INS MANDOVI in 1976.
BRANCH TRAINING SCHOOLS
By 1965, branch/specialist schools had been established for imparting professional training in their respective specialisations. These schools conducted the courses in which sailors had to qualify before they could be promoted to higher rank:
|Torpedo & Anti Submarine||TAS School||Cochin|
|Communications & Electronic Warfare||Signal School||Cochin|
|Navigation & Direction||ND School||Cochin|
|Engineering||Artificers & Engineering Mechanics||INS SHIVAJI||Lonavla|
|Electrical||Artificers||INS SHIVAJI (Initial training)||Lonavla|
|INS VALSURA (Electrical training)||Jamnagar|
|Electrical Mechanics||INS VALSURA||Jamnagar|
|Supply & Secretariat||Writers, Stores Assistants, Cooks & Stewards||INS HAMLA||Marve(Bombay)|
|Shipwright||Artificers||INS SHIVAJI (Initial training)||Lonavla|
|Shipwright School||INS ANGRE, Bombay|
|Provost||Regulating School||INS KUNJALI, Bombay|
|Musicians||School of Music||INS KUNJALI, Bombay|
|Air Arm||Observers||Observer School||Cochin|
|Artificers||INS SHIVAJI (Initial training) Naval Air Technical School Cochin||Lonavla|
|Airmen Technical||Naval Air Technical School||Cochin|
|Airmen Non Technical||School for Naval Airmen||Cochin|
Whenever new acquisitions were inducted, every effort was made to install the analogous training equipment in the respective schools, subject to cost considerations.
PETTY OFFICERS LEADERSHIP SCHOOL
In 1959, to ease the congestion in Cochin, the PO Leadership School was shifted to Calicut. In 1965, when HANSA relocated from Coimbatore to Dabolim in Goa, the Leadership School shifted from Calicut to Coimbatore, into the premises vacated by HANSA. The School was named INS AGRANI.
POLICY FOR TRANSFERRING SAILORS INTO AND OUT OF SHIPS
The driving wheel of the Navy's management of its sailor cadres was its "drafting" policy. The Annual Training Programme for higher rank courses and the annual programme of Fleet Exercises during which sailors got "sea time" were offshoots of this policy.
On the one hand, the promotion regulations required sailors to qualify in higher rate professional courses and to be given adequate sea time. On the other hand, this policy of continuously transferring sailors into and out of ships prevented the consolidation of expertise. The difficult task of providing equal opportunity and of balancing these conflicting requirements was delegated to the Drafting Office.
The Drafting Office took the following factors into consideration when effecting drafts:-
(a) Sufficient opportunity to all sailors to gain the requisite experience for advancement to higher rates.
(b) Adequate sea time, ensuring alternate tenures at sea and ashore, except in those categories where, due to shortages, alternate tenures at sea and ashore could not be provided.
(c) Opportunity for all sailors, otherwise qualified, to undergo higher rate professional courses in time.
For optimal deployment of available manpower, the Drafting Office promulgated a "Manning Plan" every year, indicating the allocation of sailors to each ship and establishment. It took into account the shortage in each category of sailors and judiciously distributed whatever was available.
Drafting was divided into two main categories:-
(a) Planned Drafting: This included:
(i) Block drafts to rotate between ship and shore billets and to implement the Manning Plan figures.
(ii) Drafts for higher rate professional courses.
(iii) Rotation drafts of sailors, ex-basic and specialist courses, for sea time.
(iv) Drafts to newly commissioned ships and from ships paid off.
(b) Un-planned Drafting: This included:
(i) Compassionate drafts.
(ii) Incidental drafts to make up shortages due to unforeseen incidents such as death, illness, premature release, etc.
(iii) Sports drafts
(iv) Emergency drafts in case of hostilities, strikes, national calamities and civil disturbances.
In all cases of planned drafting, the Drafting Office gave approximately three months notice to enable the affected sailors to attend to their domestic affairs. Pleas for deferment or cancellation of drafts on account of sickness, financial hardship or domestic reasons were usually not considered. Where, however, the Commanding Officer was personally of the opinion that the circumstances warranted a deferment or cancellation of a draft, the Drafting Office examined the case on merits. To avoid a chain reaction, the Drafting office rarely acceded to last minute requests for deferment or cancellation of drafts:
- Inter Ship Drafts: When time did not permit a prior reference to be made to the Drafting Office, the senior officer of a squadron or Fleet could order inter-ship drafts within his squadron and Fleet in cases of :-
(a) Admission into hospital of a sailor holding a key rate in a ship about to sail independently.
(b) Temporary transfer of an experienced sailor to assist in attending to immediate technical defects in a ship.
(c) Grant of leave on urgent compassionate grounds to a sailor holding a key billet.
The Drafting Office was, however, to be kept informed of the probable duration.
- Drafts for Instructional Duties: The Drafting Office was required to give sufficient notice to the training establishments before sailors employed on instructional duties were drafted.
- Drafts for Courses: Commanding officers were enjoined to ensure that sailors drafted to attend courses of instruction reached the training establishment in time, as directed.
- Compassionate Drafts: Drafts were sometimes considered on compassionate grounds. Since such drafts upset the manning structure, it was essential to keep them to a minimum. Commanding Officers, after satisfying themselves that genuine hardship existed, were exhorted to explore other possibilities such as grant of annual leave, before recommending compassionate drafts.
- Grant of Leave Prior to Drafting: If by the grant of leave, the reporting date in the new ship or establishment was affected, prior concurrence of the commanding officer concerned was to be obtained.
The shortages were most worrisome in the case of artificers. Since much better emoluments and perquisites were offered by private industry and the Merchant Navy, most senior technical artificers left the Navy after having served the minimum time. With the new technology entering service with the Russian acquisitions, the shortage of artificers became a cause of serious concern.
Several proposals were considered to overcome the shortage. One was to recruit holders of diplomas from polytechnics as direct entry artificers. Whilst this would help to meet the immediate need by avoiding the long four year initial period of training that artificer apprentices normally underwent, it had the disadvantage of insufficient naval indoctrination. Another proposal was to create a new rate of Master Chief Petty Officer as an incentive to sign on for longer periods after their initial engagement as also to improve the career prospects of highly trained senior sailors.
In 1966, recruitment commenced of diploma holders as artificers to be trained for 1 1/2 years instead of the 4 years training given to regular entry artificer apprentices.
In 1967, Direct Entry Artificer intake was increased to 120. By 1971, the deficiency in the artificer cadre had reduced from 30% to 10%. From 1972 onwards, the artificer shortage persisted at 10%.
In 1970, the shortage of artificers in the submarine cadre led to the induction of Direct Entry Artificers Acting IVth class of three or four year diplomas in mechanical, electrical and aeronautical engineering. Simultaneously, this entry was permitted for engineering and electrical artificers.
INTRODUCTION OF THE MCPO CADRE
In 1968, as an incentive to re-engagement for longer service, the MCPO cadre was created as the equivalent to JCO's of the Army and Warrant/Master Warrant officers of the Air Force.
The MCPO Cadre was sanctioned as a percentage of the sanctioned cadre of CPO's. These percentages were:
|MCPO Class I||15%||12 1/2 %|
|MCPO Class II||25%||25%|
CHANGES IN THE NAVY'S SAILOR STRUCTURE
Within a few years of the arrival from Britain of the MYSORE in 1957, the eight new frigates between 1958 and 1961 and the VIKRANT in 1961, it became clear that the increase in sophistication of ships and equipment called for a comprehensive relook at the existing ranks, rates and trades of the Navy's sailors. A high-powered committee was appointed to review the sailors structure.
By the time this committee convened in 1966, the first of the Russian acquisitions, the Landing Ships, had arrived. It was abundantly clear that there was going to be a severe shortage of bunks. At this very same time, sailors were being selected to undergo training in Russia to man the submarines, the Petyas and the Submarine Depot Ship and problems had arisen on how to accomodate the Navy's numerous trades in the fewer bunks.
THE CROSS COMMITTEE
The Committee for the Reorganisation of the Sailors Structure (called the CROSS Committee) started its deliberations in 1966. It was headed by Commodore SS Sodhi. He recalls:
"The basic point that we made in our Report was that user and maintainer should be interlinked. It was no use saying that a maintainer was responsible for total maintenance from A to Z and the user was only to be an operator. The two had to be linked. That basically meant that the educational and the technical input into the user had to be enhanced and the maintainer had to have faith in the user's capability to handle the sophistication of the equipment. That was basically the recommendation which we made. The educational level of the seamen had to come up. Their training had to be modified to take on at least the first line maintenance of the equipment that they were operating.
"We also felt that the Topass trade could be abolished. Our experience showed that our own sailors, when they were operating with other navies, had no inhibitions about cleaning their toilets, and generally being responsible for the hygiene of the surroundings".
Commander VF Rebello was the Deputy Director of Personnel (Manpower Planning) in Naval Headquarters from 1967 to 1969 when the recommendations of the CROSS Committee were examined. He recalls:
"The Cross Committee went into the whole manning problem of the Navy with great thoroughness. They also examined the manning structure in the American and other Western navies and came up with very good suggestions on how to reorganise the manpower of our Navy. It was operator-maintainer and vertical specialisation. Unfortunately the training requirements for such a scheme were so very expensive and extensive that it was beyond the scope of the Navy of that time to implement. We would require a large number of schools and a very big training schedule. It was estimated that at any one time about 1/3rd of the sailors would be undergoing training and conversion and this the Government simply could not afford to have. Therefore the recommendations of the Cross Committee were kept in abeyance.
"The abolition of Topasses was the only recommendation of the Cross Committee which was taken up".
CHANGES IN NOMENCLATURE OF JUNIOR SAILORS
With effect from December 1967, the terminology in use to signify junior rates of sailors of the various branches were standardised in "second class" and "first class". For example:
|Earlier Nomenclature||Standardised Nomenclature|
|Ordinary Seaman (OD)||Seaman Second Class (Sea II)|
|Able Seaman (AB) Stoker||
Seaman First Class (Sea I)
CHANGES IN BRANCH RESPONSIBILITIES
When the first three Petyas arrived in India, the Navy was able to see, at first hand, the seriousness of the problem which the CROSS Committee had tried to solve:
- The Petyas were very densely packed with electronic equipment.
- The division of responsibilities inherited from the British Navy was well established in the Navy's trade structure. The seaman branch "user" used the equipment and the elctrical branch "maintainer" maintained the equipment. Since a Petya had such a lot of electronic equipment, it needed more electronic maintainers. Since a Petya had so many more weapons, it also needed more users.
- Since a Petya had fewer bunks than were needed even for a normal Indian ships company, it could not accomodate the increased numbers of users and electrical maintainers.
- How then was a Petya to be manned?
Various options were considered like reduce the number of cooks and stewards, abolish topasses, adopt two watch steaming at sea instead of the usual three watches, convert all maintainers into users, teach users the basic maintenance so as to reduce the number of maintainers on board, transfer the less complicated power electric duties of the junior electrical sailors to the Engineering Department and so on. After detailed consideration, the following directives were issued in 1969:
Re-Allocation of Branch Responsibilities and Duties.
"Taking a broad perspective, it is important that the various branches of the Navy develop with equitable distribution of workload and responsibility. With increasing sophistication of weapon systems, sensors and data processing, it is imperative that the electrical branch concentrate their energies to master these new fields. Other branches must be made capable of dealing with the diagnosis of faults and the maintenance of less complicated items of systems and equipment. This entails the engineering branch shouldering more responsibilities with regard to the generation, distribution of electric power and allied equipment, the seaman branch being entrusted with the non-artificer care and maintenance of the weapons, radar, and AIO equipment and the communication branch looking after the W/T, R/T and V/S equipment. In addition, the seaman and communication branches must substitute the lower levels of power and radio electrical sailors in assisting the artificers. The Electrical Officer will, however, continue to be the expert technical adviser to the Commanding Officer on electrical and electronic matters. In the initial stages, there may be no saving in manpower, but as experience is gained and personnel become more confident, the complement of modern ships will show a reducing trend, which will be an added advantage.
"Consequent on this review, detailed instructions will issue from time to time on the measures necessary for the revised training schemes and programme of assumption of new responsibilities. As a first step, the new measures will be applicable only in the "Petya cadre" and, based on the experience gained, will be extended in steps to cover the rest of the service. A start has been made by cross-training a number of engine room personnel of two Petya class ships in looking after certain electrical equipment of these ships.
"It cannot be over-emphasised that the success of this measure will depend largely on the spirit in which this change is undertaken, and the ready cooperation and willingness on the part of all concerned to work to the ultimate goal which will result in added efficiency and well being in the service.
"Commanding Officers are to ensure that every opportunity is taken by them and their heads of departments to explain the implications of these revised responsibilities to their ship's companies."
Branch Responsibilites - Transfer of Power
Electrical Duties From
Electrical to Engine Room Branch Sailors in "PETYA" Class of Ships
"It has been decided to cross-train all the Engineering Mechanic sailors of the Petya class of ships in power electrical duties upto the rate of LME. For the present, sailors of the rate of POEL(P), will be provided to the Engineering Branch in the above class of ships from the existing cadre of electrical sailors. It is not intended to cross-train POMEs in electrical duties. POMEs for power electrical duties will be found, in due course, from amongst the LMEs who have already been converted to power electrical duties.
Electrical Equipment to be Maintained by the Engineering Branch in the Petya Class of Ships.
"Power electrics will be transferred to the Engineering branch, in two phases:
- Phase I: Lighting, ventilation motors and starters and sound powered telephones.
- Phase II: Pump motors and starters, except those directly associated with weapons, compressor motors and starters, Cold Room and Air-conditioning machinery motors, Domestic Equipment, Capstans and Controllers, Motor Boat Equipment and Batteries, excepting those used with weapons, including charging sets and panels."
"The transfer of responsibilities for power electrics from the Electrical to the Engine Room branch will be implemented in stages.
Pre Commissioning Training (PCT) (Engineering) - Eight Weeks
"On joining the Petya Training School, all Engine Room sailors of LME and ME rates are to undergo a PCT for engineering duties. The duration will be eight weeks.
Harbour Training (Engineering) - Four Weeks
"After the PCT (Engineering) sailors will be given four weeks of harbour training to enable them to operate and maintain engineering equipment.
Basic Training in Electrical Engineering - Sixteen Weeks
"On completion of the above training, sailors will be trained in the basic elements of electricity for a period of sixteen weeks.
Familiarisation and Pre-Commissioning Training (Electrical) - Twenty Weeks
"On completion of the basic training in electrical engineering, these sailors will undergo familiarisation training and PCT in electrical duties for a period of twenty weeks. During this period, they are to be instructed by the electrical department of the Petya Training School, to enable them to carry out the maintenance and operation of electrical machinery covered by Phase I and Phase II of the scheme, on board a Petya class of ship.
"At the end of this period, they are to be examined as to their competence to undertake the responsibilities to be entrusted to them".
Task I and II Training
"The first two weeks of each phase will be devoted to Task I training and the next two weeks to Task 2 training pertaining to the equipment relating to the particular phase.
"At the end of this period, the Engineer Officer is to satisfy himself that the sailors are capable of undertaking the maintenance functions relating to the particular phase.
"Thereafter, the equipment is to be taken over by the Engine Room Branch.
"During this phase, the equipment referred to in phase I will be taken over.
"During Phase I, sailors are to be given dog watch instructions in equipment for Phase II and may be utilised to assist the Electrical Branch sailors on maintenance of Phase II equipment, as mutually convenient to the two departments.
"During this period, sailors will continue to be responsible for the Phase I equipment. On completion of Task I and Task II training, sailors are to take over the responsibilities in respect of the remaining equipment."
The Electrical Branch did not take kindly to these directives. Views still differ on whether all the junior Engine Room sailors who underwent training in compliance with the above directives were deliberately failed in the examination conducted after twenty weeks familiarisation training or whether the non matriculate Engine Room sailors lacked the ability to comprehend electrics. To avoid disrupting the acquisition programme, it was decided to maintain status quo.
The apprehensions about the User-Maintainer Concept centred on three issues:
a) Erosion of the responsibilities of the Electrical Branch.
b) Demarcation of responsibilities between Executive and Electrical Officers/Weapon Maintenance Officers and between seaman "user" sailors and electrical "maintainer" sailors.
c) Possible diminution in the career prospects of electrical officers.
FIXED COMMISSIONS IN SHIPS
In the British Navy, a ship commissioned for two years and could be deployed to one of Britain's Fleets anywhere in the world. On completion of two years, the ship returned to her home port in Britain, decommissioned, underwent a thorough refit and the recommissioned for another fixed commission. The two greatest advantages of the fixed commission were that officers and men remained together for the full commission, got to know each others strengths and weaknesses and got to know the capabilities and limitations of their ship's equipment.
The Indian Navy neither had worldwide commitments, nor the number of ships, nor sufficient manpower to adopt Fixed Commissions. Ship remained permanently "in commission" until they were "decommissioned" and for the reasons already discussed, officers and men changed round every twelve to eighteen months.
Successive Fleet Commanders repeatedly recommended the adoption of a Fixed Commission, at least for operational ships. As the following excerpt shows, there were difficulties:
"FOCIF furnished statistics to show that a large number of transfers of officers and sailors from ships continued throughout the year. Transfer of key personnel after the work-up of the ships deprived them of the benefit of the work-up, which had virtually to start again with the arrival of new personnel.
"While the difficulties of the Fleet were appreciated, it was generally realised that so long as the present shortages continued, it was not possible to plan fixed commissions in ships. The appointment of a new ship's company after every refit presupposed the availability of a sufficient number of officers and sailors in the service, which, unfortunately, was not the case.
"Common agreement, however, was found to a suggestion that in spite of the present difficulties, a fixed commission for one of the ships of the Fleet be tried as an experiment. No change in the ship's company was thereafter to be made at least for a year".
ALLOTMENT OF PERSONAL NUMBERS TO OFFICERS
In 1972, the officers in service on 31 December 1971 and those joining thereafter were allotted five digit personal numbers, suffixed by a computer letter.
Blocks of numbers were allotted to each branch in such a manner that the left hand digit would denote the officer's Branch.
|General List||Branch||Blocks Allotted|
|Executive||00001 to 39,999|
|Engineering||40,000 to 49,999|
|Electrical||50,000 to 59,999|
|Supply & Secretariat||60,000 to 69,999|
|Education||70,000 to 74,999|
|Medical||75,000 to 78,999|
|Dental officers||79,000 to 79,999|
|Seaman||80,000 to 84,999|
|Shipwright||86,300 to 86,799|
|Electrical||86,800 to 88,499|
|Supply & Secretariat||88,500 to 89,699|
|Medical||89,700 to 89,999|
NAVAL STANDING ESTABLISHMENT COMMITTEE (NSEC)
In 1969, NSEC was set up in the Ministry of Defence, on the same lines as the Army's ASEC and the Air Force's AFSEC.
The three member Committee was chaired by a Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of Defence. The members were a naval Captain and an Assistant Financial Adviser from the Ministry of Finance (Defence).
The Committee's Terms of Reference were to :
(a) Analyse the extent to which ships' complements and staff of shore and other establishments of the Navy could be cut down and the tail to teeth ratio reduced.
(b) Examine and approve the temporary and permanent complements of naval ships and establishments, including Naval Headquarters.
(c) Evolve suitable scales and yardsticks for assessing the complements of various categories of units on a standardised basis.
(d) Explore practical avenues of economy and make recommendations for organisational or other changes considered desirable.
(e) Examine the requirement of naval establishments in regard to motor transport and MT staff and evolve yardsticks for sanctioning it.
CHANGES IN REGULATIONS REGARDING MOUSTACHES AND BEARDS
The Navy's Regulations on the subject of moustaches and beards had adopted, verbatim, the regulations of the British Navy. These required that a naval officer or sailor :-
(a) had either to have both beard and moustache or neither.
(b) had to obtain the approval of his Commanding Officer to "discontinue shaving" or to "continue shaving".
As in the case of smartness of uniform, the spirit of these regulations was to ensure that control could be exercised on the tidiness of facial appearance so that personnel did not bring discredit to the Navy by looking untidy.
In 1970 and 1971, the Navy began to be exposed to several influences:
(b) The fashions prevalent in America at the time were long sideburns, moustaches with or without beards, flared trousers etc. These fashions were being imitated by Indian youth in the ports where naval ships were based. The Navy's youngsters found themselves being considered as oddities by their civilian peer group. Pressures began to grow to relax the Navy's regulations.
(c) In mid 1970, the tendency of sailors' to resort to agitation manifested in the Topass incident. This triggered widespread demands for change, the response to which was a series of welfare measures to help cool things down.
(d) Last, but not the least, was a genuine Indian problem. In India, since time immemorial, the moustache has been a sign of manhood and valour. Many sailors, well before going on leave, sought permission to `discontinue shaving', so that by the time they reached their homes, they could sport a moustache. On return from leave, they would seek permission to `continue shaving'. The irksomeness of this procedure found expression after the Topass incident.
Admiral Nanda was the CNS from 1970 to 1973. He recalls:
"One day I was having a cup of tea with the sailors. A Rajasthani sailor came up to me and said, "Sir, it is a great hardship that beards and a moustache must go together. When I go home, if I don't have moustaches, people ask me "Is your father dead ?" Because the tradition in Rajasthan is that if you shave off your moustaches, it is a sign that your father has died and you are in mourning. It is also a tradition that to show your manliness, you have to have a moustache. Therefore to go home, I have to request to grow a beard and only then can I grow moustaches also. Then we cannot go out from the ship on liberty until the beard has grown. The day my leave starts, the first thing I do is to go to a barber and shave off my beard so that I can go home with a moustache and show that I am a man. The day I have to come back to duty, I have to go to a barber again and tell him to shave my moustache now, because I have got to go to duty and without a beard I cannot have a moustache. So, sir, this is a great hardship. I come to the ship, without a beard, without a moustache and then I have to start growing beard and moustache again two months before I start my next leave." Things like this started me thinking as to what is the validity of the naval tradition we adopted from the British Navy. Should this be pushed down the throats of people who don't like it, who are not with it?"
In early 1971 the regulations were amended to read:
"The following provisions shall govern wearing of moustaches and beards:
(a) The Captain may permit officers and men to wear moustaches and beards or shave them off, if they so desire. Moustaches and beard shall be worn with or without the beard and moustaches respectively. Side whiskers shall be permitted down to the level of the lobe of the ear. The priviledge may be withdrawn in cases of untidy growth.
(b) Moustaches, beard and whiskers shall be neatly cut and trimmed".
CHANGES IN UNIFORMS 1965 TO 1975
The same pressures for relaxation which led to changes in the regulations for moustaches and beards also led to changes in uniforms, "to bring outdated traditional British uniforms in line with modern trends".
Admiral Nanda recalls:
"Other Navies had moved ahead and modernised their uniforms. I felt that if the American Navy can do it and go along with the times and it works successfully, why should we try to push something down the throats of our own sailors or our own officers.
"We had changed officers uniforms. We had brought in various rigs, different from what the British used to do, because it was convenient for the officers. But we refused to do it with the sailors. How can you convince the sailor that changing uniforms is good enough for you but not for him? When he meets sailors of other Navies and sees that they have changed from the British tradition, he wonders why the British tradition is so sacrosanct with us".
The changes in uniform between 1965 and 1975 are summarised below:
-Action rig for officers to be light blue shirt and dark blue trousers, as for sailors Dress No 10
-Dress No 8A, white shirt, white trousers, white belt and medal ribbons introduced
-Miniature ribbons authorised to be worn with evening Dress 6B (Red Sea Rig) (white shirt, black trousers and cummerbund)
|1969||-Terycot permitted for white uniforms-Name tallies introduced||
(Since sailors were issued uniforms at Government expense, terycot was too expensive to replace cotton uniforms)
-Name tallies introduced
-Black trousers, black jersey, white shirt
-Berets permitted with action working rig
(Jumper, square collar, duck cap) abolished.
-Junior sailors permitted to wear jackets/tunics/shirts/trousers/peak caps etc analogous to petty officers uniforms, with appropriate insignia of rank and trade
- Black trousers, black jersey, white shirt, black tie introduced as winter working rig
-Berets permitted with action working rig and overalls
THE TRAINING REFORMS OF 1974 AND 1975
To man the new acquisitions, the Navy had to resort to several unavoidable and undesirable measures like perpetual increases in the number of trainees, curtailment in the durations of courses and denying schools of high quality instructors because the best men were needed to man the newest ships. Over the years, this had demotivated the schools; the methods of teaching and training had settled into a rut.
As a result of the lessons learnt in the 1971 war and to cope with the new Russian acquisitions likely to enter service from 1977 onwards, a major reformation of training was undertaken to remedy the ennui that had enveloped naval training. Between 1973 and 1975, the Director of Naval Training and the Director of Combat Policy and Tactics, under the direct guidance of the Vice Chief of the Naval Staff and four flag officers effected what, by 1975, became a revolution in the Navy's training practices. Expectedly, there was resistance to change, mainly by the mediocre, because they would have to work too hard. Some reforms had to be abandoned and restarted in the mid 1980's, when the responsibility for training the entire Navy was entrusted to FOC-IN-C SOUTH.
The first step was a Training Technology Seminar at Cochin. Many lessons were learnt and promulgated. Schools were directed to select those lessons that pertained to them and show results. In parallel with this, a Status Report on Training was prepared by the Directorate of Naval Training and processed by the Committee of Flag Officers. Three long-ranging schemes approved: Organisational, Training Schemes and Training Aids.
Organisational - Stream Training
With the induction of the Russian ships, the variety of equipment became so wide that it became necessary to have separate streams for training. The three basic streams were:
(a) "A" stream for the latest equipment in the Leander class frigates.
(b) "B" stream for the equipment in the old ships.
(c) "C" stream for the latest equipment in the Russian acquisitions.
Officers and sailors would be assigned to one of the streams and be trained for selected equipment in that stream. Cross training was allowed at certain senior levels to safeguard career prospects.
There were variations in streams and sub-streams as applicable to branches. For example:-
(a) Engineering branch sailors were streamed into "Internal Combusion Engines (ICE)" and "steam" and sub-streamed into BRAHMAPUTRA ICE or Petya ICE, since the diesel engines in these two types of ships were entirely different.
(b) Electrical branch sailors were streamed into "power", "radio" and "control" and sub-streamed into specific equipment systems.
The aim was to gradually usher in an era of vertical specialisation and consolidate expertise, ensuring that career prospects were not adversely affected.
Sub-streamed syllabi for the seamen and communication branches led in most cases to changes in duration of courses leading to a general economy in effort. Streamed syllabi in the Engineering and Electrical Branches started being implemented during 1975.
- All officer training was taken away from the B&D School in preparation for its shift to STE Goa. The NAVAC was reorganised into two wings: Cadets and Other Officers.
- To minimise bureaucratic delays in "chain of command", as a trial measure, the parent schools were allowed to correspond direct with outside authorities on routine matters. Responsibilities were placed on their shoulders by issue of a charter of duties.
- A work study of the Signal School and the TAS School was ordered to improve internal management of training.
- Naval Psychological Research Unit (NPRU) Aptitude Tests were commenced to help select Executive Officers for the different specializations, as was being done for sailors.
- In the Gunnery Branch, with diminishing utilisation of visual aiming, Gun Layer (GL) and Radar Control (RC) trades were merged.
To keep abreast with the latest developments in technology and exercise quality control, intensive short courses, at about five years interval, were introduced for officers and sailors. These were the Lieutenants War Course, the Junior Commanders Course for officers and revised leadership courses for CPO's and POs and MCPO (Q).
The career and training pattern of Executive officers from midshipman to the rank of Captain was recast with a twelve week post-Long Course training period and a five week Junior Commanders course as well as a five week Commanding Officers Course.
The gain and loss of seniority rules for all branches were standardized. In the case of cadets and midshipmen, the training period afloat was reduced from 18 months to 12 months. Midshipman's time was reduced to 6 months.
- Job specialisations were enunciated for all branches.
- A trial, low activity-cum-closed period was started for schools, so as to overcome the problems of shortage of staff and calibre of staff.
- New sub-streamed syllabi were promulgated for executive officers' specialist courses, for war course etc. The first Executive and Supply command examinations were held in August 1975.
- For foreign officers, separate Gunnery, Communication, TAS, Navigation and Direction Long Courses and Sub LTs Technical Courses were run. Other officer and sailor courses, owing to the small numbers involved, were conjoined with classes for Indian personnel.
- New syllabi were implemented for MCPO(Q) and Leadership courses. All these courses were run at AGRANI. Examinations were introduced in these courses to inject quality control.
- On the analogy of Electrical and Supply Branch sailors, seamanship courses were started for L/S (Q) and PO (Q) at the Technical Schools. The examinations were conducted by an external agency, the Basic and Divisional School.
- A 2000-word basic English vocabulary started being taught at the basic sailor schools. The problem was to get the instructors to limit their vocabulary to the 2000 odd words readily understood by sailors. Vocabularies of technical words for various branches were compiled by schools.
- To analyse the syllabi and the quality of material available, quality control agencies were set up in schools. A system of obtaining feed back and evaluation was introduced. In consultation with schools, a feedback proforma was made to gauge efficacy of training in professional courses. Ships were directed to feedback expeditiously so that training methods or syllabi could be adjusted.
Equipment, Training Aids and Methods
The equipment in most training schools was of 1950 vintage and required replacement. In view of the difficult financial situation, it was decided to replace only essential items and improvise the remaining with indigenous models.
To overcome the language problem and disparity in educational levels, training programmes were revised. Overhead projectors were sanctioned and issued to the schools.
The Annual Training Grant was enhanced to enable schools to procure more training aids. In 1975, a new Technical Training Grant was instituted and the Artificer Apprentice and Mechanicians Training Grant increased.
A start for the G,C, TAS, ND Schools was made by forming a Training Aid Team which, under direction from NHQ, visited BEL and ships, and made a plan to deliver Leander training aids.
Cameras, films and projectors already available at most schools, were to be used to make our own films.
Training management and methods were revitalised by organising courses, seminars and instructional technique programmes.
Review of Educational Policy
The Navy's educational policy was reviewed. It was decided to:
(a) Set up an Institute of Educational and Training Technology at Cochin for imparting instructions to officers and sailors in Training Technology and Methods.
(b) Set up a Syllabus Evaluation/Formation Cell in each training school/establishment. A Standing Committee at Naval Headquarters would analyse and approve the recommendations of these cells.
(c) Set up Language Laboratories for teaching English and Hindi in the establishments conducting initial training.
(d) Review the HET syllabus to make it more job oriented and to bring it on par with the new higher secondary (10+2) syllabus which was being introduced throughout India.
(e) Raise the entry qualifications for Education Officers to M Sc/MA in Physics/Mathematics. The duration of their initial training was increased to 36 weeks to provide for a Methods Course and a Naval Scientific Orientation Course.
Assessment of Training Load: To systematise the requirements of officer and sailor instructors, a detailed assessment of Training Loads was commenced. By 1975:
- The training loads of AGRANI and the Naval Academy had been approved and augmentation of their complement was under way.
- The training loads of SATAVAHANA and the NATS were under finalisation.
- The cases for other training schools were under preparation.
CONTROLLING MANPOWER COSTS
By 1974, manpower costs began to cause serious concern. Earlier, the emphasis had been on recruiting manpower as swiftly as possible to meet the new commitments. The Dearness Allowance instalments resulting from the galloping inflation after the 1973 oil crisis, combined with the implementation of the Third Pay Commission's recommendations, necessitated drastic measures. To keep manpower growth under control and ensure the strictest utilisation of available manpower, every single proposal for increase or decrease of service or civilian manpower had to be approved by the concerned Principal Staff Officer in Naval Headquarters before it went to the Ministry.
DISCIPLINE AND MORALE
The rapid expansion of personnel depleted the Navy's officer leadership and particularly that of the CPO and PO cadres. Curtailed training programmes to fill technical officer and artificer shortages eroded basic leadership techniques. Training and discipline suffered.
Between 1965 and 1975, the Navy's personnel were also affected by the turbulence which was affecting the country as a whole. There were several reasons:-
(a) Efforts by extremist political elements to seek a foothold in the armed forces.
(b) The increasing recourse, across the entire country, to agitational methods to redress grievances.
(c) The anxiety resulting from the rising prices of daily necessities, combined with the disappointment with the outcome of the Third Pay Commission.
(d) The combination of these factors with certain well intentioned but culturally unimplementable reforms like the abolition of the Topass Branch.
(e) The repugnance felt by increasingly better educated sailors to perform the traditional cleanship duties which their predecessors used to do.
During this period, officers were not immune to this general turbulence. Their misdemeanour manifested in incidents of smuggling and misusing canteen facilities by selling items ashore. A wholely unfortunate and undesirable result was the enfeebling of the officer-man relationship on which discipline and morale depended.
The changing socio-economic climate in the country had a particularly adverse effect on young naval officers. Some junior officers were taking to hallucinatory drugs like charas, bhang, ganja, LSD etc.
The possible reasons for this malaise were attributed to lack of proper guidance, unwillingness on the part of seniors to delegate responsibility which generated lack of job satisfaction, over-complementing of junior officers on board ships, thereby rendering most of them non-effective, communication gap between more senior and junior officers, etc. The non-availability of adequate and proper accommodation and escalating costs of living were also considered to be causes aggravating the situation.
The result was a fall in the professional standards of young naval officers. It was felt that they were not being kept fully occupied, both mentally and physically. Young officers were not participating in games and other activities.
SAILORS: CLEAN-SHIP DUTIES AND THE TOPASS INCIDENT
There were several and diverse incidents in ships and establishment during this period. The Topass Incident is significant enough to merit mention, since it was a result of a change in personnel policy.
For socio-cultural reasons, Indian merchant ships and naval ships always had topasses to clean the bathrooms and toilets. Topasses used to be sanctioned as part of ships complement. When ships commissioned in Britain, topasses used to go as part of the commissioning crew.
For similar socio-cultural reasons, there had always been resentment amongst some sailors at having to carry out "cleanship duties". The Inquiry into the Causes of the Naval Mutiny in 1946 had listed this as one of the sailor's grievances.
The Navy used to periodically promulgate its policy on Cleanship Duties. The position in 1965 can be seen from the following directive:
"Cleanship duties comprise the following:
(a) Holystoning, sweeping and scrubbing of decks, mess decks and flats with any of the approved appliances used in the service for such purpose.
(b) Cleaning and painting of ship from truck to keel.
(c) Cleaning of brass work, mess tables and benches, ship's machinery, armament and technical equipment, store rooms, tanks, double bottoms, boats, masts and rigging, cold rooms, cool rooms and various other parts of the ship not mentioned herein.
(d) Duties of "cook of mess" which entail carrying of food, cleaning of mess utensils, washing of plates of chiefs and petty officers, etc.
(e) Cleaning of galleys by cooks or other sailors when required.
(f) Cleaning of officers' cabins by stewards or other sailors when required.
(g) Cleaning of heads, bathrooms and other wash places, normally by sailors of Topass Branch.
(h) Disposal of sweepings.
(i) Cleaning of such other parts of ship as the Commanding Officer of the ship may deem fit.
"It is to be brought home to all concerned that ships' companies are required to perform cleanship duties as part of their normal routine. In the interests of health and hygiene, it is incumbent on all sailors to assist cleaning any part of the ship as may be required. The erroneous impression that such duties are in any way derogatory is to be dispelled and it is to be pointed out that these duties are performed by all navies throughout the world, and further that the cleanliness of their ship is a matter of pride to all, in which each man plays his part.
"The various pleas and objections generally put forward from time to time by certain sailors for their reluctance to carry out "cleanship" duties are neither tenable nor justified on either strictly religious or any other grounds.
"Failure to comply with the instructions on "cleanship" duties will result in disciplinary action being taken against the offenders".
1966/1967 was going to be celebrated as Mahatma Gandhi's Centenary Year. There was a view that the Navy should cease having topasses on board ships. Not only would it be a fitting tribute to the Father of the Nation, it would also mitigate to some extent the shortage of bunks in Russian vessels. It was decided to start by not having topasses in the Russian ships and submarines. In due course, to avoid disparity between Russian and Western origin ships, it was intended to withdraw topasses from British built ships also.
This decision to withdraw topasses from ships was by no means unanimous. Rear Admiral KR Nair was the Chief of Personnel. He recalls:
"I was the Chief of Personnel. Unfortunately Admiral Chatterji never asked me anything about removing topasses from ships before the point was put up in the Senior Officers Conference. So I have only got what he said at the Conference to go by. He told us that "I have already talked to the Prime Minister, this is the year of the Harijan and our contribution will be that we will abolish the Topass Branch. That will be a big boost for the Harijans and I have told the Prime Minister that". Having said all that and having said that he had briefed the Prime Minister, he turned around and asked each one of us our opinion, one by one. You know in a case like this, what used to happen was that everybody said "Yes, yes, this is a very good thing. We should have done it long ago". There was not a single voice of protest.
"Then I thought it my duty to speak up. I said "Look, this will not be a good thing because first of all in the year of the Harijans, all we are doing is to deprive the topasses of one avenue of employment. Let us be thankful that the topasses do their job very well without a grouse. In every ship, the topasses are a happy set of people. They are quite happy to go on with their task. So while we have got topasses, it is an advantage that we have got. Why throw it away? If topasses do not do it, someone else has got to do it. In the lower deck even now, our sailors resent having to sweep up decks. This sort of thing is thought to be infra dig, especially by the Rajputs and people of that class. For them, it is one of the things that makes the Navy an unhappy service. We know it from the days of the RIN Mutiny, that sailors do not like cleanship. If on top of that we abolish the topasses, that is going to have very bad repurcussions". There was a dead silence. Admiral Chatterji got a bit annoyed and said "In that case, I think I will have to insist that you try it out on the East Coast. I am going to withdraw all the topasses from the ships in Vishakapatnam." That is how it started.
"In retrospect, I suspect the CNS, Admiral Chatterji, was trying to please the Prime Minister, Mrs Gandhi. 1966 had been declared as the "Year of the Harijan". CNS told her he would abolish topasses from the Navy within a year. This led to the discussions at the Senior Officers Conference, my abrupt transfer as CinC East and the withdrawal of topasses from Eastern Naval Command".
In 1968, the directive on Cleanship Duties was modified to omit any reference to the Topass Branch. It read:
"Cleanship is an important duty in the Navy. A clean ship, besides providing hygienic working and living conditions, is a source of pride to her ship's company and a credit to the service.
"It is incumbent on all sailors to keep the ship clean and to participate in cleanship. The erroneous impression that cleanship duties are in any way derogatory is to be dispelled. Various pleas and objections put forward from time to time by certain sailors against carrying out these duties are neither tenable nor justified on strictly religious or other grounds.
"Cleanship duties in the Navy comprise:
(a) Sweeping, scrubbing, swabbing, polishing, holy stoning, scraping, brushing, oiling and painting of any surface in the ship.
(b) Wiping and cleaning of equipment and machinery.
(c) Cleaning of all office and living spaces, store rooms, machinery compartments, oil and water tanks, double bottoms, ventilation trunkings, galleys, bathrooms, wash places, heads, alleyways and passages.
(d) Cleaning of officers' cabins, CPOs' and POs' messes, pantries and washing of mess utensils and plates.
(e) Cleaning of upper decks, masts and rigging, aerials, boats and other gear fitted in or carried in or forming part of the ship.
(f) Disposal of sweepings.
(g) Any other cleaning duty as the Commanding Officer of the ship may deem fit.
"Failure to comply with the instructions on "cleanship" duties as defined in this order will result in disciplinary action being taken against the offenders".
Whilst in Russia, there were incidents of resentment at having to clean toilets and bathrooms. Commodore, (then Cdr) KS Subra Manian, the Commanding Officer of the first submarine to commission in Russia, recalls:
"There was a problem. A submarine does not have the luxury of having topases. Now we had only one toilet for the entire crew, used both by officers and by sailors. At times, this toilet, which normally drains into a sewerage tank to be later blown out to sea, gets clogged up. It becomes our job to clear it up. We can't call any topasses to tackle this sort of messy business.
"At one stage, we had just such a clogging. To clear it up, there was some reluctance on the part of some of the sailors, not all. So my Engineer Officer and I, we decided to set an example. We said we will do it ourselves. When the sailors saw us doing it, then of course the problem immediately vanished. They all came and said "No Sir, we will do it". From then onwards, I had no problem of any sort due to lack of topasses on board. In fact, I did talk to them later also, saying "It is our job to look after our submarine. If anything happens to it, we have to clear it up. We will be following the example set by the greatest Indian of our age, Mahatma Gandhi who made no bones about doing such menial jobs".
By and large, these resentments were contained by Commanding Officers and officers setting a public example of cleaning their own toilets and bathrooms. However, on arrival in India from 1969 onwards, the resentment on board became more vigorous. To cool the issue, the authorities in Visakhapatnam discreetly sent topasses from the shore establishments to ships whenever they were in harbour.
The resentment soon spread to the other shore establishments in the Navy. Vice Admiral (then Lt Cdr) KASZ Raju, who was serving in the Naval Air Station GARUDA in 1969, recalls:
"Soon after an indication was given from Naval Headquarters that it was intended to abolish topasses, we had several requests from sailors to say that "I would not like to remain in the Navy any more because when I go back home and if it becomes known in my village that I had been employed on latrine duties, I would be treated as an outcast." We were able to promptly get this matter across to the COMSOUTH at that time, who in turn contacted Delhi and before anything could happen in Cochin, I think we were able to nip in the bud anything that might have come about. In this we learnt a good lesson, that it is better to discuss and dialogue with our men, who today are fairly well educated and very knowledgeable, before taking any decisions within the Navy related to social prejudices".
In Bombay, things took a more serious turn when word spread that in early 1970, topasses were to be withdrawn from ships. Sailors in some ships started desisting from taking meals. This form of protest spread to other ships. There were a few ugly incidents. Firm action was taken and normalcy was restored, when it was made known that the decision to remove/abolish topasses
would be reconsidered. Since then, status quo has been maintained.
Admiral Nanda took over from Admiral Chatterji as CNS in 1970. He recalls:
"I inherited the topass problem when I became CNS. Topasses were still there in ships. We had not abolished them. When the question of removal came, the thing blew up.
"A lot of people felt that topasses were an antiquated system and that when Mahatma Gandhi and others were trying to do away with untouchability, we should not have an untouchable in our organisation. Now the concept was alright, but in practice, the social systems in our country and the thinking of people were different.
"In the Navy, we have people brought up in a social system which does not ask them do these things in their own homes. Even topasses, when they go back to their homes, do not clean their own bathrooms and toilets, even though they have been doing so at sea. The social system is totally different. Therefore in the social environment in which we are living, to impose something which is considered against the way you have been brought up, when you tell a man who is educated, who has been brought up in a particular way of life, in a particular way of thinking, that he has got to clean the latrines, he revolts against it. He says I never knew that I have to do this and this is something which is being imposed on me. Does the Army do it ? - the answer is no. Does the Air Force to do it ? the answer is no. Only the Navy wants to introduce this.
"We all knew it, the officers knew it, that the topass thing would not work out. But they did not have the courage to say that this is not going to work. Eventually we had to accept the inevitable, and bring topasses back".
The fundamental difference between the Navy and the sister services has always been that the majority of the Navy's personnel perforce have to be stationed in major ports where the cost of living is high and civil accomodation is not available within their means.
After China's attack in 1962, a concerted effort was made to better the situation. The capital expenditure for 1964-65 on building accomodation went up to Rs 450 lakhs as compared to about Rs 128 lakhs in 1961-62. Even then, a lot of leeway had to be made up. In 1964, an officer or sailor in Bombay or Cochin had to wait six months to a year before he got some sort of accomodation. By the time he got accomodation, it was time for him to be transferred.
In 1965, the overall shortage in married and single permanent accomodation at major naval ports was:
% Shortages in Accommodation
|Location||Married Officers||Single Officers||Married Sailors||Single Sailors|
Some headway had been made at Bombay and Cochin. Shortages at other ports had to be made up by hiring houses and using old, temporary, wartime buildings and sheds for houses. Unfortunately, the Navy's proposals for building accommodation usually got bogged down over where and how much was to be built.
After the 1965 War, a comprehensive review had been carried out of the shortages of family accomodation in the Army, Navy and Air Force. The deficiencies were found to be so large that it was decided that the aim should be to remove them over a period of 20 to 25 years.
The problem of providing accomodation to married personnel was more vexed for the Navy, than for the Army and the Air Force:
(a) Whilst the Army and the Air Force could start seeking sanctions to meet their shortages from 1963 onwards (when funds became available after China's attack in 1962), the Navy could only start seeking sanctions in 1966, after the Russian acquisitions increased the Authorised Married Establishment (AME).
(b) Until 1969, ships were based mainly at Bombay. Constructing married accomodation in suburban Bombay where the Navy had land at Mankhurd, Trombay and Thane would entail lengthy transit times to and from the place of work in the Naval Dockyard. Constructing married accomodation in South Bombay, which was closest to the Dockyard, would further strain scarce civic services like water supply. Moreover, the limited amount of land in what is now Navy Nagar compelled high rise buildings which required larger allocations of budget than building barracks.
(d) The Navy's limited budget perforce compelled higher allocation to acquisitions, repair facilities and logistics than to married accomodation. The latter could be hired and Compensation in Lieu of Quarters (CILQ) could be paid to mitigate individual financial burden.
(e) Whilst the above reasons applied mainly to Bombay and to a limited extent in Goa and Cochin, the local situation in Visakhapatnam and in Port Blair was totally different in regard to availability/acquisition of land, water supply etc. Indeed, for Port Blair, all construction material had to be ferried from mainland India and this could only be organised after the two new Landing ships arrived from Russia in 1966. Similarly the construction of married accomodation in Visakhapatnam had to await the finalisation in 1969 of the Zoning Plan of the entire Visakhapatnam Project.
As a result of all the above factors, the shortage of married accomodation, particularly for sailors, understandably affected their morale. As the following excerpts show, the administration was seized of this pressing need. It was not until 1975 that the shortfall in married accomodation was on its way to being resolved.
Situation in Mid 1968
"The recent increase in authorisation of married accommodation for Leading Rates and below will entitle sailors to draw CILQ and facilities for family passage. This increased authorisation does not, for the time being, permit us to construct additional married accommodation. This restriction has been accepted by the three Service Headquarters as we are already lagging behind in the construction of deficient married accommodation.
Although large number of officers and sailors are living in hired accommodation or are drawing CILQ, the total shortages of accommodation for building purposes are 940 quarters for officers and 2050 quarters for sailors. This is based on current sanctions and future forecast of likely sanctions. Government approval has been obtained to make good these shortages within 15 years and a sum of Rs 18 crores has been sanctioned for construction of married accommodation for the Navy. Naval Headquarters intend to spend more than the authorised 1.2 crores per year as funds are likely to be available from other sources.
Augmentation of Water Supply at Colaba
Against a requirement of 12.5 lakh gallons of water, the Naval residential area in Colaba is receiving only 5.5 lakh gallons per day. At the instance of Naval Headquarters, this supply has been increased to 6.5 to 7 lakh gallons per day by carrying out certain modifications to the existing mains.
The Government have now sanctioned a sum of Rs 20 lakhs for the Municipal Corporation, Bombay to lay an independent main from the Malabar Hill Reservoir to Colaba exclusively for the use of Defence Service personnel. This proposal is likely to be linked with the Vaitarna scheme and may take two to three years before the scheme becomes effective.
Land Requirement at Goa
Land required for building married accommodation for officers and sailors and other amenities at Goa (except for two small plots) has now been acquired after prolonged litigation. Tenders are being called during May/June 1968 for contract action to commence the building work."
Situation in Mid 1969
"Administrative approval for provision of married accommodation for afloat personnel at Visakhapatnam was issued last year. This accommodation is to be constructed for 122 officers and 406 sailors at a cost of Rs 153.64 lakhs. According to the planning programme, accommodation for 24 officers and 25 sailors will be ready by 31 Jan 70; for 50 officers and 200 sailors by 30 Sep 70 and for 48 officers and 181 sailors by 15 Oct 71.
Considering the difficulties experienced in hiring a suitable house for Defence Services at Bombay on normal terms, Government have sanctioned that accommodation at Bombay may be hired on Leave and Licence basis with effect from 16 Oct 68 for a period of 2 years. Under the scheme, 16 flats have been hired so far and 100 additional flats are under negotiation. It is hoped that this initial sanction of two years will be further extended".
Situation in Mid 1970
"The proposal for the inclusion of Visakhapatnam in the list of difficult stations for the purpose of providing accommodation to defence civilians to the extent of 15% of their authorised strength has been approved by the Government.
Orders have been issued by the Government approving the retention of married accommodation by sailors on grounds of their children's education at the last duty station in the event of transfer.
Government have accepted the requirement of additional married accommodation in Bombay for 152 officers and 246 sailors. Necessary action for issue of administrative approval is in hand.
Dhani Khari Scheme. The Dhani Khari Water Scheme at Port Blair is expected to be completed by end 1972. This scheme will meet all civilian needs as well as those of the Defence Services and costs will be shared on a 1/3 - 2/3 basis, between Navy and Home Ministry".
Situation in Mid 1971
"Scale of Accommodation for Officers. Government have sanctioned the revised scale of plinth area of 2100 sq ft for married officers of the rank of Commander to Commodore against the earlier authorisation of 1500 sq ft.
Deficiency at Cochin. The deficiency of married accommodation for 47 Officers and 141 sailors at Cochin has been accepted by the Government. The case for issue of administrative approval is being progressed.
The construction of 60 `G' Type Quarters at Cochin in a multi-storeyed building has been sanctioned by the Government at an estimated cost of Rs 25.68 lakhs.
Provision of Accommodation for Civilians at Cochin. On the analogy of Bombay and Visakhapatnam, a case for the acceptance of Cochin as a difficult station for provision of married accommodation for Defence civilian employees has been taken up with the Government.
Situation in Mid 1972
"The existing deficiencies are:
|Rank||Entitlement||Permament Accomodation Available||Accomodation Under Construction||
There is a distinct improvement in the provision of married accomodation at Goa, VALSURA and Visakhapatnam. The construction of 246 married quarters for sailors at Bombay, 64 at VALSURA and 140 at Cochin will provide considerable relief."
Situation in 1973
Due to financial stringency, Government banned all sanctions of new married and single accomodation.
Situation in Mid 1975
"Our efforts to improve the domestic accommodation situation in the Navy have met with considerable success. The following projects have been sanctioned recently:
(a) Single Accommodation
(i) 168 Sailors at KARANJA
(ii) 210 Sailors in ANGRE
(iii) 250 Trainees in SHIVAJI
(iv) 44 Officers and 429 Sailors at Goa
(v) 27 Sailors at W/T Station Goa
(vi) 70 DSC Personnel at Goa
(vii) 42 Officers and 325 Sailors in Visakhapatnam
(viii) 240 Sailors in Cochin
(b) Married Accommodation
(i) 152 Officers, 65 CPOs and 116 Junior Sailors in Colaba Bombay.
(ii) 10 Officers and 24 Sailors at Karanja
(iii) 2 Officers and 28 Sailors in Thana
(iv) 82 Sailors in Visakhapatnam
(v) 29 CPOs in Cochin"
By 1975, it had been possible to make good some of the shortages in Bombay, Goa, Cochin, Visakhapatnam, SHIVAJI and VALSURA.
THE NAVY'S CIVILIAN PERSONNEL
The basic advantage of civilian personnel has always been their continuity in shore based assignments, as opposed to uniformed personnel whose assignments afloat and ashore change ever so often.
By and large, the Navy's civilian personnel were governed by the same structure as that prevalent in the Army and the Air Force. The administration of civilian cadres was that:
(a) Groups C and Group D were administered by the Command Headquaters.
(b) Groups A and Group B were administered by Naval Headquarters.
The recruitment of civilian officers was done initially by direct entry and subsequently through the UPSC.
From the functional point of view, the Navy's dependence on civilian manpower lay principally in the following fields:
(a) In Naval Dockyards and BROs for the maintenance, repair and refit of ships and submarines, and manning yard craft.
(b) In the Aircraft Repair Yard - for the maintenance, repair and refit of aircraft.
(c) In Naval technical functions like Draftsmen, Naval technical specialists in DRDO, laboratories etc.
(d) In Naval Store Depots, Naval Armament Depots and Weapon Equipment Depots - for the storage, upkeep, accounting, repair and indenting of their respective stores.
(e) In offices for secretarial and clerical duties.
(f) In the Naval shore establishments for motor transport drivers and general conservancy duties.
In the case of the civilian personnel performing store keeping duties, not enough systematic career progression training had been organised to better their productivity. The results of this neglect began to show from the 1960's onwards. The induction of new technologies in the Russian acquisitions and the Leander class frigates greatly enhanced the importance of the duties entrusted to civilian personnel. It did not take long for the infirmities in the civilian cadres to affect the operational availability of ships, particularly in the field of spare parts. This helped to identify the measures which, in subsequent years, helped to increase productivity in the depots.
As can be seen from the table below, the increase in the numbers of civilian personnel kept pace with the increase in the number of naval personnel.
INCREASE IN THE NAVY'S BORNE STRENGTH BETWEEN 1965 AND 1975
In round figures, the increase in the Navy's borne strength between 1965 and 1975 was as follow:
|AS ON 31 DEC||
|Sailors||Total in Uniform||Gazetted||Non‑Gazetted Industrial||Non‑ Industrial||Total Civilians|
|General List||SD List|
CHANGES IN SAILORS CONDITIONS OF SERVICE AFTER 1975
In July 1976, in consonance with the recommendations of the Third Pay Commission, the following changes were implemented in sailors' conditions of service:
- The initial period of enrolment was increased from ten to fifteen years.
- The educational qualification for entry was raised to Matriculation for Boy Entry Sailors of all branches and for Direct Entry Seaman and Engineering branch sailors. As a result:
- Direct Entry Seamen and Communication sailors, Engineering Mechanics, Electrical Mechanics, Writers, Stores Assistants and Medical Atendents all came on par, educationally and pay wise. Only Direct Entry Stewards, Cooks, Musicians and Topasses could join, without being matriculates, on Group C scale of pay.
- All future entrants would receive Group B scale of pay.
- Serving sailors who were already matriculates would re-muster into Group B and those who qualified subsequently would also re-muster into Group B.
- The age of entry for Boys was revised to 16 - 18 years and that for Direct Entry sailors to 18 - 20 years.
- The compulsory age of retirement for sailors of all ranks was raised to 50 years and that for MCPO's maintained at 55 years.
- Time scale promotion was introduced whereby Seaman First class and equivalents would be promoted to Leading rank on completion of five years service in man's rank, subject to having qualified in the prescribed examinations.
In 1976, the Boy Entry was proposed for abolition. In due course only Direct Entry matriculate sailors were recruited and trained at INS CHILKA.
Given the limits within which Personnel policy must operate, the achievements in the field of personnel management were impressive. Despite the constraints listed in the Preamble to this chapter, the Navy was able to man the Russian acquisitions and the Leander's, man the Submarine and Air Arms and take on new responsibilities ashore like those of coastal defence, garrisons for the A&N islands, expanding the training schools and the NCC.
There is a view that the dilution of expertise could have been avoided. As has been discussed, the endeavor to make the Navy accept concepts like vertical specialisation, fixed commissions and pre-commission training took time. Many believed that with the Navy already fully stretched in inducting and coping with new acquisitions, personnel policies should not be tinkered with. Many believed that the reforms required manpower in such numbers that the shortages would only be aggravated. Many believed that the reforms were filibustered by inter-branch tussles.
There was some truth in each of these points of view. No satisfactory solution could be found. The very same issues raised their ugly heads in the mid 1970's, when the complements of the guided missile frigates, ocean going rocket boats and minesweepers had to be decided. As in the earlier cases, the same unsatisfactory compromises had to be resorted to. The basic issues still remain unresolved.