The Union Cabinet today approved the proposal of cadre restructuring of Military Nursing Services (MNS). The proposal approved by the Cabinet includes:-
Upgradation of 74 posts of Lt Col (Time Scale) to the rank of Lt. Col (Select) and above. Now, there will be 2 Major Generals, 18 Brigadiers, 58 Colonels and 157 Colonels (Select) in MNS.
Revision of service criteria in the Time Scale promotion in the non Select Rank up to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel (Time Scale) will be as follows : Captain- 3 years (from existing 5 years); Major – 8 years (from existing 12 years) and Lt.Col.(TS) – 16 years (from existing 20 years).
Qualifying service for Lieutenant Colonel (Select) rank by Selection Board revised from the existing 18 years to 14 years.
The decision will reduce stagnation in the various ranks of Military Nursing Service by increasing the number of select appointments. It will also help in retaining competent and qualified nursing officers in service by providing adequate opportunities for career progression.
The last cadre review of Military Nursing Service was carried out in the year 1986. The authorized strength of MNS cadre is 3860 and there are only 161 select rank posts in the MNS cadre. There is a steep pyramidal structure at higher select ranks. An MNS officer is able to pick up the select appointment in the rank of Lieutenant Colonel approximately after 26-28 years of service, when she is around 46-48 years of age. On account of limited number of vacancies, arising out of superannuation, there is large scale supersession of many deserving nursing officers (both specialised and non-specialised) in the Promotion Boards for promotion to higher ranks. Apart from causing de-motivation among these nursing officers, non-selection for promotion also leads to seeking premature retirement by such experienced nursing officers. To retain such qualified and trained nursing offices, it has been considered necessary to improve promotional avenues at all levels so as to mitigate the hardship of nursing officers by increasing the number of posts in select grade appointments within the overall strength of cadre.