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HQ INTEGRATED DEFENCE STAFF : REPORT ON THE FIRST YEAR OF EXISTENCE BY THE CHIEF OF INTEGRATED DEFENCE STAFF TO THE CHAIRMAN CHIEFS OF STAFF COMMITTEE



Introduction
 
   
  1.    The Chief of Integrated Defence Staff to the Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee (CISC) was appointed on 01 Oct 2001 and HQ IDS was created by a Government letter of 23 Nov 2001. To start with, the staff of the erstwhile Director General, Defence Planning Staff (DG, DPS) and the Joint Secretary (Military Wing) (JS (Mil)) was merged with the newly created HQ. Other staff started getting posted in only in January 2002. The process is still continuing and the full staff as authorised -officers, personnel below officer rank (PBOR) and civilians, is still to be posted. Notwithstanding the shortage/absence of staff, the HQ started functioning in earnest with effect from 01 Feb 2002.  



 
Analysis of Task  
   
  2.    An analysis of the charter of duties of HQ IDS in general and of CISC in particular indicated that the whole business of higher defence management could be broadly divided into three distinct yet overlapping areas. These are: -
 
(a) Management of defence.
(b) Administration of defence.
(c) Management of war-fighting.
 
   
  3.     Of these, the last named is in the competent hands of the various Cs-in-C of active Commands guided by the Service Chiefs, except perhaps in the case of tri-service ‘out-of-area’ operations, which needed active and formalised coordination and command and control structure. The penultimate one is also being managed well by the combined efforts of the officials of ministry of defence and the Principle Staff Officers (PSOs) dealing with the administrative functions, such as the AG, QMG, MGO of the Army, the COP and COM of the Navy and the AOP and AOM of the Air Force.  
   
  4.    It was, however, the first one, which involved a large number of activities and necessitated constant, active and full-time interaction with various ministries and agencies of government, DRDO, industry and so on, where the services’ participation to the extent required was missing. A conscious decision was, therefore, taken to concentrate the efforts of HQ IDS and its staff, in this direction.  
   
  5.     In addition, with the constitution of HQ IDS, the COSC has now acquired an executive, which can implement their decisions. Earlier the COSC had the DG, DPS and the JS (Mil), which provided them the ‘think tank’ and ‘secretariat’ respectively. But they did not have any staff to give effect to their decisions and to monitor their execution. As CISC, I have undertaken this responsibility. Towards this end some of the COSC sub-committees have been renamed and some more have been formed.  



 
Policy, Plans and Force Development Branch  
   
  6.     One of the most important responsibilities of the Branch pertains to the acquisition process. Under the new acquisition system the Deputy Chief of IDS who is the head of this Branch is the ex-officio Member Secretary of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), which is chaired by the Raksha Mantri (RM) with the Service Chiefs, Secretaries in the MOD and CISC as its members. This involves preparation of tri-service 15 years’ Long-Term Perspective Plan (LTPP) and preparation of prioritised tri-service five years’ plan. Out of these we are now in the process of formulating the LTPP, or rather coordinating the effort of the three services. As can be appreciated, this document can, at best be speculative in nature. This is more so since none of the services have indulged in this exercise in the past in a serious manner and to which they had a commitment. We are also having a dialogue with the Service Chiefs about their vision for the nation, the armed forces and their particular service in a 15 years’ time frame. Before too many hopes are raised it must be clarified that at this stage the LTPP is not intended to be a prescriptive document since it involves much larger issues of national strategy, foreign policy, economic development and so on.  
   
  7.    Although strictly speaking preparation of Annual Acquisition Plans is the responsibility of the Defence Procurement Board (DPB) and not that of PP&FD, for reasons which need not be explained here, this responsibility has also come to us, at least for the first two years of the Tenth Plan period.  
   
  8.     In the first DAC meeting held on 28 May 02 the question of participation of private industry was also discussed. HQ IDS was tasked to study the question in greater detail. Accordingly, a study team was constituted under a two star ranked officer to go into various connected issues. The team interacted with various agencies of the Government and private industry. CISC also has had discussions with Shri Atul Kirloskar, Chairman of the CII. A paper on our approach to obtaining greater participation of the private sector in defence production and in meeting our defence requirements has been prepared and is being put up separately.  
   
  9.     The Tenth Plan document had already been prepared by the erstwhile DG, DPS before HQ IDS came into being. Since no indication of the funds that are likely to be made available was given, this was not a ‘prioritised’ document, but it did indicate each Service’s own priorities. This document is now under consideration of the MOD.  
   
  10.     The other major initiative taken by us is in the field of interaction with the DRDO. The DG, DPS had produced a document early last year entitled “Strategic and Technological Environment Assessment”. This document was somewhat unilateral in that the DRDO had not officially endorsed it. Now with the SA to RM and the Secretary DDP&S required to endorse the categorisation of every capital procurement proposal as either ‘make,’ ‘buy and make,’ or ‘buy’ proposal before the DAC gave its acceptance in principle, it became necessary to involve them in the preparation of the LTPP and the five years’ plan also. We have now formed a Horizon Core Technology Committee under a two-star ranked officer from PP&FD Branch and consisting of representatives of the Services, the DRDO and the DDP&S. We are also taking up a case to have this committee nominated as one of the sub-committees of the COSC.  
   
  11.     The other duties of this Branch consist of coordinating international military-to-military cooperation. Except for the Indo-US Executive Service Groups, which are service specific and are chaired by an officer of that service, all other committees in this field are chaired by officers of HQ IDS. The first ever Indo-US ‘joint’ staff talks were held in Washington over a period of ten days, in which a team of HQ IDS officers participated and represented Indian Joint Staffs.  
   



 
The Operations Branch  
   
  12.    Out of Area Contingencies (OOAC). Based on the RM’s operational directive, the aims and contingencies for OOAC are being finalised.  
   
  13.    Disaster Management. A tri-service joint response plan has been issued. Also, interaction at MOD and MHA level on various related issues at the national level has taken place and is proving to be extremely useful.  
   
  14.    C4I2. A Data Fusion Centre (DFC), a module of National C4I2 is being conceptualised to function as a decision support system for the National Command Authority at the National Command Post (NCP).  
   
  15.    Nuclear Issues. I am not at liberty to disclose here the full extent to which work has been done in this field. However, considerable work has been done and is progressing.  




 
Doctrine, Organisations, & Training (DOT) Branch  
   
  16.    General Administration. This Branch has been one of the busiest since the creation of HQ IDS. It had to look after the renovations and modification to the accommodation, a work which is still going on, the posting in of staff, which also is still incomplete, writing of SOPs, and various other similar administrative responsibilities. Similarly, all the accounts and domestic budgeting matters were transferred from the Naval HQ and had to be taken over without adequate and trained staff. Notwithstanding all this, the Branch has done remarkably well in so far as the domestic organisation and administration is concerned.  
   
  17.    Training. On the training side, based on the GOM recommendations, the COSC had convened a Tri-service Committee on Joint Training for optimisation of training resources. The Committee has submitted its report, which has been presented to the COSC and has been analysed in detail by the Services HQ. The final presentation of this analysis to the COSC is in progress.  
   
  18.    CONDU. The Committee on the setting up of a National Defence University (CONDU), chaired by Shri K Subrahmanyam, submitted its report to the RM on 29 May 02 and subsequently to the COSC. The Committee has made a large number of recommendations, which are now under study by the Services HQ. Their consolidated views on implementation aspects will be put up to the COSC for consideration. The COSC has nominated DCIDS (DOT) as the Services’ member of the Implementation Cell, which is to be chaired by the Defence Secretary.  
   
  19.    Doctrine. The work on preparation of joint doctrine for all the three services has commenced. Interaction has already taken place with the IDSA and the USI. HQ ARTRAC and the services HQ are now being consulted. It has been planned to first prepare a draft joint doctrine and to circulate this to various Category A training establishments and the service HQ to elicit their views. We may also hold a seminar to discuss some of the more important and contentious issues. Only after this will it be presented to the COSC. Of necessity, this aspect has at present been assigned a lower priority.  
   



 
The Intelligence Branch  
   
  20.    The DCIDS (Intelligence) is a double-hatted officer who also has the designation of DG, DIA and was appointed in the first week of March this year. Within a short period of three months, the Branch organised itself and started producing outputs by July. It has taken under its wing and in their entirety the erstwhile DIPAC and the Additional Directorate General of Signal Intelligence. Both the latter continue to immediately pass on to the service intelligence directorates any information that may be of interest to them. In addition, the affairs of the defence attaches working in Delhi as also our attaches and defence advisers will now concurrently report to the DG, DIA. The DIA is fully operational now and coordination between various intelligence organs of the State has improved, including between the various Services Intelligence Directorates.  
   



 
Other Branches  
   
  21.    Medical. According to the recommendations of the GOM, the DGAMFS, being a fully inter-service organisation was to come under HQ IDS in its entirety. The Government, however, has not yet taken a decision on its inclusion and it continues to independently under the MOD as hithertofore.  
   
  22.    Net Assessments. A mention must be made of DACIDS (Net Assessments), an officer of the rank of Brigadier/ equivalent and his staff of three colonel/equivalent officers. As a concept, net assessment is new in this country. Net assessment is defined as “the craft and discipline of analysing the emerging nature of competition amongst nations, over medium to long term, with the aim of developing broader and deeper understanding of emerging strategic environment”. The discipline seeks to provide the highest decision makers alternative futures and a framework for strategy development. It is being actively used in the USA since 1972 and now many more countries are realising its utility and are developing similar systems of their own. It is a very powerful tool, which employs a large number of techniques such as simulations, gaming, modelling and so on. It brings to bear judgmental methods to assessments and is not purely mathematical.  
   
  23.    Civilian Officers.

        
  (a)      A Financial Adviser has been posted, although in an officiating capacity and is doing an excellent job. His advice on management of budget has been invaluable, particularly since there were few officers initially posted in HQ IDS who had any practical experience in this field and most of us were learning on the job.

(b)      A Scientific Adviser has also been posted. A Joint Secretary (Administration & Personnel) from MOD will also be posted.

(c)      A Joint Secretary (International Affairs), an officer from the IFS has reported and is functioning. Her charter of duties is being worked out jointly with the MEA.
 
   


 
The Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC)  
   
  24.    As you are aware, this first ever unified command has been set up last year and is directly under the Chairman, COSC. As the latter’s Chief of Integrated Staff, the affairs of this Command come within the purview of HQ IDS. All branches of HQ IDS are involved in one way or the other in the functioning of ANC.  
   


 
Conclusion  
   
  25.    HQ IDS has now been functioning for a little over a year. During this period, despite all the difficulties of shortages of the very basic essentials for efficient functioning, it has pioneered on in the true spirit of the armed forces. It is setting new standards of jointness where the officers posted here are beginning to realise that despite minor procedural changes, the three services basically have similar problems. I think that this kind of functioning together is far better for realising the aim of jointmanship than any formal training. We are making our contribution by making the voice of the Services heard — and acted upon — in fora where it was never heard. I think that that is the greatest contribution of this HQ in our revised higher defence management system.  


 

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