India’s all-powerful defence panel meets to fast track military purchases

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New Delhi, May 3 (IANS) The newly set up super panel for defence planning headed by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval for India’s military and security strategy in its inaugural meeting here on Wednesday decided to chart a time bound action plan for accelerating military purchases.

According to a defence statement, the meeting of the Defence Planning Committee “deliberated upon the geo-strategic landscape and agreed to chart a time-bound action plan in keeping with its broad mandate”.

The meeting was held under the chairmanship of Doval and was also attended by the three Service Chiefs.

The other members include Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra, Expenditure Secretary Ajay Narayan Jha, Foreign Secretary Vijay Keshav Gokhale and Chief of Integrated Defence Staff, Lt. Gen. Satish Dua, who is the Member Secretary.

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The overarching Defence Planning Committee formed only last month has been mandated to drive the country’s military and security strategy, draft capability development plans and guide and accelerate defence equipment acquisitions in line with Prime Minster Narendra Modi’s ambitious plans to modernize India’s armed forces and their ageing war machines.

With the NSA spearheading the all-powerful panel, the country’s defence strategising has for all practical purposes come under the Prime Minister’s Office with an aim to make decisions on military purchases happen much faster.

The panel has been tasked to prepare military doctrines and define Indian military objectives for the future amid rising internal and external security challenges in a heavily militarized neighbourhood.

–IANS

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