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  • Vishwas Kumar asked: Why 50 per cent of the Indian Navy has surpassed 20 yrs service life, as per the CAG 2013 report? How will it impact our defence preparedness?

    Sarabjeet Singh Parmar replies: This is due to the delay in procurement of equipment, weaponry and ships to replace the ageing and obsolete inventory held by the Indian Navy. The term ‘ship’ here also covers other assets like submarines and aircraft (both manned and unmanned). The impact on defence preparedness could be seen under the three prisms of a ship’s ability to float, move and fight. All three are impacted by ageing of assets and equipment fit.

    The impact of ageing could be viewed under two broad aspects:

    Defence Reforms – Agenda for the New Government

    Defence Reforms – Agenda for the New Government

    A country’s response to external threats and internal security challenges is based on its defence preparedness, advance planning for contingencies and the political will. The new government will have to make key decisions on different aspects of defence reforms. This Policy Brief puts forward some suggestions.

    May 22, 2014

    Moving on with the Defence & Security of India

    Ministry of Defence which accounts for 13-14 per cent of the central government expenditure, if one also takes into account the expenditure on defence pensions, could come under some pressure to prepare an action plan as the outcome of what it does is often intangible, undisclosable, or simply unmeasurable. The author puts forward some suggestions.

    May 20, 2014

    Foreign Direct Investment Policy 2014: Status Quo for the Defence Sector

    One of the provisions in the policy is that in the Information & Broadcasting and the Defence sectors, where the sectoral cap is less than 49 per cent, the company would need to be ‘owned and controlled’ by resident Indian citizens and Indian companies, which, in turn, are owned and controlled by resident Indian citizens. This is a virtual impossibility.

    April 23, 2014

    Defence Innovations in India: The Fault Lines

    The Occasional Paper examines India's defence innovation performance, especially of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the defence industry. The paper argues that the innovation performance of these two players is constrained by lack of a higher organisational structure which could provide direction and required thrust to the indigenous R&D.

    Saideswara Rao Gadde asked: What are the problems in allowing FDI in Indian defence sector?

    Reply: Refer to an earlier reply to a similar query, at

    Also, refer to following publications:

    Sandeep Verma, “A Level-Playing Field that Isn’t: How India’s Defence Offset Procedures Could Discriminate against Indian Bidders”, January 15, 2013, at

    S.N. Misra, “Impact of Offset Policy on India’s Military Industrial Capability, Journal of Defence Studies, 5 (3), July-December 2011, at

    Laxman K. Behera, “A Case for Increasing FDI up to 100 per cent in India’s Defence Industry”, Issue Brief, August 9, 2011, at

    China’s Defense White Paper: An Assessment

    The latest White Paper differs from previous documents in notable ways. It has little to offer by way of greater transparency related to numbers and policies. The document suggests a more confident China positioning for greater activism in global affairs.

    April 22, 2013

    Understanding Diverse Global Thoughts on Air Power

    Air power has gone through a lot over the last two decades—from being a decisive tool of war fighting during Operation Desert Storm and operations over Kosovo, to a more sobering period in the first decade of this century when it faced intense criticism over its use in Lebanon, Iraq and Af-Pak.

    March 2013

    Abhishek Tyagi asked: Is there any proposal to reform the higher defence organisation in India and create the post of the Chief of Defence Staff?

    Rajneesh Singh replies: Reform to the Higher Defence Organisation of India has been a long standing demand of the Services and of the strategic community. In the wake of the Kargil war, the Government of India had constituted the Kargil Review Committee (KRC) to look into the episode of Pakistan’s aggression in the Kargil Sector. The Committee comprised of four members, namely Mr. K. Subrahmanyam (Chairman), Lieutenant General (retd.) K. K. Hazari, Mr. B.G. Verghese and Mr. Satish Chandra, Secretary, National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) and also Member Secretary.

    A Group of Ministers (GOM) was also constituted by the Prime Minister on April 17, 2000 to review the national security system in its entirety and in particular to consider the recommendations of the KRC and formulate specific proposals for implementation. The GOM after initial deliberations decided to address the recommendations of the KRC through four Task Forces, one each in the areas of Intelligence Apparatus, Internal Security, Border Management and Management of Defence. The Task Forces considered not only the recommendations of the KRC falling within their respective competencies, but also other aspects impinging upon national security which were not touched upon by the KRC. Consequent to deliberations and recommendations of the KRC and the GOM, some changes were made to the Higher Defence Organisation, viz. integration of the Service Headquarters with the Ministry of Defence (MoD), establishment of HQ Integrated Defence Staff (IDS), Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) and so on. However, one of the major recommendations of the KRC and the GOM was to have an appointment of the CDS. For variety of reasons, the government did not consider it prudent to establish this appointment.

    In 2011, the government convened Naresh Chandra Committee to deliberate on issues concerning national security. The report of the deliberations of the committee has been submitted to the government and presentation on the key recommendations has been made to the National Security Council (NSC). Both the print and electronic media have carried news items regarding its key recommendations. If the media reports are to be believed, the committee has recommended the appointment of the permanent Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC). The exact details regarding the appointment will only be known once the report is declassified. In all likelihood, the appointment of the CDS may not come through in the near future.

    For more on the subject, refer to the following IDSA publications:

    All essays published in the first issue (vol. 1, Issue 1, 2007) of the Journal of Defence Studies, available at

    Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee: A Midway Solution
    By Rajneesh Singh, August 7, 2012

    A Call for Change: Higher Defence Management in India, IDSA Monograph Series No. 6, 2012, at

    Jointness in Armed Forces and Institution of Post of Chief of Defence Staff are Mutually Exclusive
    By Vinod Patney, Journal of Defence Studies, 2 (1), Summer 2008, at