Amidst all the drama playing out in the corridors of power in the national capital, a critical development for India’s security apparatus went under the radar.
Last week, the Cabinet Committee on Security gave its approval to the formation of three additional agencies—Defence Cyber Agency, Defence Space Agency and Special Operations Division—that seeks to facilitate India’s warfare requirements in the future, reported Hindustan Times.
“All three will be tri-service agencies, which means they will draw from each service [Army, Air Force and Navy] and serve under the command of the Chairman, Chief of Staff Committee, a second official confirmed,” reported the publication late last week.
According to Economic Times, two-star officers will initially lead these divisions before they are converted into larger commands.
“It is big a step, and these will later branch out to form separate independent, stand-alone Commands dealing with Space, Cyber Space and Special Operations. The agencies will lead to lot more synergy, economy and sharing of resources building of best practices,” said a defence ministry official, speaking to the Hindustan Times.
While the space agency will work alongside the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the special operations agency will bring together commandos from all three services—Para Special Forces (Army), Marcos (Navy) and Garuds (Air Force)—under the command of an army officer, and carry out covert operations. This will allow India to utilise the capabilities of all three services with greater synergy.
The space agency meanwhile, will work in close coordination with the National Cyber Security Advisor. It will share information gathered from individual satellites engaged in surveillance, which will then be disseminated with all three defence services.
As per reports, the Centre’s decision last week is the culmination of a recommendation put forward by the chiefs of all three defence services in 2012, which had also sought the establishment of cyber, space and special operations divisions.
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)