The concluding part of the analysis on civil-military relations argues that India’s national security concerns demand that all interests and all institutions of national power are brought to work most closely together to further the country’s interest and build a militarily and economically strong nation that enjoys the world’s trust and respect
IAF helicopters bearing the National and the service ensigns fly past over Rajpath on Republic Day. Individual services need to close ranks and get collectively concerned about the major threats and formidable challenges that the country faces
Over the years, continuing efforts have been made by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to promote jointness through integration of the planning, training and other systems so that, progressively, a tri-service approach could get fully established. However, certain issues continue to affect the efficient functioning of the defence apparatus:
There must be no further delay in finalising the National Security Doctrine, on the basis of which integrated threat assessments can be made.
While some improvements have been achieved in the past years, the MoD must enforce strict measures to ensure that the DRDO, ordnance factories, defence public sector undertakings and other concerned agencies function efficiently to deliver supplies and services as per the envisaged time and cost schedules. Prolonged delays cause serious difficulties for the armed forces and large economic losses as the lack of certainty about supplies from indigenous sources compels expensive imports.
While there have been notable advances in the rationalisation of the procurement policies and procedures, there is still need to ensure against prolonged acquisition proceedings as such delays altogether nullify the “make or buy” approaches.
The individual services enjoy the autonomy of taking decisions to make their own selections of weapons, equipment and systems. The Integrated Service Headquarters must take effective steps to establish a tri-service approach in regard to such decisions as doing so will engender very significant financial savings.
Defence planning process has still to get established. The X and XI Plans were implemented without receiving formal approvals. While the Long Term Integrated Perspective Plan has since been finalised, it is still viewed as a totalling up of the wish lists of the individual services. The Integrated Defence Staff (IDS) must devote urgent attention towards finalising a fully integrated defence plan with at least a 10-15 year perspective.
The services enjoy the authority of virtually settling their own manpower policies. The pro-rata percentage representation of arms and services in the Army needs to be modified as it is virtually a “quota system” which breeds group loyalties and cuts at the very roots of jointness within the service.