Time to take stock – on India’s military preparedness

Source: The post is based on an article “Time to take stock” published in Business Standard on 6th January 2023.

Syllabus: GS 3 – Security

Relevance: challenges with the Indian military

News: India is the world’s only major country that faces a three-and-a-half front military threat. The article discusses the military challenges that India faces.

What are the challenges with Indian and its military?

a) threat from two nuclear armed nation (Pakistan and China), b) insurgencies in Kashmir and north-east, c) increasing threats from China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in land and in ocean, d) lack of long-term National Security Strategy (NSS), e) inadequate defence budget which leads to lack of manufacturing of defence equipment.

Moreover, India’s military deployment has now shifted its focus from Pakistan towards China and India has also made organisational changes in its military.

What organisational changes have been brought in Indian military?

Government has restructured 17 single-service commands into a smaller number of tri-service theatre commands. However, concerns such as reporting authority to which theatre commands will report in the war time still remain.

Moreover, there has been very little change in the functioning of Indian armed forces even after creating a tri-service Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) in 2020.

Further, to increase the defence budget government has reduced the pension budget and has come up with Agnipath Yojana.

What can be done to improve the Indian military?

First, India remains the only major military power that has not laid out its strategic objectives in a published NSS. Therefore, it should focus on bringing a National Security Strategy (NSS). This would help in building national defence strategy with clear military ambitions.

Second, there is a need for creation of a higher defence organisation with representatives from all the ministries in order to have a national political consensus to the military.

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