The Army Education Corps (AEC) is undergoing a renovation with two new verticals being developed to respond to a key demand, and is likely to be dubbed “Army Empowerment Corps” as part of its restructuring efforts to meet the modern needs and to cut down fat, ThePrint has learned.
The AEC is set to add two new verticals, finance and language, while keeping the education vertical. It is understood that discussions on the restructuring and renaming are still ongoing and no final decision has been reached.
Currently, the AEC trains army soldiers in abilities like map reading, which must be completed in three phases in order for non-commissioned officers (NCOs) to advance. Additionally, it expands the academic instruction provided at pre-commission training schools, as well as the capacity to learn other languages, perform military music, and manage RTI cases, among other things.
Despite the Shekatkar Committee’s 2016 recommendation that the Corps be disbanded, the Army has chosen to keep a portion of the AEC’s strength.
According to a source in the defence establishment, the addition of two new verticals will be carried out within the authorised strength and no fresh hiring would be done.
Officers, junior commissioner officers (JCOs), and non-commissioned officers (NCOs) make up the 4,500-person AEC.
The goal is to replace the current lack of specialised personnel in critical areas like finance and language.
“The decision to replace the word ‘education’ with ’empowerment’ made sense because by introducing two new verticals, you are actually empowering the field commanders to do their job, whether it is in education, language, or finance,” the insider said, according to ThePrint.
The AEC was first known as the Royal Army Education Corps when it was established in June 1921. In 1947, it was renamed the Indian Army Education Corps, and in 1950, it became the Army Education Corps. Currently, a Major General serving at Army Headquarters is in charge of the AEC.
In its early years, the Corps was established to combat the prevalent illiteracy among the Indian soldiers. Since people no longer require basic schooling due to rising educational standards, the Army has opened new career paths appropriate for the present.
According to the source, it is urgent to “rebrand” the AEC and “repurpose” the people to acquire languages that will improve how the Army handles border circumstances.
Officers, JCOs, and NCOs could potentially be hired in the education branch initially before having the option to switch to the finance or language vertical.
Officers and JCOs from the finance branch will be assigned to various headquarters, while those from the language vertical, depending on their language proficiency, will be stationed near the borders.
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