Establishment of Defence Planning Committee
The government of India has issued notification for the establishment of a Defence Planning Committee (DPC) under the present National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval. Mandate of the committee is to be monitored by four sub-committees which include Policy and Strategy, Planning and Capability Development, Defence Diplomacy and Defence Manufacturing, the latter focusing on ‘Make in India’. The DPC will include Chiefs of the Army, Navy and Air Force, the Defence Secretary, Foreign Secretary, Expenditure Secretary and Chief of the Integrated Defence Staff (IDS) to the Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee (CISC) as members. Possible inclusion of the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister has also been indicated.
It is expected that the Committee “will expedite and smoothen defence acquisition by removing bottlenecks which have made the process protracted over the years.” The DPC will define priorities and decide between the competing proposals of the Services with the adequate inputs from supporting Ministries and will address the need for the continuity of understanding, the necessity for relevant ministries to be on the same page and a review system for the NSS. A vital task of the DPC will be to refine recommendations for defence procurement, taking a long term view of the acquisition as they relate to current and future scenarios. “The committee will function through various sub-committees responsible for providing inputs for senior functionaries and assessing unconventional and emerging threats, apart from developing workable defence concepts related to evolving geopolitical situations.”