You are here: Home » Current Affairs » News » National
Business Standard

Integrate the armed forces with department of defence: Former IAF head Naik

According to him, the chiefs of three Armed officers carried wealth of knowledge, experience whose wealth could be tapped into

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai 

Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman inside the cockpit of a MIG-21 Biscon during her visit to the Uttarlai Air Force Station in Gujarat, soon after assuming office. Photo: PTI
Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman inside the cockpit of a MIG-21 Biscon during her visit to the Uttarlai Air Force Station in Gujarat, soon after assuming office. Photo: PTI

Minister should involve service chiefs in decision-making and avoid taking based solely on files created by "babus", former chief P V Naik said on Sunday.

It was important to integrate the with the department of defence, he said.


"The ministry is unlike any other. Here it is 'us' versus 'them'," the retired Air Chief Marshal said, referring to serving and ministry officials.

He claimed the "conveniently" pointed to the of Transaction of Business Rules of 1961 under which the three service headquarters were designated as attached offices of the department of and placed in a subordinate position to the department.

"The chiefs of the three Armed Forces, with an experience of around four decades, are not mentioned in these rules, which state that the secretary is responsible for the country's defence," the veteran told PTI.

These officers carried a wealth of knowledge and experience in military security matters, he pointed out.

"Tap this wealth. Give them easy access to your office," Naik, who was the chief from 2009 to 2011, urged the new minister.

Sitharaman, Indias first full-time woman minister, took charge of the key ministry from Arun Jaitley earlier this month.

"For a solution to any defence-related issue, the new Raksha Mantri should involve the 'babus' (bureaucrats) and also military chiefs and avoid taking based solely on the shadow files created by the babus," said Naik, who, since retirement, has been an active member of various security and strategy groups.

Naik, who is a key member of the 'Group of 12', comprising top former and led by ex-Navy chief Admiral Jayant Nadkarni, also suggested that Sitharaman visit forward bases and mingle with soldiers.

He said the main need of the military today was equipment. He advocated a "drastic overhaul" of the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and Research and Development Organisation by splitting them into viable entities under professional management and making them more accountable.

Naik, who has over 3,000 hours of flying in MiG-21 and MiG-23 fighter aircraft to his credit, is active at the Poona Dialogue on Security, an annual event, and associated with groups such as the Centre for Analysis and Security Studies.

First Published: Sun, September 24 2017. 18:35 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU