Panel of Experts Formed to Advance Discussions on Theatricalization | Latest India News


The government set up a panel of experts to consult on the army’s dramatization plans before seeking approval from the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) to implement the long-awaited military reform to use at best the resources of the armed forces, officials aware of the matter said Friday.

“A committee has been formed to examine the various aspects of dramatization. It has members of the armed forces, the defense ministry and other ministries involved in the planning and implementation aspects, ”said one of the officials cited above.

Issues related to theatricalization were discussed and examined in detail by senior officials who considered a draft cabinet note on the new joint structures at a meeting this month, as HT reported on Thursday.

Key points discussed included the executing authority for theater commands, the geographic areas they will control, command and control structures, budgeting and placing certain paramilitary forces under the commands. Some of these questions concern the ministries of finance and the interior.

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Theatricalization involves placing specific units of the army, navy and air force under a theater commander. These commands must be led by an officer from one of the three services, according to the roles assigned to them.

HT reported in February that India was set to begin the formal rollout of its long-awaited theatricalization plan, with Air Defense Command and Maritime Theater Command to be launched by May. Deliberations on the proposal are likely to take longer as all stakeholders need to be involved and previous timelines may need to be revised.

“The processes must be followed before the proposal is sent to the CCS for approval. We need to have more discussions to iron out the details of the theatricalization plan. All stakeholders must agree on the best way to meet the country’s security requirements. But there will be no undue delay, ”another official said on Thursday.

In addition to the air defense and maritime theater commands, India is expected to have three other integrated commands to secure its western, northern and eastern fronts. In addition, a logistics command is in place to avoid duplication of efforts and resources.

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Experts said it was crucial to reach consensus among all stakeholders to move the dramatization plan forward.

The government expects General Bipin Rawat, who took charge of India’s first Chief of Defense Staff (CDS) on January 1, 2020, to achieve articulation between the three services in a three-year deadline (by January 2023). One of the ways to achieve articulation is through the establishment of integrated theater commands for optimal use of military resources to fight future battles.

Operational control of all theater commands will ultimately fall to the CDS, with department heads responsible for raising, training and sustaining their forces, as previously reported by HT.

Rawat wears three hats. He is the permanent chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC), heads the Department of Military Affairs (DMA) and is the sole military adviser to the Minister of Defense.

CDS will have operational control of all integrated controls when they are fully functional. This will be in his role as CDS, not permanent COSC chairman, and will require restructuring within DMA.

The restructuring could involve the COSC’s Chief of the Integrated Defense Staff, or CISC, being appointed secretary to the DMA in time to allow the CDS to focus on theater commands, officials said.

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