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Indian MOD Grapples with Legacy Issues


A Press Information Bureau release indicated that Ministry of Defence (MoD) is organising brainstorming sessions ‘Chintan Shivir’ [Brainstorming] in New Delhi on June 19 & 20, 2023 to discuss various issues & challenges faced by its departments, with the aim to come out with new ideas for better governance & functioning. Department of Defence (DoD), Department of Defence Production (DDP), Department of Military Affairs (DMA) and Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare (DESW) have identified a number of themes, on which eminent subject matter experts will share their views with the officers of the Ministry.


These issues were outlined Department wise and indicated continued challenges faced on legacy issues while transformatory ones as Theaterisation, modernisation of organisations and technology absorption remains on the back burner.


Department wise issues identified by the Press Information Bureau report are outlined as given below


Department of Defence


The DoD will deliberate on the following topics:


Comprehensive approach to national security

Cyber security challenges

National Information Security Policy and Guidelines

Performance Audit

Sainik School education system

Capacity Building in Defence Acquisitions


Department of Defence Production


The DDP will have discussions on the following themes:


Enhancing production &defence exports

Increasing Aatmanirbharta: Road ahead for indigenisation

Industrial Ecosystem and Skilled Workforce

Enhancing Level Playing Field

Quality Reforms


Department of Military Affairs

The topics chosen by the DMA will cover critical issues of Integrating and optimising Human Resource aspects, Training and Operational issues towards achieving greater synergy and modernization & capability augmentation of Armed Forces in the realms of strategic domain [Possibly may also include theaterisation].


Interestingly the DMA will also include discussions on measures to identify and abolish colonial practices and obsolete laws and further incorporate the country’s own ethos and practices in functioning of the Armed Forces.


Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare


The themes identified by DESW include:


Leveraging SPARSH for better pension services and other welfare measures for veterans

Resettlement of veterans by improving employability and promotion of entrepreneurship for start of micro enterprises by veterans

Improvement in the health services of the veterans


The Chintan Shivir will conclude with an open-house session for inviting ideas & suggestions for enhancing organisational efficiency in various departments. The event is being organised in line with the Government’s directions to have a real time audit of the objectives achieved till date and carve a way forward towards achieving the desired goals in realistic timelines.


It is unlikely that the outcomes will be published in whatever form for public discussion. In house brainstorming has limitations, whereas what is required to transform the Ministry of Defence is to discuss critical national security issues and those impacting capability building of the armed forces in a more transparent manner.

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