Government Working out Roadmap for Structuring Department of Military Affairs

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New Delhi: As part of 100-day agenda set by the country’s first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat, senior government officers are working out for the establishment of theatre and joint commands to fix the structure of Department of Military Affairs (DMA) while allocating responsibilities.

The agenda will focus on creating a roadmap on what needs to be done first and in ensuring better jointness and integration among Indian Army, Indian Air Force and Indian Navy.

Saankhya Lab

The Headquarters Integrated Defence Staff–comprising officials from the defence services– under the CDS has begun studies on establishing joint commands. There is a study on having an Air Defence Command, while others are on implementing commands on logistics and training.

The cross-staffing of these commands will also have to be worked out. Similarly, there are studies on having theatre commands. The CDS earlier this month had said that there will be a Peninsula Command responsible for India’s exclusive economic zones. Theatre commands will also be created out of the existing northern, western and eastern commands facing Pakistan and China.

The structure of the newly created Department of Military Affairs (DMA) under the CDS is also being worked out with the top layer being finalised. A proposal for appointing two-star rank officers from the defence services as joint secretaries of the DMA has been sent to the government for approval. These officers are Major General Narayanan, Rear Admiral R K Dhir and Air Vice Marshal SK Jha. The existing pool of joint secretaries in the Defence Ministry are civilian bureaucrats. The DMA is the fifth department under the ministry.

The DMA has also sent a proposal for appointing Lieutenant General rank officers as Additional Secretaries there.

General Rawat had earlier said that posts of six joint secretaries have been created under him. Four posts will be held by military officers, while the remaining two by IAS officers. The tasks given to them include the three defence services, parliamentary issues and jointmanship. The defence ministry in a notification issued in January had stated that two joint secretaries, 13 directors, 25 under secretaries and 22 section officers with supporting staff were transferred to the DMA from the Department of Defence.

After the creation of the top layer of officials of the DMA, the lower layers and the allocation of their tasks will be worked out. Following the creation of the CDS, a priority area for General Rawat has been what will be the way ahead.

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