Nirmala Sitharaman backs big boost for armed forces; this special step likely soon

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New Delhi | Published: October 16, 2017 1:24:00 PM

The Centre is expecting three new tri-service agencies in the field of cyber warfare, space and special operations shortly

Nirmala Sitharaman, Defence forces, army, navy, air force, Defence Minister Nirmala SitharamanDefence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is keen on seeing them through, says an official. (PTI)

The Centre is expecting three new tri-service agencies in the field of cyber warfare, space and special operations shortly, almost five years after being proposed by the Armed forces. The Defence Ministry had come out with the proposal last July and it is now waiting to be approved. “The new Defence Minister (Nirmala Sitharaman) is also keen on seeing them through, and we are just awaiting requisite approvals from the Law Ministry and other government departments,” Indian Express quoted an official as saying.

Proposal for the formations of Defence Space Agency, Defence Cyber Agency and Special Operations Division is currently with other ministries for clearance as the resources for them have to come from “accretion and not under save-and-raise,” the report added. Approvals are likely to be made in a few months after which these agencies, to be headed by senior defence officials of the rank of Major General and equivalent in the Navy and Indian Air Force, will come into being.

According to the paper, the Special Operations Division will have components of the Special Forces of the Army, Navy and Air Force, and will be trained together for various external contingencies. As of now, the Army has Special Forces battalions, Navy has Marine Commandos (Marcos) and IAF has Garud. This division will have two SF battalions at its core, along with teams from Marcos and Garud.

The Defence Cyber agency, working in close coordination with the National Cyber Security Advisor, will have over 1,000 personnel. These experts will be distributed into a number of formations of the Army, Navy and IAF, and will focus on non-civilian cyber issues.

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