The Central government has decided to create a new strategic panel called the defence planning committee, chaired by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, to oversee higher defence planning.
According to The Times of India, the committee will work on the country's military and security strategy. It will also oversee foreign acquisitions and sales and will have the NSA, principal secretary to the prime minister, the three chiefs of the armed forces, defence secretary, foreign secretary and chief of the integrated defence staff (IDS) as some of its higher members.
The committee will prepare draft reports on "national security strategy, international defence engagement strategy, roadmap to build (a) defence manufacturing ecosystem, strategy to boost defence exports, and priority capability development plans," as reported by Hindustan Times.
It will then submit its reports to the defence minister. The DPC is expected to meet after Doval returns from Germany on 21 April. Analysts have said that the DPC could make decision-making on military purchases much faster.
Four sub-committees that could be created under the DPC across four areas include policy and strategy, plans and capability development, defence diplomacy, and defence manufacturing eco-system.
The Indian Express quoted sources as saying that this idea had been in the works for some time now but had not been gaining traction till now. But after the last budget, the three service chiefs and defence ministry officials worked together to get the idea implemented.
This is not the first time a reform like the DPC has been tried for defence planning. In 1974, the apex group was established under the planning minister to bring defence planning under the purview of national planning.
In 1977, the then government had set up a Committee for Defence Planning (CDP) to allocae resources among the defence services and “undertake regular assessments relevant to defence planning".
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Updated Date: Apr 19, 2018 11:21:24 IST