Defence Sector – DPP, Missions, Schemes, Security Forces, etc.

India to bring in a National Security Strategy (NSS): What is it, why is it important?


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : NA

Mains level : National Security Strategy

Central Idea

  • India is embarking on a historic journey as it initiates the development of its inaugural National Security Strategy (NSS).
  • The National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) is actively collecting insights and inputs from diverse Central ministries and departments, laying the foundation for a comprehensive strategy that will play a pivotal role in safeguarding the nation’s interests.

Explained: National Security Strategy

  • Crucial Milestone: India’s NSS represents its first-ever comprehensive document that outlines security objectives and strategies.
  • Periodically Updated: The NSS evolves over time, addressing both traditional and non-traditional threats while fostering accountability among agencies tasked with implementation.
  • Guiding Holistic Security: The NSS will serve as a guiding framework for military, defense, and security reforms, offering a holistic perspective on national security, threats, and strategies to counter them.

Scope and Content of India’s NSS

  • Modern Challenges: The NSS is poised to encompass a broad spectrum of contemporary challenges, including financial and economic security, food and energy security, information warfare, critical information infrastructure vulnerabilities, supply chain concerns, and environmental issues.
  • Comprehensive Approach: It will adopt a comprehensive approach to tackling emerging threats, aligning with India’s evolving security landscape.

Global Precedents

  • Established Nations with NSS: Developed nations with robust military and security infrastructures maintain National Security Strategies, updated periodically. The United States, the United Kingdom, and Russia have published their NSS.
  • China’s Comprehensive National Security: China has a closely integrated Comprehensive National Security strategy, tightly linked to its governance structure.
  • Pakistan’s National Security Policy: Pakistan recently unveiled a National Security Policy for 2022-2026, outlining its national security objectives and priorities.

India’s Imperative for a National Security Strategy

  • Long-Debated Need: The idea of a National Security Strategy for India has long been debated within military circles and the strategic community.
  • Urgency in Uncertain Times: Rising geopolitical tensions and the uncertain global environment have heightened the urgency for India to formulate a comprehensive strategy.
  • Relevance Highlighted: Experts and former officials emphasize that a national security strategy is vital to provide clear political direction to the Armed Forces, guide military reforms, and address modern security challenges effectively.

Past Attempts and Hurdles

  • Failed Attempts: India has previously made three attempts to develop a national security strategy, all without fruition.
  • Political Hesitation: Some speculate that hesitation at the political level, driven by concerns about accountability in defense management, may have impeded the strategy’s release.
  • Varied Views: There have been differing views within the strategic community regarding the absence of a national security strategy, ranging from a lack of cohesive government efforts to intentional non-disclosure of national security objectives.


  • India’s journey towards formulating its National Security Strategy marks a significant milestone in its quest for a well-defined and coordinated approach to security.
  • As India forges ahead, this inaugural strategy promises to provide a roadmap for addressing complex security challenges, ensuring national interests are protected, and fostering a secure future in an ever-evolving world.

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