Shortcomings in India’s National Security Architecture

It is said that the Indian National Security Strategy lacks coherently and systematically designed approach. There are some major shortcomings in India’s national security architecture which needs to be addressed on priority.

Shortcomings in the National Security Strategy

National Security Institutions

There is a need to strengthen key national security institutions and revamp their functioning. The National Security Council (NSC) set up in 1998 rarely meets, because it is an advisory body, with the Cabinet Committee on Security being the executive body.

The NSC could be made more useful by amending the government’s allocation of business rules to give more powers to the NSC and its subordinate organisations, such as the Strategic Policy Group.

National Security Adviser

There is a necessity to redesign the role of National Security Adviser (NSA).  NSA plays a vital role in national security but lacks any legal powers as per the government’s allocation of business rules. The NSA’s powers have increased in recent times but he/she is not accountable to Parliament.

It’s time to implement the recommendations of the K.C. Pant Task Force which had sought the creation of an NSA with the rank of a Cabinet Minister. The institution of the NSA requires more accountability and legal formality.

Reforms in National Security Planning

There is a need to bring fundamental structural reforms in national security planning. For Example, the recently constituted Defence Planning Committee (DPC) has been tasked to recommend policy measures to improve India’s defence capability and preparedness and national security in general. Not only does the DPC have too many responsibilities on its plate, but it is also an advisory body.

There is also a growing sense that by having the NSA chair the DPC, the government has scuttled the demands to appoint a Chief of the Defence Staff.


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