Defence Planning Committee Formed

The government formed a new thinktank, called the Defence Planning Committee (DCP), to reform the process of higher defence planning and national security strategy. The Defence Planning Committee, under the chairmanship of National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval, will not only formulate national security strategy and defence strategy but also supervise foreign deals in the defence sector.

While supervising the defence procurement, the high-level panel will take a longer view of acquisitions.

The committee will operate through four sub-committees: on Policy and Strategy, Plans and Capability Development, Defence Diplomacy, and Defence Manufacturing Ecosystem. The government has attempted to overcome the problems of coordination between various ministries on national security by bringing the Foreign Secretary and Expenditure Secretary into the formal planning process of Defence Ministry.

While supervising the defence procurement, the high-level panel will take a longer view of acquisitions and how they fit into current and future scenarios. The committee, which will be a permanent body, is formed to make defence planning and strategy a more integrated and forward-looking process so that security priorities can be defined. The panel will examine “ways and means” across ministries to strengthen defence capabilities.

The idea to create an institutional mechanism for higher defence matter had been under consideration for some time but was not gaining traction. However, post the budget 2018, the three service chiefs and defence ministry officials worked together to get it implemented.

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