From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Shekatkar Committee
Mains level : Significance of the Border Infrastructure
Government has accepted and implemented three important recommendations of the Committee of Experts (CoE) under the chairmanship of Lt General D B Shekatkar (Retd.) relating to border Infrastructure.
Practice question for mains:
Q. India’s unique geo-strategic location needs an all-weather and efficient border infrastructure. Comment.
About Shekatkar Committee
- The military reforms committee – under Lt General (retd.) DB Shekatkar – was set up by then Raksha Mantri Manohar Parrikar in 2015.
- The committee was established with a mandate for Enhancing Combat Capability and Rebalancing Defence Expenditure.
- Shekatkar Committee had made recommendations on enhancing the combat potential of India’s three armed forces, rationalizing the defence budget etc.
- The committee submitted its report on December 21, 2016. It had apparently exceeded its brief with some 200 recommendations.
- A major recommendation is that the defence budget should be 2.5% to 3% of the GDP.
Recommendations on border infrastructure
- On the matter related to creating border infrastructure, the Government has implemented the recommendation of CoE to outsource road construction work beyond the optimal capacity of Border Roads Organisation (BRO).
- These were related to speeding up road construction, leading to socio-economic development in the border areas.
- The other recommendation relating to the introduction of modern construction plants, equipment and machinery has been implemented.
Back2Basics: Border Roads Organisation (BRO)
- The BRO develops and maintains road networks in India’s border areas and friendly neighboring countries and functions under the Ministry of Defence.
- It is entrusted for construction of Roads, Bridges, Tunnels, Causeways, Helipads and Airfields along the borders.
- Officers from the Border Roads Engineering Service (BRES) and personnel from the General Reserve Engineer Force (GREF) form the parent cadre of the Border Roads Organisation.
- It is also staffed by officers and troops drawn from the Indian Army’s Corps of Engineers on extra regimental employment.
- The BRO operates and maintains over 32,885 kilometers of roads and about 12,200 meters of permanent bridges in the country.