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5) Defence modernization, though for long a stated aim, must be taken up with priority. Analyze.(250 words)

Are you Ready for Insta 75 Days Revision Plan (UPSC Prelims - 2020)?

Topic – Security challenges and their management in border areas

5) Defence modernization, though for long a stated aim, must be taken up with priority. Analyze.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question

The article talks about the status of military in India, the recommendations of the committees formed for military modernization and the shortcomings along with way forward for the modernization drive military. This question would enable you to prepare for military modernization section of paper 3.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to provide an answer to the following issues

  • The nature and type of modernization expected
  • Status quo related to military modernization
  • Recommendations of the committee formed for the said purpose
  • Issues in the current scenario
  • Way forward

Directive word

Analyze – When asked to analyze, you  have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – India has millions of military personnel, billions of dollars in arms spending and grave threats on its borders, and yet the project of defence modernization has been progressing at less than desired pace.

Body

  • Explain that according to Parliament’s Standing Committee on Defence, some 68% of the army’s equipment holdings belong to the “vintage” category, 24% current and 8% state of the art. A modern, war winning military needs to be state of the art in every dimension – doctrine, organisation, equipment and quality of its personnel.
  • Highlight that various committees formed in the past like shekatkar committee have given wide ranging suggestions for military’s modernization – recommendations related to roll on defence budgets for capital expenditures, performance audit, downsizing or rationalization of manpower, joint services war college etc
  • Highlight that apart from these measures, the country has also went on an indigenization drive in defence manufacturing with reforms brought about in FDI sector in defence as well as Dhirendra Singh committee was formed for giving suggestions in this regard
  • Highlight the issues – suggestions that cuts will take place in Signals and Supply units actually goes against the grain of modern warfare, which emphasises quick moving forces and long range precision strikes, reducing numbers does not necessarily translate into reducing expenditure. Indeed, in the short run, it will be the other way around. The reason is that there is need to invest in getting higher quality personnel, pay to train them into their new jobs and re-equip the army with an entire new range of weapons and systems.
  • Discuss the way forward – implementation of shekatkar and Dhirendra Singh committee recommendations

Conclusion – Highlight the tough neighborhood that India lives in and the foreign policy aim of being a net security provider for which modernization of India’s military is a strategic imperative.