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The newly-formed Defence Planning Committee (DPC) has decided to lay down a time-bound roadmap for indigenisation of defence manufacturing and also evolve a plan to combat different threats to national security, highly placed defence sources have told BharaShakti.in.
In its first meeting held on Thursday under the chairmanship of National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval and attended by the service chiefs, the Defence Secretary, Foreign Secretary and the Expenditure Secretary, the DPC decided to make a quick assessment of threats to national security in different time frames and accordingly draw up a plan to combat such threats by ensuring greater coordination between the various arms of the government dealing with the myriad subjects.
The DPC, first mooted in the Ministry of Defence (MoD) under Raksha Mantri Nirmala Sitharaman and authorised by the Prime Minister, discussed the priorities that need immediate attention.
Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra, who worked on the composition of the DPC and mooted the idea of the NSA as the chairman of the committee, also highlighted the limits to the fund available to the defence forces. The MoD budget is already 33 per cent of the capital expenditure of the government and 11.58 per cent of the overall expenditure, it was pointed out. The DPC is looking at means to maximise the utilisation of available funds and reprioritise the areas of acquisition and modernisation.
Both the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Gen Bipin Rawat and the Chief of Air Staff (CAS) Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa
Image Courtesy: Defence News
highlighted the threats envisaged by the Army and the IAF.
Foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale provided an assessment of the fast-changing geopolitical situation and the scenarios that are likely to emerge globally. The Navy Chief, also the Chairman of the Chiefs Of Staff Committee(CoSC), provided an insight into the emerging situation in the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean Region.
The DPC also discussed the need to be prepared for futuristic wars. Use of space and cyber for military purposes and improving inter-agency coordination, greater use of technology and right-sizing the armed forces were some of the issues that came up for discussion.
The DPC, mandated to conceptualise and execute plans in the following broad areas—national security strategy, strategic defence review and doctrines; international defence engagement strategy; roadmap to build defence manufacturing eco-system; strategy to boost defence exports; and prioritise capability development plans for the armed forces over different time-frames in consonance with the overall priorities, strategies and resource flows—is likely to meet every 30-40 days to review and authorise implementation of plans after consulting the Raksha Mantri followed by clearances from the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS).