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.

SOURCE: THE HINDU,THE ECONOMIC TIMES ,MINT

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