In a major bid to bolster the capabilities of India to tackle non-conventional threats, India is going to have a specialized Defence Cyber Agency. The new agency will be set up in May. The initiative will help India shield its Armed forces and defense information on cyber platforms from hackers, mostly from China and Pakistan. Senior Navy Officer Rear Admiral Mohit Gupta will be the first head of Defence Cyber Agency.
Defence Ministry, in a statement, stated, “We are working to raise the Defence Cyber Agency in May itself. The work has almost been completed. A new building has been hired in the national capital which will act as the headquarters of the formation” DCA is one of the three agencies that the Prime Minister announced in the Conference in Jodhpur last year. The DCA will help the armed forces for tackling threats in the cyber domain. It will also have assistance from the DRDO, according to the sources.
A top Army officer, Lt Gen MM Naravane said “There will be units or cells of dedicated officers at every headquarter to deal with the aspect of cybersecurity” He also added that the Cyber agency unit will be spread across the country.
Ministry of Defense had 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 now be cooperating 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 Defence 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.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on the formation of DCA had said, “The new Defence Minister is also keen on seeing them through, and we are just awaiting requisite approvals from the Law Ministry and other government departments”
Defence Cyber Agency (DCA) will have 1,000 personals distributed across Army, Navy and Air Force. The focus of these people will be on non-civilian cyber threats including that of critical infrastructure. DCA will work in close coordination with the National Cyber Security Advisor.
Indian Armed forces are preparing themselves for the future. According to the defence sources, almost on a daily basis, efforts are being made by the hackers to break into the military system to steal information. There is a threat of two front wars 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 a future superpower.