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Friday, June 17, 2016
Parrikar seeks help from ex-Air Marshal By Pradip R Sagar
NEW DELHI:Breaking traditions, defence minister Manohar Parrikar has hired a retired IAF officer to coordinate between his ministry and the Services, which has always been a ticklish issue. Air Marshal (retd.) P P Reddy, who was heading the office of the Chief of Integrated Defence Staff till March, has been appointed as a consultant in Parrikar’s office.
Reddy, an ex- fighter pilot, was handling the tri-services’ planning and acquisitions as chief of Integrated Defence Staff to the Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee. “The minister wanted to use Air Marshal Reddy’s expertise in resolving issues related to the tri-services. His duties include coordination between the ministry and the Services, and assisting the defence minister in having a better understanding of Services’ matters,” an official said.Usually, the defence minister has a private secretary, an IAS officer who looks after his engagements and meetings. Then there is an Officer on Special Duty, who explains files and communications to the minister. An official said bureaucrats don’t understand the requirements of the Services, which eventually reflect in the ministry’s decision-making “and creates resentment amongst the Services. An defence official will reduce friction between babus and defence personnel and will hasten decision-making”.