The Ministry of Defense (MoD) is charged with coordinating and supervising all agencies and functions of the government relating directly to national security and the Indian Armed Forces.
The President of India is the ceremonial commander-in-chief of the armed forces of the country. The Ministry of Defense provides policy framework and resources to the armed forces to discharge their responsibility in the context of the defense of the country.
The Indian Armed Forces including Indian Army, Indian Air Force, Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard under the Ministry of Defense are primarily responsible for ensuring the territorial integrity of India. As of Statista, It is the biggest employer in the world with 2.92 million employees.
At present, the ongoing new creation of National Defense University, for training of military officials and concerned civilian officials, will be administered and overseen by the Ministry. The Ministry organizes and runs Republic Day celebrations and parades every year in January, hosting a chief guest. The Ministry has the largest budget among the federal departments of India and currently stands third in military expenditure in the world, among countries of the world.
Role of Ministry Of Defense
The responsibility for national defense “rests with the Cabinet, which is discharged through 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. Minister is the head of the Ministry of Defence.”
The Defense Ministry is responsible for “obtaining policy directions of the Government on all defense and security related matters” and communicating these directions to “Services Headquarters, Inter-Services Organizations, Production Establishments and Research and Development Organizations”. The MoD works closely with the National Security Council, Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Departments of Ministry of Defense
The Ministry of Defense consists of five departments;
Department of Defense (DoD)
Department of Military Affairs (DMA)
Department of Defense Production (DDP)
Department of Defense Research and Development (DRDO)
Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare (DESW)
The Defense Secretary of India functions as head of the Department of Defence, and is additionally responsible for coordinating the activities of the departments in the ministry.
Department of Defence
DoD is headed by the Defense Secretary. The department deals with the defense of India including defense policy, preparation for defense, acts conducive to prosecution of war, the Reserves of the Army, Navy and Air Force, Defense Accounts, Indian Coast Guard, Border Roads Organisation. , capital acquisitions for defense and various establishment matters. It is also responsible for the Institute for Defense Studies and Analysis, National Defense College and any other organization within the Ministry of Defense whose remit is broader than military matters. It is also responsible for the Defense Budget, matters relating to the Parliament, defense cooperation with foreign countries and coordination of all activities.
Department of Military Affairs
The DMA is responsible for managing the armed forces of India, namely, the Army, the Navy and the Air Force. It is also responsible for the Territorial Army. It is headed by the Chief of Defense Staff as its secretary. It deals with procurement exclusive to the Indian Armed Forces except capital acquisitions. It is designed to promote jointness among the military services of India. This department was approved on 24 December 2019 and the responsibilities notified by Cabinet Secretariat order on 30 December 2019.
Department of Defense Production
The DDP is headed by the Defence Production Secretary, the department was set up in November 1962 and is responsible for matters pertaining to defense production, planning and control of departmental production units of the Ordnance Factories Board, indigenisation of imported stores equipment and spares, and for defense public sector undertakings (HAL, BEL, BEML, BDL, MDL, GSL, GRSE, Midhani)
Department of Defense Research and Development
The DRDO is headed by the Defense Research and Development Secretary and ex-officio chairperson of Defense Research and Development Organisation. The department was formed in 1958, after the three-way merger of the Technical Development Establishment of the Indian Army, the Directorate of Technical Development and Production, and the Defense Science Organisation. The department is responsible for the Defense Research and Development Organisation.
Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare
The DESW is headed by the Ex-Servicemen Welfare Secretary. The department was set up in 2004 to look after veteran affairs. The Directorate General of Resettlement, the Kendriya Sainik Board and Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme come under the purview of DESW