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New Navy Chief’s First Order of Business: ‘Curb VIP Culture, Misuse of Manpower’

In his first set of instructions after taking over, Navy chief Admiral Karambir Singh has sought a cutting down on wasteful expenditure with the pruning of ceremonial practices and ensuring that same standards are met for both officers and men during events.

Admiral Singh has asked all ranks to imbibe contemporary social and ceremonial practices by doing away with the VIP culture that had crept into such events over the years. Among the measures to be implemented are cutting down of ‘unnecessary ostentation’ during official events and visits of senior officers to naval locations. The instructions have gone in the form of an address by the chief to all ranks in the Navy and has been distributed across all locations. The signal was sent on June 3 and is a practice that most service chiefs follow after taking over charge. The officer has said that practices like garlanding and showering of petals on guests, lighting of lamps and functions of a quasi-religious nature should be avoided.

The Navy chief has said that the practice of lining up of naval officer’s families during high profile visits should be done away with and bouquets need not be presented to visiting officers and dignitaries. In an acknowledgement of changing social norms, Admiral Singh has specified that the same standard of meals, drinks and even cutlery should be on offer to all ranks at official events. A number of the instructions focus on cutting off unnecessary expenditure and effort during VIP visits that the chief feels impacts the daily activities carried on at units. Instructing that the number of accompanying staff during VIP visits should be minimal, the chief has done away with the practice of sailors being deployed to open doors and acting as signposts to give directions to guests.
The Navy chief has instructed that full designations of officers, along with all their decorations need not be repeatedly mentioned in speeches and juniors are expected to be disciplined and respectful but not subservient. During professional discussions, cheering and clapping after a personnel makes his point is being discouraged and the use of carpets and flowerpots is to be avoided, especially during functions on board warships. Source: Manu Pubby/The Economic Times