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Indian Defence


The Supreme Command of the armed forces is vested in the President of India. 

The responsibility for national defence, however, rests with the Cabinet. 

The Defence Minister is responsible to Parliament for all matters concerning defence. 

Administrative and operational control of the armed forces is exercised by the Ministry of Defence and the three services headquarters.

Indian defence system has been divided into three services-
    • Army
    • Navy
    • Air Force
The principal task of the Ministry of Defence is to obtain policy directions of the Government on all defence and security related matters and communicate them for implementation to the Service Headquarters, Inter-Service Organisations, Production Establishments and Research and Development Organisations. 

It is also required to ensure effective implementation of the Government's policy directions and the execution of approved programs within the allocated resources.

The Ministry of Defence consists of following four Departments : 
  • Department of Defence : The Department of Defence deals with Integrated Defence Staff and the three Services and various Inter-Service Organisations. It is also responsible for the Defence Budget, establishment matters, defence policy, matters relating to Parliament, defence cooperation with foreign countries and coordination of all activities.
  • Department of Defence Production : The Department of Defence Production deals with matters pertaining to defence production, indigenisation of imported stores, equipment and spares, planning and control of departmental production units of the Ordnance Factory Board and Defence Public Sector Undertakings.
  • Department of Defence Research and Development : The Department of Defence Research and Development deals with scientific aspects of military equipment and logistics and the formulation of research, design and development plans for equipment used by the Services.
  • Department of Ex - Servicemen Welfare : The Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare, recently created, is assigned the responsibility of matters relating to Ex-Servicemen including pensioners, Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme, Directorate General of Resettlement and Kendriya Sainik Board and administration of Pension Regulations relating to the three Services.

Integrated Defence Staff (IDS) was created on October 1, 2001 as a sequel to the decision by the Group of Ministers based on Kargil Committee Report. 

The staff of HQ IDS is provided from three Services, MEA, DRDO, Armed Forces HQ (AFHQ) Civil Services and DoD. IDS is presently functioning as staff in the advisory mode to the Chairman COSC, and is headed by the Chief of Integrated Defence Staff to Chairman COSC (CISC)

The three Services Headquarters, viz., 
  • the Army Headquarters, 
  • the Naval Headquarters and 
  • the Air Headquarters 
functions under the Chief of the Army Staff (COAS), the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) and the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) respectively. 

They are assisted by their Principal Staff Officers (PSOs). The Inter-Services Organisations, under the Department of Defence are responsible for carrying out tasks related to common needs of the three Services such as medical care, public relations and personnel managedment of civilian staff in the Defence Headquarters.

A number of Committees dealing with defence related activities assist the Raksha Mantri(Defence Minister). The Chief of Staff Committee is a forum for the Service Chiefs to discuss matters having a bearing on the activities of the Services and to advise the Ministry.

The position of Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee devolves on the longest serving Chief of Staff, and consequently rotates amongst the three services. 

Finance Division in the Ministry of Defence deals with all matters having a financial implication. This Division is headed by Financial Advisor (Defence Services) and is fully integrated with the Ministry of Defence and performs an advisory rotle.

The Integrated Headquarters of the Ministry of Defence, viz, the Army Headquarters, the Naval Headquarters and the Air Headquarters function under the Chief of the Army StaffĂ‚  ( COAS ), Chief of the Naval Staff ( CNS ) and the Chief of the Air Staff ( CAS ) respectively.


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