- According to defence experts,the newly elected government should take steps on reforms required in the defence arena to overhaul the country’s entire defence establishment.
- The government needs to (a)right-size the 15-lakh strong armed forces (b)formulate a coherent national security strategy to boost the private sector’s role in arms production and (c)plugging critical operational military gaps through faster acquisitions.
- The armed forces also need more money to plug their critical shortages, ranging from fighters and helicopters to submarines and minesweepers, with only 25% of the annual defence budget being left for modernization due to the high salary and pension bills.
- Another area which requires reform is the defence production one where India continues to languish in the strategically-vulnerable position of being the world’s largest arms importer.
- This will require reforming the DRDO, Ordnance Factory Board, defence PSUs and encouraging the private sector to jump into defence production in a mission-mode manner.
- Further,there is the reform of a creation of chief of defence staff (CDS) post which has not been done despite the GoM report after the 1999 Kargil conflict strongly recommending it.Subsequent commissions including the Naresh Chandra Taskforce in 2012 and the Lt-Gen D B Shekatkar Committee in 2016 had also recommended it.
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