Define the Defence Planning Committee and briefly explain about its context. It is to recommend about the comprehensive and integrated defence planning.
Further, mention about its salient features. Like the committee will evaluate all relevant inputs relating to national defence and security priorities, foreign policy imperatives, operational directives and associated requirements apart from other defence development plans.
Next, talk about the issues related to defence preparedness. Lack of budget issue, goals prioritizing, integrated approach to defence matters, technological issues, no indigenization etc.
Next, bring a possible solution oriented linkages between the features of the DPC and issues with defense preparedness. Talk about leveraging inter-departmental coordination, establishment of 4 sub-committees to focus on their respective domains etc.
The government has set up as a permanent body, Defence Planning Committee (DPC) under the chairmanship of the National Security Adviser (NSA) to facilitate a comprehensive and integrated planning for defence matters.
- The Committee has members drawn from the higher echelons of the civil and military services such as three service chiefs, the Defence Secretary, Foreign Secretary, and Secretary (Expenditure) of the Ministry of Finance.
- It is tasked to ‘analyse and evaluate all relevant inputs relating to:
- national defence and security priorities,
- foreign policy imperatives,
- operational directives and associated requirements,
- relevant strategic and security-related doctrines,
- defence acquisition and infrastructure development plans,
- defence technology and development of the Indian defence industry
- In order to assist the functioning of the DPC, the new mechanism provides for four sub-committees,
- Policy and Strategy.
- Plans and Capability Development.
- Defence Diplomacy.
- Defence Manufacturing Eco-System.
The reports of the DPC are to be submitted to the Defence Minister and further approvals are to be taken as required. The existing planning process had many problematic areas with respect to defence preparedness, such as:
- Less than adequate resources to meet numerous security challenges
- Prioritizing goals
- Lack of integrated approach to defence matters
- Less focus on new technological advancements while pursuing manpower driven military indigenization
- Little focus on indigenization and self-reliance in defence procurement matters
- Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) which was envisaged to be the arbitrator of all requirements of the armed forces and defence planning mechanism, was not created due to political dispensations.
DPC an improvement over the existing system:
- It would leverage inter-departmental coordination to enhance India’s ability to strategize long-term defence needs.
- It has 4 sub-committees for exclusive focus in their respective domains.
The DPC would clearly articulate the key national security, defence and military goals as well as prioritize defence and security requirements as per the available resources. At the same time it will provide adequate focus on emerging security challenges, technological advancements, and establishing a strong indigenous defence manufacturing base. Hence, it can be argued that the DPC is a timely step for streamlining India’s defense preparedness.