Nuclear Command Authority

The Nuclear Command Authority (NCA) of India is the authority responsible for command, control and operational decisions regarding India’s nuclear weapons programme.

On 4 January 2003, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) constituted the Political Council and the Executive Council of the NCA. The Executive Council gives its opinion to the Political Council, which authorises a nuclear attack when deemed necessary. While the Executive Council is chaired by the National Security Advisor (NSA), the Political Council is chaired by the Prime Minister. This mechanism was implemented to ensure that Indian nukes remain firmly in civilian control and that there exists a sophisticated Command and Control (C2) mechanism to prevent their accidental or unauthorised use.


The Strategic Forces Command (SFC), sometimes called Strategic Nuclear Command, forms part of India’s Nuclear Command Authority (NCA). It is responsible for the management and administration of the country’s tactical and strategic nuclear weapons stockpile.[

The directives of the NCA are to be operationalised by the Strategic Forces Command under the control of a Commander-in-Chief of the rank of Air Marshal (or its equivalent) in charge of the management and administration of the tactical and strategic nuclear forces.


The Defence Planning Committee was notified by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in April 2018, the National Security Adviser (NSA) was appointed as the chairperson of the committee, with the chairperson, Foreign Secretary, Defence Secretary, Chief of Defence Staff, Chief of the Army Staff, Chief of the Air Staff, Chief of the Naval Staff, and expenditure secretaries of Ministry of Finance being its members and the chief of the Integrated Defence Staff (CIDS) being its member-secretary,[2][3][4] the NSA was also given the mandate to co-opt members as they see fit.

According to the notification issued by Indian Government the DPC will have several mandates namely to

  1. Prepare a draft National Security Strategy.
  2. Develop a capability development plan.
  3. Work on defence diplomacy issues.
  4. Improving defence manufacturing ecosystem in India


Defence Space Agency The Defence Space Agency (DSA) is a tri-service agency of the Indian Armed Forces. Headquartered in Bengaluru, Karnataka, India. The agency is tasked with operating the space-warfare and Satellite Intelligence[6] assets of India. The DSA draws personnel from all three branches of the Armed Forces.


The Chief of Defence Staff of the Indian Armed Forces (CDS) is the head of the military staff of the Indian Armed Forces and the chief executive of the Department of Military Affairs. As the highest-ranking serving officer in the Indian Armed Forces, the CDS is the commanding officer and chairperson of the Joint Commanders and Staff Committee – making him the chief military adviser to the government of India and the Ministry of Defence. As the professional head of the armed forces, the Chief of Defence Staff is also aided by the newly formed office of Vice Chief of Defence Staff, the nation’s second highest ranking military officer, and the three chiefs of staff of the army, navy and air force, who are the leaders of each respective branch. The first and current CDS is General Bipin Rawat, who took office on 1 January 2020

The CDS is a four-star officer selected from among the serving officers of the Indian Armed Forces. While being “first among equals” among the service chiefs, the CDS is a single-point military advisor to the defence minister.[4].The CDS is assisted by a deputy, the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff. The CDS heads the Department of Military Affairs under the Ministry of Defence, as its secretary. Apart from heading the DMA, the CDS is the Permanent Chairperson of the Chiefs of Staff Committee

Chief of Defence Staff is a critical position in today’s era of hybrid warfare, and will help increase coordination, tri-service effectiveness and integrate overall combat capabilities of Indian armed forces.[6] The Defence Secretary, a civil servant, remains as the main defence adviser, whilst the CDS has been sanctioned the role of being the main military adviser, acting as the single-point military adviser to the government and Defence Minister.[a][7] India was the only large democracy which did not have a single point military advisor; with all P5 countries having one.