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The Absent DialoguePoliticians, Bureaucrats, and the Military in India$
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Anit Mukherjee

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780190905903

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190905903.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 17 October 2021

Simply the Best?

Simply the Best?

Officer Promotion and Selection Policies

(p.191) 6 Simply the Best?
The Absent Dialogue

Anit Mukherjee

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines officer promotion and selection policies in India. It begins with a conceptual discussion of the role of civilians in this process, examining its practice in other democracies. Thereafter it describes the historical evolution in the Indian military’s officer promotion and selection policies. In doing so it makes three broad arguments. First, promotion policies are an almost exclusive military affair, and civilians have little to do with the processes. As in other established democracies, senior officer promotions are subject to the approval of political authorities; but, exceptions apart, there is little evidence that civilians have actively shaped these policies. Second, a lack of civilian guidance exacerbates parochial divisions within the military. Third, military promotion policies would be better served with greater (but informed) civilian oversight. There is a need therefore to create conditions for a dialogue on promotion, selection, and placement policies. Such a measure, however, also needs to create safeguards to prevent politicization of the military.

Keywords:   officer promotion policy, politicization, selection of officers, officer supersession, civil–military relations

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