While the entire administrative machinery including the top echelons like Health, Finance, Home External Affairs and even Defence Ministries are currently working in close coordination with the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on tackling the challenges posed by the ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic, the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS)- a wing of the PMO is preparing for post-Coronavirus challenges and contingencies.
The fallouts of the Coronavirus Pandemic are not going to be limited to the directly infected patients and the stress on the healthcare infrastructure alone. There are a number of other challenges from an economic slowdown to disruption of social harmony to internal security threats and even external threats that can crop up once we are past this Pandemic.
National Security Advisor (NSA), Ajit Doval has once again taken the charge in preparing India for the upcoming challenges. He has reportedly allotted several studies to the different vertical heads of the NSCS.
These studies include a number of issues, such as the effect of an expected economic downturn on social harmony and internal security, apart from the likely behaviour of India’s two hostile neighbours- China and Pakistan.
The NSCS will study these challenges both individually and collectively in order to make a true and accurate assessment of the magnitude of challenges that we could be facing in a post-Coronavirus world.
And the NSCS will go the extra mile, as it will also rope in experts from outside the governmental machinery too- specialists across different sectors such as Finance, Economy, Medicine and Cyber will offer their advice and inputs to the Council, as it prepares a roadmap for India’s behaviour in a post-Coronavirus world.
India will be virtually war-gaming several scenarios in order to ensure that the administrative machinery and all the critical agencies are well oiled in order to go through the dynamics of a post-Coronavirus world smoothly.
As a part of what can be described as a simulation exercise, the three Deputy NSAs, the Military Advisor and the National Cyber Security Coordinator have been appointed as he overall in-charge of the different sector-wise assessments.
All the verticals will recount their experiences after they are done war-gaming at an internal discussion in the NSCS. Following the internal discussion, a document based on the experiences of the verticals will be prepared and submitted to the Prime Minister and his Cabinet of Ministers.
India’s response to the Coronavirus Pandemic has been quite impressive till now- the number of cases are far fewer compared to the West and the United States. And now the ample quantities of Hydroxychloroquine have placed India at the forefront of the fight against Pandemic.
But as India looks to come out if the COVID-19 outbreak unscathed, it must ready itself for the challenges that will follow once the Pandmeic is over.