A well-respected Swedish think tank, which announced on Monday that India was now the world’s third-biggest military spender, appears to have overestimated Indian defence spend. In making this determination, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) has put India’s defence spend for 2019 at $71.1 billion, behind top spender USA ($732 billion) and China ($261 billion), but ahead of Russia ($65.1 billion) and Saudi Arabia ($61.9 billion). However, the most recent Indian budgetary figures (revised estimates) put Indian defence spending for 2019-20 at Rs 448,820 crore, or about $59.4 billion.
However, the most recent Indian budgetary figures (revised estimates) put Indian defence spending for 2019-20 at Rs 448,820 crore, or about $59.4 billion. That actually puts India at fifth place, behind both Russia and Saudi Arabia. Read More…
Good detective work. As SIPRI’s full form suggests; it is not an unbiased statistical body, but has a political objective…..purportedly, peace! The intention behind its rankings is to try and shame nations for their war making abilities. At no point, SIPRI tries to reconcile a nation’s security spending with that nation’s security environment.
Another reason for the erroneous numbers; disappointment on part of the Swedish government at being able to score defence deals in India. According to SIPRI; “SIPRI research is objective and independent and SIPRI does not accept funding from any source that seeks to interfere with or influence SIPRI research outcomes.” One would need to be very naive to believe that SIPRI’s sponsors have no influence!