Inter-Services Organisations (ISOs) (Command, Control, and Discipline) Act


  • The Government has notified the Inter-Services Organisations (ISOs) (Command, Control, and Discipline) Act to be enforced from May 10, 2024.


  • To bolster effective command, control and efficient functioning of Inter-Services Organisations (ISOs), the bill was passed by both Houses of Parliament during the Monsoon Session of 2023.
  • Inter-services organisations include soldiers from the Army, the Air Force and the Navy, like joint training institutes National Defence Academy, National Defence College (NDC), Defence Services Staff College (DSSC), and the Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC).

Key Provisions

  • Inter-services Organisation: Existing Inter-services Organisations will be deemed to have been constituted under the Act.
  • The central government may constitute an Inter-services Organisation which has personnel belonging to at least two of the three services: the army, the navy, and the air force.
  • Control of Inter-services Organisations: It empowers the Commander-in-Chief or the Officer-in-Command of an Inter-services Organisation to exercise command and control over the personnel serving in or attached to it.
  • He would be responsible for maintaining discipline and ensuring proper discharge of duties by the service personnel.
  • The supervision of an Inter-services Organisation will be vested in the central government.
  • Commander-in-Chief: The officers eligible to be appointed as the Commander-in-Chief or Officer-in-Command are:
  • a General Officer of the regular Army (above the rank of Brigadier),
  • a Flag Officer of the Navy (rank of Admiral of the Fleet, Admiral, Vice-Admiral, or Rear-Admiral), or an Air Officer of the Air Force (above the rank of group captain).
  • Commanding Officer: The Act provides for a Commanding Officer who will be in command of a unit, ship, or establishment.
  • The officer will also perform duties assigned by the Commander-in-Chief or Officer-in-Command of the Inter-services Organisation.
  • The Commanding Officer will be empowered to initiate all disciplinary or administrative actions over the personnel appointed, deputed, posted, or attached to that Inter-services Organisation.

Need for the Act

  • Theaterisation: The development comes amid a renewed push for theaterisation, a long-awaited military reform for the best use of the military’s resources to fight future wars.
  • Challenges in Present Framework: At present, armed forces personnel are governed by the provisions of three separate laws for the three services — the Air Force Act, of 1950, the Army Act, of 1950, and the Navy Act, of 1957.
  • Only an officer of the same service holds disciplinary powers over persons governed by the respective Act.
  • The lack of such powers had a direct impact on command, control and discipline.
  • Financial Cost: The existing framework is time-consuming and involves financial costs to move the personnel.
  • The proposed legislation aims to address these impediments to ensure discipline is maintained and targets faster disposal of cases, which in turn is likely to save time and public money.


  • With the notification, the Act will empower the heads of ISOs and pave the way for expeditious disposal of cases, avoid multiple proceedings and will be a step towards greater integration and jointness among the armed forces personnel.
  • It is imperative to safeguard national interests in today’s complex security landscape.