The Indian Navy has recently introduced a modified appraisal policy that emphasizes the inclusion of feedback from junior officers and peers as a crucial component in assessing the performance of its officers as they advance in their careers. Previously, naval officers were exclusively evaluated by their superiors, mirroring the prevailing method in the larger armed forces, including the army and air force. However, in a significant departure from this decades-old tradition, the Indian Navy has transitioned to a novel system. This revised approach aims to overcome the shortcomings associated with the traditional top-down evaluation process and intends to cultivate more balanced and versatile mid-level leaders within the organization. The new policy is set to be implemented for officers up to the rank of commodore, which is equivalent to a brigadier in the army.
Under the leadership of Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar, a comprehensive transformation called the "360-Degree Appraisal Mechanism" has been initiated. The Indian Navy, although the smallest among the three defense services, comprises approximately 10,500 officers and over 65,000 sailors.
Recognizing the inherent limitations of the existing appraisal system, which primarily relies on periodic confidential reports by senior officers and fails to quantify a leader's influence on subordinates, the navy deemed it essential to adopt a new policy, according to officials.