Context:The annual report ‘Trends in World Military Expenditure, 2019’ was released recently by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

More about the report:

  • Increment in overall global military expenditure:
    • Global military spending in 2019 represented 2.2% of the global GDP and this was an increase of 3.6% from 2018 and the largest annual growth in spending since 2010.
    • In Asia and Oceania, other than India and China, Japan ($47.6 bn) and South Korea ($43.9 bn) were the largest military spenders.
  • Top spenders worldwide:
    • Top five countries accounted for 62% of the global military expenditure. These are as follows
      • U.S. ($732 bn)
      • China($261 bn)
      • India($71.1 bn)
      • Russia ($65.1 bn) and 
      • Saudi Arabia ($61.9 bn)

Analysis of the India’s military expenditure

  • In 2019,India was the third-largest military spender in the world after the US and China.
    • Earlier India was at the fourth position in 2018 with Saudi Arabia at the third.
  • India’s military expenditure grew by 6.8% to $71.1 billion in 2019.
  • India’s expenditure on defence in 2019 was 2.4% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
  • Comparison in recent decades:
    • Growth in absolute terms:India’s military expenditure grew by 259% over the 30-year period of 1990–2019, and by 37% over the decade of 2010–19.
    • Going down as a percentage of its GDP:
      • However India’s military burden fell from 2.7% of GDP in 2010 to 2.4% in 2019.
      • The defence allocation in the latest budget for 2020-21 which was ₹3.37 lakh crore, excluding defence pensions, accounts for about 1.5% of the country’s GDP, the lowest in recent times.
  • According to the report India’s tensions and rivalry with both Pakistan and China are among the major drivers for its increased military spending.
  • Pakistan's military expenditure
    • It rose by 70% over the decade 2010–19, to reach $10.3 billion while the military burden increased from 3.4% of GDP in 2010 to 4% in 2019.
    • According to the report Pakistan was at the 24th position in 2019 compared to 19th in 2018.


About Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)

  • SIPRI is an independent international institute dedicated to research into conflict, armaments, arms control and disarmament. 
  • It provides data, analysis and recommendations, based on open sources, to policymakers, researchers, media and the interested public. 
  • Based in Stockholm, SIPRI is regularly ranked among the most respected think tanks worldwide.

Image Source:TH