//By Ananya Kaushik//
For the first time, the Defence Ministry has open up and gave a deep insight of its functioning, mandate, future plans of the forces and the progress made till now.
The Ministry has put out a first of its kind e-book titled "In Defence of the nation", which gives a rare but an easy and quick insight into the initiatives and steps taken by the Ministry of Defence.
This E-book depicts facts in the form of myriad amount of info-graphs and picture facts making it supremely easy
on the eyes and mind to comprehend. According to this E-book, there is a huge amount of securing that needs to be
done over the borders of India since there is approximately 15,000 km. of land border that India establishes. The
coastal line of India takes over 7,500 km. India has also to safeguard its nearly 1,200 islands many of which exist
without any human civilisation. Being the 7th largest country in the world, it is no surprise that India constitute of
over a staggering 20,00,000 sq. km. of exclusive economic zone and that too is under the maritime domain of the
With regards to the aims and goals of the country the E-book underscores three steps are: First there is a need for
developing and maintaining the Infrastructure. Secondly the acquisition of defence equipment and platforms comes
into play. And finally, the development of human resources is a must.
The Ministry, apart from safeguarding the nation, was also playing a vital role in shaping India’s Defence
diplomacy. According to the E-book there are more than 5,000 foreign armed forces personnel trained every year. In
12 countries of the world, there are approximately 1,300 of Indian Army personnel deployed to provide training,
medical and technical assistance. In over 90 countries, the Indian Defence wings oversees its presence. The E-book
also informs of the creation of infrastrure by India in friendly countries. It is stated that the Indian Navy conducts EEZ
surveillance regularly. The Gulf of Aden witnesses the participation of Indian Navy Vessels for the Anti-Piracy
Next the E-book features a huge information hub for the achievements over the past years of the armed forces.
It talks about the concept of MAKE IN INDIA as the cornerstone of the acquisition plans and defence production
policy. In this part, it takes a look at the FDI in the defines escort being increased from 26% to 49%. Next it
concentrates on the licensing of most components/parts/raw material that are taken out of purview of industrial
licensing. Lastly, in this segment it features about defence exports and the policies that are liberalised. The E-book
estimates that there is approximately Rs. 65,000 crore value of equipments and platforms that are to be acquired
through the route of the "Make In India" or "Buy & Make". There is a need of 384 light utility helicopters that are
required by the Army and Air Force to replace the existing Cheetah/Chetak fleets and this need will be met by
production in India with Foreign collaboration.
The E-book mentions few important events which recently occurred. Few of them being The Prime Minister,
Narendra Modi, embarking on the newly inducted India's largest Aircraft Carrier INS Vikramaditya, off the coast of
Goa. He dedicated the aircraft carrier to the Nation. It also mentions about the commissioning of the making of INS
Kolkata, an indigenous destroyer, the biggest warship ever to be built in India to date at Mazagon Dock Limited,
Mumbai. It would be providing new capabilities to the Indian Navy. It also mentions about the commissioning of INS
Kamorta (an Anti-Submarine warfare corvette built) an the INS Sumitra. Bharat Electronics Ltd. introduced a new
technology radars. Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) was inducted into the Air Force in the presence of the Defence
Minister Manohar Parrikar. Recently, the Indian Air Force incepted with the induction of the marvellous C-130J and
C-17 giving the force much needed and desired strategic and special operation capabilities. Along with that, the
medium heli-lift capability gap has been filled by the newly inducted fairly large MI-17 V5 helicopter fleet.
The inauguration of the Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC), a joint operations facility of the
Indian Navy and coast guard also took place to check attacks like the 26/11. There have been several technology
improvements most notable the inception of the ASTRA-BVR Air to Air Missile on the Sukhoi 30 MKI by the Indian
Air Force, showcasing interception of an electronically-simulated target at long range.
Interestingly, the E-book, "In defence of the NATION", also mentions the developments of the infrastructure on
the border noting that there has been close to Rs. 1,000 crore amount of funds allocated by the government for
accelerating the developments of the railway system in border areas which would help mobilise troops and weapon
system in border areas. There has been an impressive 760 amount of roads that have been included in the Border Roads
Development Board program. There has been a constant endeavour to strengthen the tunnel construction capabilities of
the BRO. Rohtang tunnel, lengthing approximately 8.8 kilometres, one of the longest road tunnels in India is currently
Seeing the recent floods in the north, the forces have deployed over 30,000 army troops, 5,700 border road
organisation personnels, 80 transport aircrafts and helicopters, 2,633 sorties and 224 army boats. Considering the
humanitarian actions, over 2,400 tonnes of water was airlifted and shipped to Maldives following the breakdown of the
desalination plant at the capital 'Mane'.
The armed forces have been involved in the joint exercises (Indian Airforce, Army, Navy and the Coast Guard)
with several other countries like the United States, UK, Russia, Japan, Singapore and China.
The E-book also notes that several war histories including the documentaries of World War I & II, Wars of 1962,
1965 and 1971 and the conflict of Kargil in 1999 will be documented in the near future and the government’s decision
to build National War Memorial.