Ministry of Defense has accepted the proposal of armed forces to create three new divisions in the field of cyber warfare, space and special operations. The three constituents of Indian Armed forces- Army, Navy and Air Force will cooperate in these fields. PM Modi approved the formation of these services on the eve of surgical strike carried out by Indian armed forces in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) last year in response to Uri attack. PM Modi discussed the plan with heads of three forces during the combined commanders’ conference in Jodhpur.
The original plan for these agencies was provided by Chiefs of Staff Committee which is the authority for advising the Defense Minister on all military matters. The plan was proposed way back in 2012 and it provided for envisaged commands to be headed by army commander equivalents. The plan was put on hold for all these years since 2012. However, Nirmala Sitharaman is very enthusiastic about the idea. “The new Defense Minister is also keen on seeing them through, and we are just awaiting requisite approvals from the Law Ministry and other government departments,” reported Indian Express last year. Three new formations will be named Defense Cyber Agency, Defense Space Agency and a Special Operations Division. According to current plan, these agencies will be headed by an officer of Major General and equivalent in the Navy and Indian Air Force.
Defense Cyber Agency (DCA) will have 1,000 personals distributed across Army, Navy and Air Force. Focus of these people will be on non-civilian cyber threats including that of critical infrastructure. DCA will work in close coordination with National Cyber Security Advisor. A navy officer is expected to head cyber agency.
Defense Space Agency (DSA) will have 200 personals and will work in close coordination with ISRO and DRDO. These two organizations already have world class infrastructure in respective fields. Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) will help on defense front while Indian Space Research Organizations will provide access to its expertise in space technology and information about satellites. An air force officer is expected to lead space agency.
Special Operation Division will have people from Army, Navy and Indian Air Force. This division will be prepared to carry out special operations like the surgical strike. This would be kind of equivalent to US Marine Corps which is used for conducting expeditionary and amphibious operations. The Army currently has Special Forces battalions, Navy has Marine Commandos (Marcos) and IAF has Garud. People for special operation division will be chosen from these Special Forces. It will be probably headed by officer from Indian Army and will be based out of Delhi. The other two agencies will be based in Delhi for close cooperation with their civilian counterparts.
Indian Armed forces are preparing themselves for the future. There is a threat of two front war if China and Pakistan decide to come together. For all practical reasons Pakistan has become a colony of China in recent years. Most of the western countries are reducing the number of personals in Armed forces but India plans to expand. There are two reasons behind this, the first being the two front war and the second being the preparation to become future superpower.