Cabinet Committee on Security Current Affairs - 2019

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Government clears setting up of Defence Space Research Agency

The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) of the Central Government of India headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has cleared setting up of new agency called Defence Space Research Agency (DSRO. The DSRO has been entrusted with task of creating space warfare weapon systems and technologies.

Key Highlights

Background: The decision to set up a new agency for developing space warfare weapon systems was taken some time ago at the topmost level and the agency has already started taking shape under a Joint Secretary-level scientist.

Function:

The Defence Space Research Agency would be provided with a team of scientists who would be working in close coordination with tri-services (Indian Army, Navy and Air Force) Integrated Defence Staff (IDS) officers. The IDS was set up in October 2001 under Ministry of Defence in aftermath of ‘Operation Vijay’ (Kargil Operations) as an organisation that will be responsible for fostering coordination and enabling prioritisation across all branches of Indian Armed Forces.

DSRA would be providing research and development (R&D) support to Defence Space Agency (DSA) which again comprises of members of tri-services.

It is also charged with finding and implementing defense related applications for India’s entire spectrum of space technologies.

Significance: This newly approved space agency DSRA will develop sophisticated weapon systems and technologies so as to enhance capabilities of armed forces to fight wars in space.

About Defence Space Agency (DSA)

It is being set up in Bengaluru under an Air Vice Marshal-rank officer and will gradually take over the space-related capabilities of the three armed forces.

DSA has been created to help India fight wars in the space.

In April, the government established DSA to command the space assets of tri services, including military’s anti-satellite capability. It is responsible for formulating strategy to protect India’s interests in space, including addressing space-based threats.

In March 2019, India carried out a successful Anti Satellite Test (ASAT) which demonstrated the country’s capability to shoot down satellites in space. With this test it joined an elite club of four nations (only United States, Russia, China, and India) with similar capability. The test also helped India to develop deterrence capability against adversaries who may want to attack Indian satellites to cripple systems in times of war.

Centre reconstitutes 8 key Cabinet Committees

Prime Minister Narendra Modi led NDA government which stormed back into power for a second term at Centre after recently concluded 17th Lok Sabha eletion, reconstituted eight key cabinet committees. He also reconstituted six previous Cabinet sub-committees and formed two new ones to deal with job creation and economic growth.

Key Highlights

In newly-constituted eight cabinet committees, Home Minister Amit Shah is part of all cabinet committees while P M Modi is part of six committees, excluding Cabinet Committee on Accommodation and Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs.

The eight committees reconstituted includes-

  1. Appointments Committee of Cabinet– includes P M Modi and Amit Shah.
  2. Cabinet Committee on Accommodation– includes Amit Shah, Nitin Gadkari (Minister of Road Transport and Highways), Nirmala Sitharaman (Finance Minister and Minister of Corporate Affairs), and Piyush Goyal (Railway Minister and Mniister of Commerce & Industry).

Special invitees to Cabinet Committee on Accommodation– includes Jitendra Singh, Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State (I/C) of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.

  1. Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs – includes PM Modi (as chairman) and other member are Amit Shah, Nitin Gadkari, Nirmala Sitharaman, Piyush Goyal, Rajnath Singh (Defence Minister), Ravi Shankar Prasad (Minister of Communications and Information Technology), Harsimrat Kaur Badal (Minister of Food Processing Industries), D.V.Sadananda Gowda (Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers), Narendra Singh Tomar (Minister of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare), Dr. Subrahamanayam Jaishankar (Minister of External Affairs), and Dharmendra Pradhan (Petroleum, Natural Gas Minister).
  2. Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs- includes Shah, Sitharaman, Tomar, RS Prasad, Ramvilas Paswan (Consumer Affairs Minister), Thawar Chand Gehlot (Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment), Prakash Javadekar (Environment Minister) and Prahlad Joshi (Minister of Parliamentary Affairs).

Special invitees to Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs­– includes Ministers of State (MoS) Parliamentary Affairs Arjun Ram Meghwal and V Muraleedharan.

  1. Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs– includes P M Modi, Amit Shah, Nitin Gadkari, Sitharaman, Ramvilas Paswan, Narendra Singh Tomar, RS Prasad, Harsimrat Kaur, Piyush Goyal, Harsh Vardhan (Health Minister), Arvind Ganpat Sawant (Heavy Industries and Public Enterprise Minister) and Prahlad Joshi.
  2. Cabinet Committee on Security– It is considered to be the most significant panel, includes the Prime Minister Modi, Rajnath, Shah, Sitharaman and Jaishankar.
  3. Cabinet Committee on Investment Growth– P M Modi, Amit Shah, Nitin Gadkari, Nirmala Sitharaman and Piyush Goyal.
  4. Cabinet Committee on Employment and Skill Development– includes P M Modi, Amit Shah, Nirmala Sitharaman, Piyush Goyal, Narendra Singh Tomar, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ (HRD Minister), Dharmendra Pradhan, Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey (Minister of Skill development and Entrepreneurship), Santosh Kumar Gangwar (Minister of State (I/C) Labour and Employment) and Hardeep Singh Puri.

Special invitees to Cabinet Committee on Employment and Skill Development– includes Union Ministers Nitin Gadkari, Prahlad Singh Patel, Smriti Zubin Irani, and Harsimrat Kaur Badal.