To Boost Higher Defence Planning, Govt Forms New Committee Under NSA Ajit Doval

| April 19 , 2018 , 09:06 IST

The government on Wednesday formed a new integrated institutional mechanism called the Defence Planning Committee (DPC) to reform the process of higher defence planning.

The committee, under the chairmanship of National Security Advisor Ajit Doval will be a permanent body and will consist of the Chairman Chiefs of the Staff Committee (COSC), service chiefs, Defence Secretary, Foreign Secretary and Secretary (expenditure) in the Finance Ministry.

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Apart from undertaking a strategic defence review and formulating an international defence engagement strategy, the committee will also prepare a draft national security strategy. The DPC would also prepare a roadmap for building a defence manufacturing ecosystem, a strategy to boost defence exports and prioritise capability plans for the armed forces. All the reports from the DPC would be submitted to the defence minister.

The operations of the committee will take place through 4 sub-committees, namely, on Policy and Strategy, Plans and Capability Development, Defence Diplomacy, and Defence Manufacturing Ecosystem.

Although the concept of creating an institutional mechanism to undertake comprehensive and integrated planning of higher defence matters has been on the table for some time, it did not gain traction until recent months after the last budget. The three service chiefs and defence ministry officials came together to get the idea of the committee implemented.

According to reports, due to the volume of expenditure on national defence as well as the complex security environment, it was important to have a strong defence planning mechanism as the current system was unable to provide the rigour necessary for the planning process.