Ministry of Defence Current Affairs

Defence Ministry constitutes Vinay Sheel Oberoi Committee to expedite capital acquisition

The Union Ministry of Defence (MoD) has constituted 13-member Raksha Mantri Advisory Committee on Ministry of Defence Capital Projects (RMCOMP).  It will be headed by former secretary Vinay Sheel Oberoi.

The committee will monitor and expedite capital acquisition projects for modernisation of armed forces and bolster armed forces preparedness.

Terms of reference of RMCOMP

It will undertake an independent review and check status of ongoing critical projects worth more than Rs. 500 crore. It will suggest measures to improve the capital acquisition process. It will identify specific issues and bottlenecks that are responsible for delays, and suggest the way forward.

It will also suggest any other issues related to project monitoring and appraisal that may be referred by MoD. The committee will have tenure until end of August 2018. It will have to present initial status report on identified projects to Defence Minister by 31 March 2018.

The report shall include, apart from current status of projects, issues, remedial measures and follow-up strategy. It will suggest modern management concepts that can be leveraged to reduce delays and also actionable measures to improve capital acquisition process/procedures.

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N Chandrasekaran Task force constituted to study AI application in military

The Ministry of Defence (Department of Defence Production) constituted a 17 member task force headed by Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran to study use and application of artificial intelligence (AI) in military.

The task force will study the whole gamut of issues surrounding strategic implications of AI in national security perspective, in global context.

Members

The task force comprises National Cyber Security Coordinator Gulshan Rai, representatives from Indian Army, Navy and Airforce, chairman of Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL), representatives from ISRO, Atomic Energy Commission and defence ministry. It also includes representation from academic institutes such as IISc-Bengaluru, and IIT Mumbai and Chennai.

Background

Experts believe that AI has potential to provide military superiority apart from driving technology-driven economic growth. The future progress of AI has potential to have transformative impact on national security. It is also seen that AI is essentially dual use technology i.e. it can fuel technology driven economic growth and also has potential to provide military superiority. India has a strong talent pool of engineers which are advantages which need to be leveraged.

Artificial intelligence

AI is branch of computer science concerned with making computers behave like humans. In contrast to normal hardware and software, AI enables a machine to perceive (i.e. to think) and respond to its changing environment.

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