National Security Advisor Current Affairs

Defence Planning Committee to formulate military, security strategy, supervise foreign deals

The Union Government has formed Defence Planning Committee (DPC), a new integrated institutional mechanism that will drive country’s military and security strategy and guide defence equipment acquisitions. It will be under the chairmanship of National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.

Key Facts

The committee will be a permanent body and it will prepare draft national security strategy besides undertaking strategic defence review and formulating international defence engagement strategy.

Composition: It will consist of Chairman Chiefs of the Staff Committee (COSC), service chiefs, Defence Secretary, Foreign Secretary and Secretary (expenditure) in the Finance Ministry.

Structure: The committee will operate through four sub-committees: on Policy and Strategy, Defence Diplomacy, Plans and Capability Development and Defence Manufacturing Ecosystem. The membership and the terms of reference of the sub-committees will be finalized separately. Foreign Secretary and Expenditure Secretary being member of DPC will help to overcome problems of coordination between various ministries on matters of national security.

Functions: DPC has been tasked to undertake external security risk assessment and define national defence and security priorities. It will formulate national military strategy, draft national security strategy and strategic defence review. It will identify means and ways across ministries, obtain Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) approval for capability development plan and provide guidance for budgetary support.

The DPC will also prepare roadmap to build defence manufacturing ecosystem, strategy to boost defence exports and prioritized capability plans for armed forces in consonance with overall priorities, strategies and likely resource flows. It will submit all its reports to defence minister.

Background

Considering the complex security environment and volume of expenditure on national defence, it was imperative to have strong defence planning mechanism. The present system was found insufficient to provide rigour necessary for planning process. So it was mandated to create an institutional mechanism which can undertake comprehensive and integrated planning of higher defence matters.

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Former RAW Chief Rajinder Khanna Appointed Deputy National Security Advisor

The Appointment Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has appointed Former Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) chief Rajinder Khanna as Deputy National Security Advisor (NSA).

He has been appointed without a fixed tenure and would remain at the post until further orders. In his new role, he will assist NSA Ajit Doval.

Rajinder Khanna

He is 1978-batch Research and Analysis (RAS) cadre officer. He had headed RAW from December 2014 for a fixed two-year period. He is considered as the father of counter-terrorism unit in the RAW and has led many counter-terrorism operations in the spy agency and is reportedly an expert on Pakistan and Islamic terrorism. He also has been in the forefront of seeking cooperation from intelligence agencies around the globe.

After his stint in RAW, he was appointed Officer on Special Duty (Neighbourhood Studies) in National Security Council Secretariat, the apex body on all internal and external security-related matters headed by the Prime Minister. Neighbourhood Studies prepares policy papers of neighbouring countries including Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal.

National Security Advisor (NSA)

The NSA is the chief executive of National Security Council (NSC) and primary advisor to Prime Minister on national and international security and oversees strategic issues. It is the NSA to whom intelligence agencies such as RAW and Intelligence Bureau report, rather than directly to Prime Minister. Due to such vested powers, NSA is prominent and powerful office in the bureaucracy. NSA is assisted by a Deputy NSA.

The post was created in November 1998 by Atal Bihari Vajpayee Government. Brajesh Mishra was first to be appointed NSA of India. Since the inception of the post, all NSAs appointed belong to Indian Foreign Service (IFS) except M K Narayanan and incumbent, Ajit Doval, who belong to the Indian Police Service.

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