To facilitate more comprehensive consultations towards the formation of new theatre commands of the Indian armed forces, the Government has formed a high-level committee comprising the Vice Chiefs of the three forces and the Chief of Integrated Defence Staff to the Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee, reports The Economic Times.
The committee is tasked to consider all views before the matter is moved to the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS). The committee is expected to also engage with external stakeholders like the Union Ministries of Home Affairs and External Affairs, which will be directly or indirectly impacted by the creation of the military theatre commands.
The need for wider consultations was felt after a presentation on the proposed theatre commands was made at the top levels of the Ministry of Defence. It is believed that the proposal included the suggestion to integrate the paramilitary forces into the theatre commands as well.
Presently, the paramilitary forces function under the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.
Also, while there has been consensus that theatre commands are imperative for the optimum utilisation of the resources and meeting future security challenges, there appear to be some differences over the structure, nomenclature and composition.
These include the issue arising out of suggesting to give service extension to current military commanders to take over the new theatre commands. This would place these commanders in a new hierarchy, giving them a stature higher than that of the three Vice Chiefs.