Ministry of Defence (India)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Ministry of Defence
रक्षा मंत्रालय
Emblem of India.svg
Agency overview
Formed 1776
Jurisdiction IndiaRepublic of India
Headquarters Cabinet Secretariat
Raisina Hill, New Delhi
28°36′50″N 77°12′32″E / 28.61389°N 77.20889°E / 28.61389; 77.20889
Annual budget 2.24 lakh crore (US$34 billion) (2014)[1]
2.47 lakh crore (US$37 billion) (2015)[2]
Agency executive
Child agencies
  • Department of Defence
  • Department of Defence Production
  • Defence Finance
  • Department of Defence Research and Development
  • Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare
  • Indian Armed Forces
  • Inter-Services Organisations
The headquarters of the Ministry of Defence.

The Ministry of Defence (Hindi: रक्षा मंत्रालय, Raksha Mantralay) (abbreviated as M.o.D.) is charged with co-ordinating and supervising all agencies and functions of the government relating directly to national security and the Indian armed forces and has the largest budget of the federal departments of India.

The Indian Armed Forces (including Indian Army, Indian Air Force, Indian Navy) and Indian Coast Guard are under the supervision of the Defence Ministry. The following cadre controlling authority of the Civil Services (including Indian Ordnance Factories Service (IOFS), Defence Research & Development Service (DRDS),[3] Indian Defence Estates Service, Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Services, Mercantile Marine Training Ship Service, Indian Defence Accounts Service, and Defence Secretariat Service) are under the supervision of the Defence Ministry. The M.o.D. works closely with the National Security Council, Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Home Affairs.



A Military Department was created by the Supreme Government of the British East India Company at Kolkata in the year 1776.[4] Its main function was to co-ordinate and record orders, relating to the Army, issued by various Departments of the Government of the East India Company. The Military Department initially functioned as a branch of the Public Department and maintained a list of Army personnel.[4]

With the Charter Act of 1833 the Secretariat of the Government of the East India Company was re-organised into four Departments, each headed by a Secretary to the Government.[4] The Armies in the Presidencies of Bengal, Bombay & Madras functioned as the respective Presidency Armies until April 1895, when the Presidency Armies were unified into a single Indian Army. For administrative convenience, it was divided into four Commands; Punjab (including the North West Frontier), Bengal (including Burma), Madras and Bombay (including Sind, Quetta and Aden).[4]

The supreme authority over the Indian Army was vested in the Governor General-in-Council, subject to the Control of the Crown, which was exercised by the Secretary of State for India. Two Members in the Council were responsible for military affairs. One was the Military Member, who supervised all administrative and financial matters. The other was the Commander-in-Chief who was responsible for all operational matters.[4] The Military Department was abolished in March 1906 and was replaced by two separate Departments; the Army Department and the Military Supply Department. In April 1909 the Military Supply Department was abolished and its functions were taken over by the Army Department. The Army Department was redesignated as the Defence Department in January 1938. The Department of Defence became the Ministry of Defence under a Cabinet Minister in August 1947.[4]

Post Independence Organisational Setup and Functions[edit]

On August 15, 1947, each Service was placed under its own Commander-in-Chief. Under the Constitution, the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces was vested in the President. In 1955, the title of Commander-in-Chief was abolished and the three Service Chiefs were designated as the Chief of the Army Staff, the Chief of the Naval Staff and the Chief of the Air Staff. In November 1962, a Department of Defence Production was set up to deal with research, development and production of defence equipment. In November 1965, the Department of Defence Supplies was created for planning and execution of schemes for import substitution of requirements for defence purposes. These two Departments were later merged to form the Department of Defence Production and Supplies. In January 2004, the Department of Defence Production and Supplies was renamed the Department of Defence Production. A Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister was appointed to advise on scientific aspects of military equipment and the research and design of Defence forces equipment. In 1980, the Department of Defence Research and Development was created. The Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare was created in 2004.

The Armed Forces are primarily responsible for ensuring the territorial integrity of the nation. The President of India is the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of the country. The Ministry of Defence provides policy framework and resources to the Armed Forces to discharge their responsibility in the context of the defence of the country.

Role and Working[edit]

The M.O.D. is charged with the responsibility of internal and external security of the Republic of India. The Supreme Command of the Armed Forces vests with the President of India. The principal task of the Defence Ministry is to obtain policy directions of the Government on all defence and security related matters and communicate them for implementation to the Services Headquarters, Inter-Services Organisations, Production Establishments and Research and Development Organisations via the President of India. The Defence Ministry is also required to ensure effective implementation of the Government's policy directions and the execution of approved programmes within the allocated resources.

Senior officials[edit]

Ministerial Team[edit]

The ministerial team at the M.o.D. is headed by the Union Cabinet Minister for Defence, who is supported by one Minister of State and civil servants.[5]

Defence Secretary and other senior officials[edit]

The Ministers are supported by a number of civilian, scientific and professional military advisors. The Defence Secretary as head of the Department of Defence is the senior most civil servant and is responsible for co-ordinating the activities of the four Departments in the Ministry. His/Her role is to ensure that the M.o.D. operates effectively as a department of the government.[4][5]

  • Defence Secretary — G Mohan Kumar.
  • Chief Scientific Advisor and Director General DRDO — G.Satheesh Reddy:[6]

Chiefs of the Tri-Services[edit]

The professional heads of the three services of Indian Armed Forces are:



The Ministry of Defence consists of four Departments; Department of Defence, Department of Defence Production, Department of Defence Research & Development, and Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare. The Defence Secretary functions as head of the Department of Defence and is additionally responsible for coordinating the activities of the four Departments in the Ministry.

The principal functions of all the Departments are as follows:

  • The Department of Defence deals with the Integrated Defence Staff (IDS), the three Services and various Inter-Service Organisations. It is also responsible for the Defence Budget, establishment matters, defence policy, matters relating to the Parliament, defence co-operation with foreign countries and co-ordination of all activities.

Inter-Services Organisations[7][edit]

  • Military Engineer Services
  • Armed Forces Medical Services
  • Directorate General Resettlement
  • National Defence College
  • Directorate General Defence Estates
  • Directorate of Public Relations
  • Canteen Stores Department
  • Army Purchase Organisation
  • Services Sports Control Board
  • National Cadet Corps
  • National Defence Academy
  • Directorate General Quality Assurance
  • Armed Forces Films and Photo Division
  • Armed Forces Medical College
  • History Division, Ministry of Defence
  • College of Defence Management
  • Defence Services Staff College
  • Ministry of Defence Library
  • Border Roads Development Board/ Border Roads Organisation

Integrated Defence Staff (IDS)[edit]

To ensure a high degree of synergy between the Armed forces, the Government has set up the Integrated Defence Staff, headed by the Chief of Integrated Staff as the Chairman. It was created on 1 October 2001 based on the recommendations of the Group of Ministers which was set up in 2000 (post Kargil) to review India's defence management. It acts as the point organisation for integration of policy, doctrine, war fighting and procurement by employing best management practices.

Chiefs of Staff Committee[edit]

The Chiefs of Staff Committee is a forum for service chiefs to discuss matters having a bearing on the activities of services and to advise the ministry. Its members include Chief of the Army Staff (COAS), Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS), Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), and Chief of Integrated Defence Staff (a non-voting member). The position of chairman devolves on the longest serving Chief of Staff and rotates amongst the chiefs of services.[8]

Finance Division[edit]

The Finance Division of the Ministry of Defence is headed by the Secretary Defence (Finance). He/she exercises financial control over proposals involving expenditure from the Defence Budget and is responsible for the internal audit and accounting of defence expenditure. In the latter tasks, he is assisted by the Controller General of Defence Accounts (CGDA).

See also[edit]


External links[edit]