The Government of India is responsible for ensuring the defense of India and every region thereof. The Supreme Command of the Armed Forces relies on the President. The undertaking for national defense rests with the Cabinet.
This is discharged by the Ministry of Defence, which provides the policy framework and wherewithal to the Armed Forces to discharge their responsibilities in the context of the defense of the country. The Raksha Mantri (Defence Minister) is the leader of the Ministry of Defence.
The principal task of the Defence Ministry is to get policy directions of the Government on all defense and security-related matters and communicate them for implementation to the Services Headquarters, Inter-Services Organisations, Production Establishments and Research and Development Organisations. It is also needed to ensure effective implementation of the Government’s policy directions and the execution of approved programmes within the allocated resources. Ministry of Defence consists of four Departments viz. Department of Defence (DOD), Department of Defence Production (DDP), Department of Defence Research & Development (DDR&D) and Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare and also Finance Division.
After independence Ministry of Defence was made under the charge of a Cabinet Minister, and, every Service was placed under its own Commander-in-Chief. In 1955, the Commanders-in-Chief were renamed as the Chief of the Army Staff, the Chief of the Naval Staff and the Chief of the Air Staff. In November 1962, a Department of Defence Production was established to deal with research, development, and production of defense equipment. In November 1965, the Department of Defence Supplies was made for planning and execution of schemes for import substitution of defense requirements.
These two Departments were later amalgamated to form the Department of Defence Production and Supplies. In 2004, the name of Department of Defence Production and Supplies was altered to Department of Defence Production. In 1980, the Department of Defence Research and Development was made. In 2004, the Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare was made.
The basic task of the Ministry is to frame policy directions on defense and security-related matters and communicate them for implementation to the Services Headquarters, Inter-Service Organisations, Production Establishments and Research & Development Organisations. It is necessary to ensure effective implementation of the Government’s policy directions and the execution of approved programmes within the allocated resources.
The principal functions of all the Departments are as follows:
- The Department of Defence deals with the Integrated Defence Staff (IDS) and three Services and different Inter-Service Organisations. It is also responsible for the Defence Budget, establishment matters, defense policy, matters relating to Parliament, defense co-operation with foreign countries and coordination of all defense-related activities.
- Department of Defence Production is led by a Secretary and deals with matters pertaining to defense production, indigenization of imported stores, equipment and spares, planning and control of departmental production units of the Ordnance Factory Board and Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs).
- Department of Defence Research and Development is headed by a Secretary. Its task is to advise the Government on scientific aspects of military equipment and logistics and the formulation of research, design and development plans for equipment required by the Services.
- The Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare is led by a Secretary and deals with all resettlement, welfare and pensionary matters of Ex-Servicemen.