20 REFORMS IN 2020’

Recently, the Defence Minister released an E-booklet titled ‘20 Reforms in 2020’ highlighting the major reforms undertaken by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in 2020.

Important points:

  • The appointment of India’s first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) and creation of the Department of Military Affairs (DMA) were among the major decisions taken by the Government.
  • General Bipin Rawat was appointed as the first CDS who also fulfilled the responsibilities of Secretary, DMA.
  • The post of CDS was created to increase efficiency & coordination among the Armed Forces and reduce duplication, while DMA was established to ensure improved civil-military integration.
  • To promote ‘Make in India’ in the defence sector, a list of 101 defence items for which there would be an embargo on the import was notified in August 2020, while Defence Acquisition Procedure 2020 was unveiled in September 2020.
  • There was a 10% budget increase in 2020-21 over the previous year.

Increased Defence Exports:

  • The increased partnership with the private sector has led to a substantial rise in defence exports.
  • The value of total defence exports rose from Rs 1,941 crore in 2014-15 to Rs 9,116 crore in 2019-20. Also, for the first time, India figured in the list of defence equipment exporting nations as the exports expanded to more than 84 countries.
  • First five Rafale fighter aircraft arrived in India in July 2020 and several more since then, adding firepower to the arsenal of the Indian Air Force.
  • To promote innovation by young minds, five Young Scientists Laboratories of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) were launched in 2020.
  • DRDO has joined hands with the private sector in design & development and identified 108 Systems & Subsystems for the industry to design, develop and manufacture.
  • Directorate General Quality Assurance (DGQA) started online Pre-Delivery inspection in May 2020 to address security threats.
  • The Armed Forces Tribunal began digital hearing for the first time in August 2020.
  • Reforms of processes and workflows within Border Roads Organisation (BRO) enabled it to achieve targets ahead of schedule, in some instances.
  • World’s longest Atal tunnel above 10,000 feet, at Rohtang on the Leh-Manali Highway was inaugurated.

Aid to Civil Administration during Covid-19:

  • The Ministry of Defence and the Armed Forces have mobilised resources to aid the civil administration in the fight against Covid-19.
  • DRDO has set up several hospitals to treat Covid patients across the states, passed on technology expertise to the private sector for mass production of covid related medicines and equipment.


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