Defence Planning Committee Is Not Enough To Fight Security Challenges. India Needs A Chief Of Defence Staff


In April, the central government announced the creation of a Defence Planning Committee (DPC) that includes the top military leadership and is chaired by the national security adviser. The DPC also includes the defence secretary, foreign secretary and, notably, the revenue secretary. The Headquarters Integrated Defence Staff ( HQ IDS) is to serve as its secretariat.

Among the major tasks of the DPC are the formulation of important documents like national security strategy and strategic defence review and doctrines. It will also chalk out the international defence engagement strategy, plan to boost defence exports and prioritised capability development for the armed forces. The committee will have four sub-committees to perform all its tasks.

A few questions come up for deliberations. The committee will be served by the HQ IDS, which was expected to ultimately pave the way for the appointment of a chief of defence staff (CDS). The CDS is considered extremely important for joint-operation of three services, as would invariably be required should we have to go to war. The moot question is: Is the DPC the endgame for and state burial of the concept of a CDS? Read More

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