Modi government eyes new national security strategy; NSA Doval to spearhead Defence Planning Committee

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New Delhi | Published: April 19, 2018 12:02:54 PM

DPC would define national defence and security policy by undertaking security risk assessment. The institutional set up will also lay out the national military strategy, defence reviews, and an overall national security plan.

Modi Governmnet has appointed NSA Ajit Doval to spearhead the Defence Planning Committee, to create a new roadmap for national security. (PTI)

The Government of India has formed a new panel under the chairmanship of National Security Advisor Ajit Doval to create new national security roadmap. The institutional set up will be called the Defence Planning Committee (DPC). It will be an institutional body that will envisage a draft national security strategy and will also formulate an international defence engagement strategy, reported IE.

It was reported that the three service chiefs and officials from defence ministry worked after the budget session to get this institutional body set up. Chairman Chiefs of the Staff Committee (COSC), all the three service chiefs, Defence Secretary, Foreign Secretary and Secretary of expenditure in the Finance Ministry will be involved in this planning committee.

The DPC will mainly focus its work on four different aspects, i.e, Policy and Strategy, Plans and Capability Development, Defence Diplomacy, and Defence Manufacturing Ecosystem. There will also be four sub-committees to look into these particular matters and all the reports will be submitted to the Defence Minister, report further added.

It was also reported that the DPC would define national defence and security policy by undertaking security risk assessment. The institutional set up will also lay out the national military strategy, defence reviews, and an overall national security plan. To ensure that these will meet their desired end, the DPC will have to work across ministries and will also have to obtain approval from the Cabinet Committee on Security. Another major area of work, developing a defence manufacturing ecosystem and boosting the exports of indigenously produced defence products will also be undertaken by the DPC.

The Defence Planning Committee has been tasked with ambitious goals. It is established to assess external security threat, envisage a strong defence strategy and prioritise issues based on their threat level. With the growing security threats which are fueled by both direct and asymmetric means, the DPC has a huge responsibility of bridging the gap between the existing bureaucratic bodies. It is imperative for this new institutional set up to create a mechanism wherein parties from the ministries, defence services and as well as intelligence bodies to work in coherence to face threats of all kinds.

The last time the Government of India tried to establish a defence planning body was in 1977. However, the committee established then had not achieved any desired results. To overcome the seizures created due to the absence of national security doctrine and lack of funds for the defence expenditure, the Group of Minister under the NDA in 2001 had recommended that a position of Chief of Defence Staff be created to bring in greater results in the national security matters. However, this step has not been taken yet.

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