09:51 GMT20 January 2021
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    The defense planning committee (DPC), set up by the Indian government, is intended to make defense planning and strategy a more integrated and forward-looking process intended to provide key inputs to define security priorities, according to local news reports.

    New Delhi (Sputnik): The Indian government has constituted a new think tank named the "Defense Planning Committee" (DPC) to formulate national military and security strategies and oversee foreign acquisitions and sales. The development was confirmed by government sources to local media.

    Specific inputs provided by the committee will be put up to the defense minister in the form of reports and it will quicken the process of approvals and timelines, according to the Times of India.

    READ MORE: Teeth or Tail: Funding Shortage Throws Up Crucial Choice Before Indian Air Force

    Military experts have welcomed the development and have expressed optimism that the move will make the acquisitions and strategic decision-making process smoother.

    "It's a great step and is towards the right direction. India lacked a National Security Doctrine. This step is an effort towards that direction. The panel formed is expected to smoothen defense acquisitions by reconciling the three important aspects of military views, the political view and the financial priorities as all the important decision makers are part of the committee," Lt Gen (Retired) Shankar Prasad told Sputnik.

    Laxman K. Behera, research fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses in New Delhi wrote in an article published by the think tank that the DPC would provide a much-needed boost to defense preparedness of the country.

    "With the powerful DPC in place and the National Security Advisor (NSA) assuming the role of de facto CDS for all practical purposes other than in operational matters, the defense planning process is expected to become more rational as well as provide a much-needed boost to defense preparedness," reads the article by Laxman K. Behera.

    Local media suggested that the development has more to do with the defense preparedness of India and is much more than an acquisition-centric exercise. 

    "The committee will have a cross-ministry mandate with national security adviser, principal secretary to PM, three chiefs of armed forces, the defense secretary, foreign secretary and chief of the integrated defense staff (IDS) to the chairman chiefs of staff committee (CISC) as its high-powered members. The panel will refine recommendations for defense procurement as it is expected to take a longer view of acquisitions and how they fit into current and future scenarios. The committee is to function through various sub-committees that provide inputs for senior functionaries and assess unconventional and emerging threats apart from developing more regular defense concepts," the Times of India reported, quoting unnamed sources. 

    READ MORE: India Mulls 74% FDI in Defense Sector Aiming for a Spot Among Top Producers

    The Indian Express says that the probable roles of the newly formed committee's wide-ranging charge will include inter-connected subjects like defense diplomacy, manufacturing and policy and strategy that can bring together expertise in the government to one table. 

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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