Revised Title for the 2023 Bill on Command, Control

  Aug 18, 2023

Inter-Services Organisations (Command, Control and Discipline) Bill, 2023

1. What is the Inter-Services Organisations (Command, Control and Discipline) Bill, 2023?

The Inter-Services Organisations (Command, Control and Discipline) Bill, 2023 is a significant piece of legislation passed in the Indian Parliament. It aims to establish a theatre-based command and control architecture for the Indian armed forces by allowing the creation of inter-services organisations.

2. What is the current structure of India's armed forces?

Currently, India's armed forces, including the Army, Air Force, and Navy, operate as separate and independent organizational structures. They are governed by three distinct Services Acts: The Army Act, 1950, The Air Force Act, 1950, and The Navy Act, 1957.

3. How will the new Bill impact the armed forces' structure?

The new Bill empowers officers commanding inter-services organizations to administer and discipline personnel from all three services. This paves the way for integration among the armed forces and enables better coordination and cooperation.

4. What are theatre commands?

Theatre commands are unified structures that combine personnel and resources from multiple services within a specific geographical area. This approach streamlines operations, coordination, and resource allocation, enhancing the overall effectiveness of the armed forces.

5. Why is the establishment of theatre commands important?

8The need for theatre commands has been advocated by military experts due to changing global dynamics and the rise of India's northern neighbor, China, as a coercive major power. Establishing theatre commands enhances operational efficiency, coordination, and the utilization of resources in response to modern security challenges.

6. How does India's approach compare to China's?

China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) operates with a single command for its entire 3,500-kilometer Indo-China border, while India operates with seven separate commands. Establishing theatre commands in India would unify forces across geographical areas and empower commanding officers to utilize resources efficiently.

7. Has there been cooperation between India's armed forces previously?

Yes, there has been cooperation, particularly in training at institutions like the National Defence Academy and in the armed forces' medical establishment. However, operational coordination has primarily been task-specific rather than across-the-board.

8. What were the previous efforts towards military restructuring and integration?

India's first tri-services command, the Andaman and Nicobar Command, was established in 2001. The Strategic Forces Command, responsible for managing the nuclear arsenal, was set up in 2003. However, there was a period of de-prioritization of armed forces restructuring until the creation of the Department of Military Affairs in 2016.

9. What role did the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) play in this process?

The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Bipin Rawat, played a significant role in accelerating the process of military restructuring and integration. He proposed a military structure with up to five theatres and aimed to achieve this goal within three years before his unfortunate death in 2021.

10. How does the new Bill contribute to these efforts?

The new Bill aims to resurrect and expedite the process of military restructuring and integration by allowing for inter-services organizations and empowering officers to administer and discipline personnel from different services. It sets the stage for further steps towards achieving theatre-based command and control.


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