A comparison with the number of senior ranks in the Israeli Defence Forces shows that Indian Army is overcrowded at the top.
By contrast, the Israeli Defence Forces, approximately the same size as the UK’s, appears (to judge by their ORBAT) to get by with just 40 brigadiers, and 16 generals of all types (1 Lt Gen) for all three services. How do they get by?[KoW]
It would be instructive to have a quick look at the number of senior ranks in the Indian Army in comparison. Indian Army, by all publicly available estimates, is 12 to 14 times the size of the Israeli Defence Forces. Indian Army, before the announcement of AVS-2 recommendations in October 2008, had 1 General, 67 Lieutenant Generals, 216 Major Generals and 866 Brigadiers. The AVS-2 recommendations have added another 20 Lieutenant Generals, 75 Major Generals and 222 Brigadiers to its rolls.
Simple arithmetic means multiplying the IDF senior ranks by 14 for a rough equivalence for the Indian Army. Although this would be a crude comparison, it would still provide an approximate idea of the overpopulation at senior levels in the Indian Army. By applying IDF yardsticks to the Indian Army, the number of Generals should be 224 [16*14] and those of Brigadiers should be 560 [40*14]. Indian Army, in comparison, has 379 Generals [1.7 times the IDF ratio] and 1088 Brigadiers [1.95 times the IDF ratio] after implementation of the AVS-2 recommendations. Needless to say, it could certainly do with far less senior ranks. For that to happen however, our decision-makers would need to figure out that aggregated self-interest of a group of individuals serving in an organisation is not the same as organisational interest, leave alone the national interest.
This congestion at the top is exactly what former Navy Chief Admiral (Retd) Arun Prakash had warned the nation about in his piece a couple of years ago — All Chiefs and No Indians.