DefenceIndian Air Force

What is Shekatkar report, defence ministry’s first order of business after lockdown

After nearly a month in lockdown, the Ministry of Defence sprang into action Monday with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh undertaking a high-level review of the recommendations of the Shekatkar Committee on reforming the armed forces.

The meeting was attended by Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Bipin Rawat, Navy chief Admiral Karambir Singh, Air Force head Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Bhadauria, Army chief Gen. M.M. Naravane and Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar.

The Shekatkar Committee was set up by former defence minister Manohar Parrikar, and submitted its report in December 2016. The report, which is now the guiding principle for ongoing defence reforms, has never been made public, because it covers operational aspects of the armed forces, and its disclosure is not in the interests of national security.

ThePrint takes a look at the key recommendations made by the report.

Slew of reforms

The defence ministry is in the process of implementing a slew of reforms suggested by the committee, headed by Lt Gen. D.B. Shekatkar (retd), which studied how to make the armed forces much leaner, cohesive and modern.

Initially, the ministry had considered the report and sent 99 recommendations to the armed forces for making an implementation plan. In August 2017, then-defence minister Arun Jaitley had approved 65 recommendations pertaining to the Indian Army for implementation.

According to a 2017 report, the Shekatkar Committee had recommended that India’s defence budget should be in the range of 2.5 to 3 per cent of the GDP, keeping in mind possible future threats.

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