Naresh Chandra Committee Recommendations

About Naresh Chandra Committee

In June 2011, government of India had announced setting up a high-powered task force to review the defense management in the country and make suggestions for implementation of major defense
projects. The 14-member task force was headed by Naresh Chandra, a former bureaucrat who has held top administrative jobs in the Ministry of Defence and Prime Minister’s Office. The committee was formed after a decade of the Kargil Review Committee and a Group of Ministers that attempted the first major revamp of defence management in the country, during the NDA Government. The Naresh Chandra Committee was to try to contemporaries the KRC’s recommendations in view of the fact that 10 years have passed since the report was submitted. It was also expected to examine why some of the crucial recommendations relating to border management and restructuring the apex command structure in the armed forces have not been implemented, especially in view of the fact that the KRC had stated: “The political, bureaucratic, military and intelligence establishments appear to have developed a vested interest in the status quo.” Naresh Chandra Committee has submitted its final report on national security to the prime minister in May 2012. The salient recommendations are as follows:

  • Creation of a new post of Intelligence Advisor to assist the NSA and the National Intelligence Board on matters relating to coordination in the functioning of intelligence committee
  • Amendment to Prevention of Corruption Act to reassure honest officers, who take important decisions about defence equipment acquisition, so that they are not harassed for errors of judgement or decision taken in good faith.
  • A permanent Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee
  • Expediting the creation of new instruments for counter-terrorism, such as the National Intelligence Grid and National Counter Terrorism Centre.
  • Deputation of officers from services up to director’s level in Ministry of Defense
  • Measures to augment the flow of foreign language experts into the intelligence and security agencies, which face a severe shortage of trained linguists
  • Promotion of synergy in civil-military functioning to ensure integration. To begin with, the deputation of armed services officers up to director level in the Ministry of Defence should be considered.
  • Early establishment of a National Defence University (NDU) and the creation of a separate think-tank on internal security.

Analysis

The above recommendations of the Naresh Chandra Committee continue to echo the group of minister’s (GoM) report that was prepared in 2002 during the NDA government. Some of them were initiated at that time and some of them have been discontinued by the UPA government.

The recommendation for a permanent Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee is the same as the creation of a Chief of Defence Staff recommended in 2002.

  • The proposed National Intelligence Board also sounds like a repeat of the Strategic Policy Group and the Intelligence Coordination Group that was set up after the GoM’s report was accepted.
  • Further, creation of a new post of Intelligence Advisor to assist the NSA seems to be an absurd idea. One might ask whether the NSA was functioning without intelligence input till now. There is absence of clarity on the inputs of NSA and how the proposed NIB would work. There is no clear idea what would be the role of the National Intelligence Board. In what sense it would be different from that of the old Joint Intelligence Committee that was later transformed into the National Security Council Secretariat.
  • Moreover, the committee has made a recommendation that the Prevention of Corruption Act should be amended to protect officers involved in defence purchases, in case they make ‘an error of judgement’. This seems to be a suggested way for corrupt officers to escape scrutiny in the guise of “error of judgement”.

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Comments

  • raju
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    Good service to update knowledge