Centre Sets Up Panel Headed by NSA for Defence Planning

The Centre has set up a Defence Planning Committee (DPC) chaired by National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval to facilitate "comprehensive" planning for the defence forces besides focusing on military doctrines to deal with emerging security challenges.

Apart from the NSA, the committee will comprise of the foreign secretary, chairman of chiefs of staff committee, the Army, Navy and Air Force chiefs and secretary (expenditure) in the Finance Ministry, officials said.

This is being done in order to balance budgetary constraints with the requirement of arms and increase the country's own expertise in manufacturing and exporting defence equipment, reported Hindustan Times. Defence planning, formerly, was only synonymous with hardware acquisition.

The officials said the committee would prepare drafts of national security strategy and doctrines, international defence engagement strategy and road map to build defence manufacturing ecosystem.

It will also work on strategy to boost defence exports, and prioritised capability development plans for the armed forces.

The DPC would submit its draft reports to the Defence Minister according to "given timelines" following which further approvals will be obtained as required.

The officials said the DPC would also analyse and evaluate all relevant inputs relating to defence planning and foreign policy imperatives besides focusing on defence acquisition and infrastructure development plans including the 15-year-long integrated perspective plan.

The committee will also focus its energy on development of Indian defence industry and technology advancements.

To provide duly considered and refined inputs to the DPC, specific issues would be managed through a number of sub committees, the officials said.

The sub-committees are likely to be in areas of policy and strategy, plans and capability development, defence diplomacy and defence manufacturing ecosystem, the officials said.

The DPC is set to meet soon after Doval returns from Germany on 21 April, reported Hindustan Times.

(With inputs from PTI and Hindustan Times.)

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