Defence Ministry Calls for Wider Discussion on New Theatre Commands

Indian Army

New Delhi: The Ministry of Defence (MoD) feels that there was a need to hold wider discussions for creating new military theatre commands with all stakeholders as such reforms have to be done after reaching “broad consensus”.

A presentation was made to the top functionaries of the defence ministry earlier this week involving officials from all departments concerned, top defence sources said. This was the first time that a presentation on the theatre commands was made at senior level to the ministry on the draft cabinet note prepared for the new formations, they said.

During the presentation, officials from the defence ministry pointed out certain issues brought out in the presentation. Sources said the proposed theatre commands suggested bringing some of the paramilitary forces of the Ministry of Home Affairs under the theatre commands along with the Indian Coast Guard. The defence functionaries in the meeting felt and suggested that since organisations from outside the MoD were involved, there was need for setting up inter-ministerial committees to discuss the matter with them.

The command structure, sources said, also suggest giving service extension to the proposed theatre commanders who would be above the vice chiefs of the three services and below the chiefs. Citing foreign models on theatre commands, points were raised as to why geography specific commands were being planned as the formations comprise the elements of all three services, they said.

According to reports, the Indian armed forces have to raise new theatre commands including maritime and air defence commands along with land-based commands.