Context: Defence Minister gave a statement on national security during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of the National Defence College (NDC). 

Key takeaways from the Defence Minister’s statement:

  • National security: He outlined four broad principles that are likely to guide India’s quest for national security in the future. 
    • The ability to secure India’s territorial integrity and sovereignty from external threats and internal challenges. 
    • The ability to create secure and stable conditions that can facilitate India’s economic growth, thereby, creating the resources for nation building and to meet individual aspirations. 
    • The desire to protect its interests beyond the borders in areas where our people reside and our security interests converge. 
    • In a globalised and interconnected world, a country’s security interests are interlinked by shared and secure commons.
  • Terrorism: India has proved that countries that employ terrorism as an instrument of national policy can also be deterred through options that were considered un-implementable in the past. 
  • Bilateral relations with other countries
  • Neighbourhood First initiative: India has invested heavily to help and support our friends to forge a relationship of mutual-respect and mutual-interest.
  • Strategic partnership with the U.S. is stronger than ever before. 
  • India’s friendship has also grown tremendously with Japan, Australia and Russia, France and Israel.
  • Indian PM took special interest in reaching out to our partner countries in West Asia, South East and East Asia. 
  • Forging partnerships with major OEMs: Our vision for Make in India for defence manufacturing is being implemented with the long-term goal of making India more self-reliant.
    • An Original Equipment Manufacturer or OEM is a company that manufactures and sells products or parts of a product that their buyer, another company, sells to its own customers while putting the products under its own branding.
  • Structural reorganization of defence forces: At the structural level, India has made the appointment of Chief of Defence Staff, CDS, and established the Department of Military Affairs.
    • It is also in the process of further integrating the armed forces through both theatre and functional commands.
  • Tackling internal security challenges: A three-pronged approach has been undertaken. This includes: 
    • Development of areas affected by terrorism along with the provision of justice to the aggrieved. 
    • The ability to negotiate settlements with dissatisfied groups to enable a political settlement. 
    • To challenge the status quo, if the status quo becomes a tool for the exploitation of helpless citizens and the provisions of governance.
  • Economic security: The Government has focused on all aspects of development in sectors of land, labour, capital and industry.

National Defence College (NDC)

  • The National Defence College was sanctioned in 1959 to provide instructions for senior service and civil service officers in the “wider aspects of higher direction and strategy of warfare”.
  • The New Delhi-based NDC primarily offers strategic courses for officers of the Indian Armed forces, the civil services and selected officers from friendly foreign countries.
  • NDC functions directly under the Ministry of Defence
  • The Commandant of the College is a three star rank officer from the three Services in rotation for a term of two years.


Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) 

  • Bipin Rawat has been appointed the country’s first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS).
  • The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister had approved to create the post of Chief of Defence Staff in the rank of a four-star General with salary and benefits equivalent to a Service Chief.
  • Functions: Fundamentally, the CDS will perform two roles, as the single point military advisor to the Defence Minister and as head of the Department of Military Affairs (DoMA).
  • First role: The CDS will act as the principal military adviser to the defence minister on tri-Services issues.
    • The three Chiefs will continue to render advice to the defence minister on matters pertaining exclusively to their service. 
    • The CDS is also vested with the authority to provide directives to the three chiefs.
    • He has no military command over the other services and can only advise the government on matters that concern all three services.
  • The second role: Additionally, the CDS will lead the Department of Military Affairs (DoMA) dealing with the three services

Department of military affairs (DMA)

  • The DMA was created after the government’s announcement and the CDS as a Secretary in the MoD.  
  • The DMA which is the fifth department in the MoD has been mandated to promote jointness in procurement.
  • Functions:
  • The three services are now under the ambit of the DMA along with the Territorial Army. 
  • Also, all works relating to the three Services and except capital acquisitions all other procurement exclusive to the services will be made. 
  • It is also expected to take care of the training and staffing for the Services
  • It is also going to be involved in the restructure Military Commands. This will help in the optimal utilisation of resources as it will bring in jointness in operations.

Image source: Economic Times

Image source: The Print

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For Mains:

Q) Discuss the broad principles that should guide India’s quest for national security in the future. (150 words