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Monday August 19, 2019

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Adequate Budget For Defence

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Defence budget is the most vital element of the budget of the Union of India. Without adequate budgetary provisions for defence requirements, it is not at all possible for the defence forces to fight the challenges, prevailing as of now, for the world’s biggest democratic country like India. After Independence, the scenario for our country has changed drastically to a two-front war with both our adversaries also instigating terror strikes with the intention of undermining Indian unity and cohesiveness through a low-cost game-plan of ‘death by a thousand cuts’ of the kind just perpetrated in Pulwama. Though successive governments have tried to empower the defence forces, the outlays for defence have proved to be inadequate to deal with the prevailing challenges.

An assessment of the security scenario brings to the fore the tremendous difficulties faced by India’s defence forces in defending against the continual attacks by Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir and against the Chinese along the Line of Actual Control over more than 7,000 km. Frequent attempts by Pakistan to infiltrate terrorists into J&K and trying to capture the Siachen glacier and China’s intrusions across the Himalayas saw a long confrontation in Dokhlam near Bhutan last year. The conflict in the north perforce demands constant vigil in the southern oceanic expanse by the Indian Navy and the IAF. Insufficient funding has brought the armed forces to “make do” with obsolescent equipment and still get the better of Pakistan in Kargil and more recently in J&K where a refurbished MiG-21 Bison aircraft flown by Wg Cdr Abhinandan shot down a supposedly superior F-16 of the Pakistan Air Force. These skirmishes underscored the superior skills and guts and bravery of the Indian warriors.

But this is an untenable situation and cannot be allowed to be the norm. Both the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Finance must now trawl the national budget to raise the outlay for the armed forces to at least two per cent of the Gross Domestic Product as suggested by the Parliamentary Committee on Defence some decades ago.

This edition, dear reader, is dedicated to the defence budget, its short-falls and possible solutions to make the defence apparatus more strong and efficient. Team DSA feels that the first thing our next government should do is to increase the defence budget in the coming years to make the Indian Armed Forces the best on the globe. That is only possible when the sufficient funds are being made available to our defence forces.

The situation with Pakistan is worsening every day and I think that it is important now that every citizen of India should be more aware about the defence and security concerns by and large. And, being the CEO and Publisher of DSA magazine, I am committed to bring more awareness and clarity on the subject in a much more effective way with the support of the entire team of DSA!

Jai Hind!


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