The newly-created Department of Military Affairs (DMA) headed by General Bipin Rawat, who is also the first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), will give preference to domain experts just like in organisations such as the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), a top officer said Friday.
“We are taking lessons from DRDO and ISRO where there are specialists, and based on that the final structure of DMA will be firmed up,” Major General Mukesh Aggarwal, defence advisor to CDS, said. It will be a mix of civil and military personnel and will have a lean structure, the officer said.
While the MEA is headed and has a majority of Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officers, the DRDO has scientists and technocrats and ISRO has scientists at all decision-making levels.
The DMA structure
The DMA is currently operating with an interim structure as the government is yet to accord a final sanction on the structure of the department, which falls under the Ministry of Defence. As a result, only Rawat, who is both the secretary of the DMA and the CDS, has financial powers in the entire department.
The present structure of the DMA has the secretary at the helm. Under him, there is a secretary (transformation and coordination), a position currently held by Vice Admiral R. Hari Kumar, who is also the current Chief of Integrated Defence Staff (CISC).
There will be an additional secretary who will be a military personnel and five joint secretaries.
Of the five joint secretaries, three will be military personnel from the Army, Navy and Indian Air Force. The remaining two joint secretaries have been appointed and are from the Indian Administrative Services (IAS) — Rajeev Singh Thakur, a 1995-batch of the Rajasthan cadre and Shantanu, a 1997-batch officer of Tripura cadre.
The Army joint secretary will be responsible for the Army and the Territorial Army, the Navy joint secretary will be responsible for Defence Staff and IAF joint secretary will be responsible for staff duty.