‘20 Reforms In 2020’: Defence Sector:
The Defence Minister released an E-booklet titled ‘20 Reforms in 2020’ highlighting the major reforms undertaken by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in 2020.
Chief of Defence Staff & Department of Military Affairs:
- The appointment of India’s first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) and creation of the Department of Military Affairs (DMA) were among the major decisions taken by the Government.
- General Bipin Rawat was appointed as the first CDS who also fulfilled the responsibilities of Secretary, DMA.
- The post of CDS was created to increase efficiency & coordination among the Armed Forces and reduce duplication, while DMA was established to ensure improved civil-military integration.
Self-Reliance in Defence:
- To promote ‘Make in India’ in the defence sector, a list of 101 defence items for which there would be an embargo on the import was notified in August 2020, while Defence Acquisition Procedure 2020 was unveiled in September 2020.
- There was a 10% budget increase in 2020-21 over the previous year.
Increased Defence Exports:
- The increased partnership with the private sector has led to a substantial rise in defence exports.
- The value of total defence exports rose from Rs 1,941 crore in 2014-15 to Rs 9,116 crore in 2019-20. Also, for the first time, India figured in the list of defence equipment exporting nations, as the exports expanded to more than 84 countries.
- First, five Rafale fighter aircraft arrived in India in July 2020 and several more since then, adding firepower to the arsenal of the Indian Air Force.
Reforming Defence R&D:
- To promote innovation by young minds, five Young Scientists Laboratories of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) were launched in 2020.
- DRDO has joined hands with the private sector in design & development and identified 108 Systems & Subsystems for the industry to design, develop and manufacture.
- Directorate General Quality Assurance (DGQA) started online Pre-Delivery inspection in May 2020 to address security threats.
- The Armed Forces Tribunal began a digital hearing for the first time in August 2020.
Strengthening Border Infrastructure:
- Reforms of processes and workflows within Border Roads Organisation (BRO) enabled it to achieve targets ahead of schedule, in some instances.
- World’s longest Atal tunnel above 10,000 feet, at Rohtang on the Leh-Manali Highway, was inaugurated.
Participation of Women in Armed Forces:
- Ten streams of the Indian Army were opened for giving Permanent Commission to Short Service Commission (SSC) Women officers.
- All Sainik Schools were thrown open for girl students from the academic session 2020-21.
Reforms in National Cadet Corps :
- Expanding the reach of the National Cadet Corps (NCC) to remote locations was a major announcement.
- It was decided to give preference to NCC cadets in employment in Central Armed Police Forces from May 2020.